Special Olympic BC-Trail (SOBC-Trail) is adding another sport to its growing list as it joins forces with Kootenay Savings Super League curlers and the Trail Curling Club in icing a team.
The Special Olympians have recruited veteran Super League curlers Deane Horning and Kevin Nesbitt to coach the inaugural Greater Trail team.
“We are very excited to introduce Curling as our eleventh program,” said SOBC-Trail’s organizer Ben Postmus, who attended the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles in July as an assistant coach to the men’s golf team. “With these two men’s experience mentoring our new curlers, it won’t be long before we will be looking for some competition in the Okanagan or west Coast.”
Horning has won three BC Curling championships along with three trips to the Brier, while Nesbitt is a veteran of many regional titles and provincial tournaments.
Their combined experience will give Special Olympian curlers a leg up on the competition as they improve and progress, and eventually prepare for regional and provincial competitions.
Trail is the only local in the Kootenays to ice a curling squad and six athlete showed up for the first night including first-time curlers Maria Veltri, Stu Hawton, Caren McAndrew, and Jake Miller. But the SOBC-Trail team also has some veterans manning the brooms with two experienced curlers in recent Kelowna import Robert Tarko, who attended the national games for curling in Ottawa in 2000, and Adam Bateman who curled in the Rossland Men’s league.
The team is also assisted by Tony Veltri, a tireless volunteer, and Richard Faunt, who has been instrumental in securing ice times for the team.
“It brings so much joy when we are able to start up a new program, and have athlete enthusiasm, community support, and the willingness of such skilled coaches to drive the project and put so many smiles on faces,” said Postmus.
“They have been fantastic,” said Postmus. “Trail truly is the Home of Champions.”