Very few high school students can say they’ve curled before. The excitement of running down a lane of ice and furiously sweeping is a rare experience. However, Marc Garneau’s Curling Team offers all forty of its players this opportunity.

Over the past three years, the team’s membership has increased from less than ten to forty. When asked why the team was so popular this year, Coach Wiltenburg said, “because curling is amazing!” There are currently two boys, four girls, and two co-ed teams. On her motivations for joining, Jessica Guo, a new member of a co-ed team, said, “I thought it would be nice to try a new sport that not many people do.”

To be on the team, students do not need to try out or have any past experience. At the start of the season, the forty players organized themselves into smaller teams of four to six. Each of the teams compete at different levels, depending on their experience; Tier 1 is for experienced players and Tier 2 is for beginners. This year, there is one Tier 1 Boys team and the other seven teams are in Tier 2.

The 2016-2017 curling season started with a Boys Tier 1 match on 28 November against York Mills CI, followed by games against Victoria Park CI and John Polanyi CI. The Boys Tier 1 team is currently undefeated with five wins and will compete at city finals next week. The other Boys team plays in Tier 2 and has three losses. The Girls Tier 2 A has one win and one tie, the Girls Tier 2 B has two wins, the Girls Tier 2 C has one tie, and the Girls Tier 2 D has one win and two losses. The Co-ed Tier 2 A team has a tie and two losses while the Co-ed Tier 2 B has two wins.

MGCI warms up before a match on 14 February. Photo: Matthew Tse

“I feel like this season is going quite well so far,” says Ryan Lew, a player on the Boys Tier 1 team, “All the teams are steadily improving and everyone seems to be having fun.” Ms. Wiltenburg is also satisfied with the teams’ performance and said, “They are doing wonderfully.” She expects to have at least two teams at city finals.

At the start of the season, the Curling Team had one practice at Leaside Memorial Arena; it plans to have more in the near future. They have games against Woburn CI and Bayview SS in the following weeks.