Community Clubs Curling Elite Amateur Sport

Homan rink gears up for the new season as the team to beat

By Dan Plouffe

Lisa Weagle (left), Alison Kreviazuk (right), Emma Miskew, and Rachel Homan kick off their 2011-12 curling season with this weekend’s Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville. File photo.

No longer the hot new kids on the block, the Rachel Homan Ottawa Curling Club rink kicks off their second season in the senior ranks as the undisputed favourites at the Sept. 15-18 Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville.

The two-time defending champions – the only team to ever earn that distinction at the World Curling Tour event stop – enter the competition with a big target on their backs.

And Lisa Weagle, Alison Kreviazuk, Emma Miskew, and Homan’s status as favourites is only further amplified by the 2010-11 season they enjoyed as senior-level rookies, which included an Ontario title and a fourth-place finish at the Scotties national championships.

But the fact that they won’t catch anyone by surprise doesn’t matter in the slightest to the Homan crew.

“We expect that our opposition is always going to bring their Agame against us, and if anything, it\’s motivation for us to work harder,” Weagle explains in a message to, noting that her team tries not to think about the outcome of events to cause additional pressure. “We\’re very excited about this season and having the opportunity to build on the successes we had last year.”

While it’s been four months since their last competition, Team Homan’s hardly taken a break since the end of the last season. In April, the curlers who are all in their 20s did fitness tests to develop a plan for the summertime that focused on injury rehab, correcting muscle imbalances, building strength and improving cardio.

“Fitness is now such an important part of curling and it\’s a priority for us to be in top shape,” notes Weagle, the eldest team member at age 26. “We\’ve also been training the mental side of our game and have been working with our sports psychologist on visualization and relaxation techniques.

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“We have been watching game tapes and learning from those to find areas where we can improve our game.”

There hasn’t been a whole lot of time for on-ice preparation – mostly because Ottawa only has one curling rink with ice at the moment – but the team members who all work or study full-time practice every day around lunchtime, testing out new sweeping and delivery techniques.

Several top teams will be certain to offer Team Homan a good challenge in Brockville, including the Sherry Middaugh and Tracy Horgan rinks. The Ottawa curlers enjoy the event in Brockville in particular because it’s their only major event of the season that takes place close to home.

“We love playing in the Shorty,” Weagle says. “It’s always a great event.”

Find the Brockville Curling Club’s results page here.

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