Doug Armour of Souris are off to the worlds.
Dreams are starting to come true for the members of Kelly Robertson’s Neepawa-based senior men’s curling team.
Neepawa’s Kelly Robertson is off to the worlds. (FILE PHOTO)
Robertson, with Souris’ Doug Armour, Dauphin’s Peter Prokopowich and Winnipeg’s Bob Scales — received their Team Canada jackets last week and they can’t wait to zip them up and step on the ice to face Hungary when the World Senior Curling Championships open Saturday in Taarnby, Denmark.
"We just got our jackets the other day and it’s very nice. It kind of got the blood flowing," said Armour, the team’s third. "It’s still hard to believe for me. I don’t think I’ll really realize the importance of it until I get on the ice. It’s pretty special wearing the Maple Leaf."
This is the first time all four members of the team will represent Canada on the world stage. Armour has had the most chances, having won eight provincial titles — including one men’s, three senior men’s, two masters men’s and two mixed — but he was only successful at nationals one time prior to last season. He won the Canadian masters championship in 2005, but there is no world championship for that age level.
He finally earned his chance to wear the Maple Leaf when the Robertson foursome defeated Alberta’s Brad Hannah 7-5 in the 2011 Canadian senior men’s championship final.
Armour feels honoured to represent Canada at the world senior championship, but even more since this team is from Westman.
"It’s pretty important," he said. "It’s a smaller curling area in Manitoba and the city teams have the pick of the litter, so to speak. For us to be winners from rural Manitoba is pretty special."
While the Robertson team knows the Maple Leaf is a giant target on their back, they have an additional challenge of not knowing their competition. They’re in a pool that includes teams from Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland and Scotland and they have never played any of these teams.
Still, the team feels prepared for the event.
Despite missing the playoffs at this year’s Canadian senior championship, they won their final three games and felt they played very well.
They hope to continue that success and will treat each team at the worlds as if it’s a top-notch Canadian squad as they compete for a playoff spot, and hopefully a world title.
"You always go into these things hoping you’ll win," Armour said. "You want to make the playoffs for sure and then go from there. Wearing the Maple Leafs on our backs will be a big target, and we realize that, but I don’t think it will put any added pressure on us. Once we get on the ice we don’t think about what’s on our backs and we just play the game."
EXTRA ENDS: The Canadian Curling Association announced that Kitchener, Ont., will host the 2013 Capital One Olympic Pre-Trials from Nov. 5-10, 2013. Twelve men’s and twelve women’s teams will compete there for the final two spots in each division available at the 2013 Roar of the Rings in Winnipeg from Dec. 1-8. Brandon native Mike McEwen’s Winnipeg-based team has secured a spot in the pre-trials.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 12, 2012