If you want a good chance to win a bonspiel, send in the Craigs.
The Duncan Curling Club’s Craig family has been a curling powerhouse for generations and the women of the family have kept the tradition alive by earning bronze while competing as Team BC at the 2023 Everest Curling Club Championships Nov. 19-25 at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club.
Featuring Craig family matriarch Roselyn Craig (skip/second), and her daughter-in-law Carley Sandwith-Craig (fourth), along with their teammates Megan Montgomery (lead), and Marika Van Osch (third), the group also lined up veteran curler Barb Foster as an alternate just in case. It turned out to be just what they needed because their path to the podium was not direct.
The Craig rink faced adversity even before the first rock was thrown as starting third Van Osch suffered an injury at work and learned with just three weeks before the event that she’d be unable to play at all during the tournament.
“Luckily we had already lined up Barb Foster to come with us back in May, so we did have a plan in place in case someone was injured or sick, but we weren’t anticipating it would be for the whole event,” Sandwith-Craig said. “Barb did such an amazing job stepping in at lead for us and it was an easy transition having Megan play third as well.”
The changes could have derailed the team but they didn’t.
The rink won six straight draws to open the event, beating Quebec (8-6), Nova Scotia (8-4), Yukon (13-3), New Brunswick (8-7), Northern Ontario (8-6), and Northwest Territories (10-3) before conceding to Manitoba (9-1) in their seventh.
From there the curlers won their next two over Saskatchewan (7-5) and Quebec again (6-5), before a loss to Ontario (9-3) sent them to the bronze medal game against Nova Scotia, a team they’d already beaten handily in the tournament.
This time against Nova Scotia, the Craig rink won 9-3 to claim the bronze.
“Our time at the nationals was absolutely amazing. We had such a great time playing against other provinces and territories, making new friends and making great curling shots along the way,” Sandwith-Craig said. “The spirit of the event is so amazing and it truly is a celebration of the grass roots of curling and how it can bring us all together. It was a world class event from beginning to end.”
Playing with her mother-in-law was also pretty cool, Sandwith-Craig admitted.
“We have had a friendship for years that predates my relationship with her son/my husband Miles,” she said. “She has known all of us for years actually and has helped us all foster our love of the game and stay involved after tough losses or seasons throughout our curling careers. It’s such an honour to be able to play with her and we have such a great time on and off the ice, win or lose.”
All in all, it was a great accomplishment for the Duncan Curling Club team as well as a new chapter to add to the Craig family memory book.
“We feel so fortunate to have had such a great showing at the tournament and come home to the Duncan Curling Club with a bronze medal in hand,” Sandwith-Craig said.
And, as it turns out, the Craigs have been working to ensure their family tradition carries on.
“It will forever be a core memory in my life winning my first national medal, especially while being pregnant with our first child and both of our parents’ first grandchild,” Sandwith-Craig said with a chuckle. “We had three generations out on the ice last week!”