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Strong family ties behind curling teams competing in U18 championships in Timmins

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The best young curlers from across the country are putting their skills to the test in Timmins this week at the 2023 U18 Curling Championship.

Their skills are what brought them to the national stage, but many of the young curlers will tell you that their curling careers started at an even younger age as a family activity.

“My parents met curling and all of my sisters curled and so, when I was little, I would always go practise with my dad after … they had their own little junior league,” said Grace Beaudry, who’s with the Manitoba team.

Beaudry said competitive curling runs in her family -- and some of the teams here even have family members competing together.

That includes the New Brunswick team.

“Me and my brother and the two other guys we’re with, I don’t think there’s anyone else I’d rather be here with,” said Aiden Matheson, a member of the team.

“It’s just, it’s a wonderful feeling and having my dad as the coach, too.”

“Dream come true, for me,” said his father, Colin Matheson.

“It’s an experience of a lifetime for my kids and for me, to be here and be able to coach them at a national event. It’s fantastic. It’s something I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do and makes me just extremely proud.”

Throwing rocks on the pebbled ice comes naturally to these athletes now. While they all took different paths to this point, many said it all started with developing a love of the sport at a young age and finding inspiration to strive for national acclaim.

“I remember staying up late and I was watching the sport and I said, ‘I wouldn’t mind trying that,” said Aiden Matheson

“I’ve been working hard to try and get there and I guess now we’re at the national level and hoping to go a little farther than that, now.”

“I went to the Manitoba Scotties with my sister,” Beaudry said.

“I knew that my goal one day was to go to nationals and this is my second one, so it’s pretty cool to be here.”

Now these athletes are looking to end the week not only with a championship but with a path toward becoming household names in Canadian curling -- and even beyond. 

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