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  • Vermilion Voice

Kitscoty Athlete Curling At National Men’s Championships

Glenn Venance. Photo submitted

Glenn Venance earned his spot with Wildcard Team #3 to compete at the Tim Hortons Brier National Men’s Curling Championships March 3 – 12 in London, Ontario.

26-Year-old Venance grew up in Kitscoty and curled in the Vermilion Junior Super League approximately 10 years ago.

“In my opinion, it’s the biggest curling event in Canada aside from the Olympics; it’s about as good as you can do,” said Venance. “It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us, but we are really looking forward to it.”

Wildcard Team #3 is made up of Skip: Karsten Sturmay, Third: JD Lind, Second: Kyle Doering, Lead: Glenn Venance, and Alternate: Kurtis Goller. Venance has been curling since he was five (making that 21 years) and has been playing with Skip Sturmay for the past eight years.

Playing with the U of A Golden Bears for four seasons, Venance was a 2018 Canadian University Champion, and bronze medal winner in 2019 and 2020.

After their 2018 win, they also played together representing Team Canada at the 2019 FISU Winter Universiade in Russia, where they won silver.

“It’s been a long long road,” said Venance. “This is the first time we’ve had a chance to go to the Brier, and are currently ranked 6th in Canada.”

At the Tim Hortons Brier, there will be 18 teams each with four players representing each province and territory as well as Team Canada (who are last year’s winners) competing. In terms of the spectacle and prestige, he says it’s the biggest event in Canada, which is sure to up the competitive nature and make the selection process quite difficult. Venance is really looking forward to taking in the experience and said their goal as a team is to try to make the quarter-finals.

“In my opinion to make a good curler, I think skill is about 20 per cent, and desire to improve makes up the other 80 per cent. When you think of the top curlers, they are all super talented, but the ones that truly rise to the top are the ones that put the extra work into their craft; the willingness to look at yourself critically and try to get better,” said Venance. “Coming from a rural area helps; Kitscoty is a very hardworking part of the world. People have to work hard to get through; you don’t get things handed to you out there, and I’m super proud of where I come from. I’m proud to represent the area. For me to be the first one from Kitscoty to get to go to the Brier is a real honour. With how many good people there are from there (in Vermilion-Lloydminster-Kitscoty), I’m really grateful for that.”

First and foremost, he said he wanted to thank his wife because without her it wouldn’t be possible as she holds down the fort while he’s away, and she deserves far more credit because as a nurse she worked the front lines during COVID. Second, he wanted to thank his parents for bringing him up the right way, teaching him the value of hard work and to value others and respect the game. He thanked his coach at Kitscoty High School Scott Manners. He also thanked Dean Hiltz; Dale Swyripa; Murray, Rick and Andrew Evans for taking him under their wings and teaching him the right way to play the game, for letting him be in the rink at all hours, and teaching him the honour of the game. He thanked the entire McCrae family for everything they do for Junior Curling and said for the work they do, he will be forever indebted to them.

To encourage young athletes he said, “Keep going with sports, because you never know the places they are going to take you. I’ve had the privilege to see other parts of the world and meet really cool people. Hard work will take you wherever you want to be. If I can do it from a town of 700 and a 3-sheet curling club, then anyone else can do it too. I encourage you to stick with it because work and life can get in the way but work harder to get better, because that is that part you can control and it will take you the furthest.”


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