The Red Deer Curling Classic is an event Brittany Tran marks on her calendar every season.
Not only because she gets to visit friends and family but also to compete for much-needed points in a rink she’s familiar with.
“It’s a really great event and it’s always fun coming home,” Tran said. “My family cooks us dinner and we have salad roles so it’s always a nice highlight of the weekend to see family and have them come to watch.”
The 30-year-old from Red Deer plays third on Calgary-based Team Skrlik led by Kayla Skrlik followed by second Geri-Lynn Ramsay and first Ashton Skrlik.
They played on Friday evening and will return on the ice on Saturday morning to continue their journey for the tournament’s top prize of $10,000.
Team Skrlik is just one of 24 teams on the women’s side competing from Nov. 17-20 at the Pidherney Centre. The tournament has plenty of other big names competing including Kevin Koe on the men’s side also featuring 24 teams and Rachel Homan on the women’s.
The tournament is important for many teams as they can earn points in the World Curling Federation standings. Those points help each team qualify for major tournaments such as the Grand Slam of Curling.
Team Skrlik is currently 21st in the women’s standings with 134 points but in order to make the next Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event in December they’ll need to be in the top 16.
“We’re about in the middle of the pack. It’s a really important event in points and for us to get into the Alberta provincials with Alberta tour points as well,” she said.
“It’s a key one for us and we’re coming off a good week last weekend winning [the Okotoks Ladies Alberta Open] so hopefully we can keep the ball rolling in this one.”
As part of the Grand Slam of Curling the Co-op Canadian Open will go ahead in Red Deer at the Servus Arena from Jan. 16-21. Tran would love for the opportunity to compete in the marquee event in her hometown.
“It would be really exciting to get to play in the Grand Slam so fingers crossed for us that we’re here. It would be fun to compete on the home ice here and have all the fans come to cheer us on,” Tran added.
She began curling when she was six years old and her first rocks were thrown at the Red Deer Curling Centre.
The rink holds a special place in her heart and she feels comfortable playing there. She hopes that pays off throughout the weekend.
Some of their goals are to play in some of the Grand Slam competitions and be a part of the Olympic trials coming up in the next few years. They also hope to repeat as Alberta provincial champions and win a medal at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
“I enjoy my team members a lot and what we’ve put together,” she said.
“It’s always enjoyable being out with the girls and we have some big goals we want to obtain. That keeps me driving toward those goals and it’s just sport I’ve loved since I was little. I love it and I’m very passionate about it.”