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LeDrew looking to return as a full-time player


Stephanie LeDrew is enjoying how the pieces are falling into place to allow for her to return to competitive curling as a full-time player.

Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star
Stephanie LeDrew poses for a photo during the 2015 national junior curling championships held in Corner Brook earlier this year. LeDrew was a member of the TSN broadcast crew that carried the playoff games live across the country in her native city in her debut in colour commentary. She will be back in the booth with Russ Howard and Vic Rauter for the 2016 junior nationals in Stratford.

The 31-year-old Corner Brook native played the role of fifth for the Rachel Homan foursome for back-to-back Canadian women’s curling championships and a bronze and silver at the world championships for those two journeys.

Curling had to be put on the backburner for LeDrew for a couple of years because her career and personal life were at the top of her priority list.

Heading into this season, she was hoping to make a return to the ice, but her job wouldn’t allow her to do so because it wouldn’t allow her the freedom to be committed like other members of the rink.

But, then she ended up quitting that job and found a more flexible marketing job with Country Road Graphics, a full-service advertising company located in Wyoming, a town just outside of Sarnia where she calls home today.

She’s excited about the ability to get back into the sport full-time again. There was no chance of forming a team for this season, but she’s entertaining the idea of joining a high-profile team for a run at another Scotties this year in the role of fifth.

She would embrace being the fifth to get back in the groove again, but she doesn’t hide the fact that her passion for the game is all about being on the ice throwing stones and not being a cheerleader on the sidelines.

Next season, she hopes to be able to join forces with other competitive curlers in an attempt to be a full-time player who can really get back at the game with the energy and fervour she displayed when she was going hard at the sport.

But, she’s quick to point out that opportunities are sometimes rare and curling is a funny game in terms of trying to get on a team. She said no coach holds a tryout for the selection of four players, it’s a matter of four women deciding amongst themselves that they have the right fit in terms of skill and personality in forming a team.

Being on the ice is where she finds contentment so she’s just going to let things unfold.

“If you’re out of the game for too long it’s hard to kind of get back into it despite your skill level. I don’t want to be gone for too long,” she said.

While she may find comfort on the ice, LeDrew also has a flare for the broadcast booth, having made her debut as a colour commentator with TSN alongside Russ Howard and Vic Rauter at the national junior curling championships in Corner Brook earlier this year.

It appears she impressed the right people with her performance. She confirmed on Tuesday that TSN has asked her to join Vic and Russ for this year’s national junior championships in January in Stratford, Ont. and she’s pretty excited about giving it another whirl.

“It’s pretty nice to be invited back. They must have thought I did a reasonable job the last time,” she said.

She wishes she could do more broadcasting. While she only has one gig confirmed, she made it quite clear to TSN that if they needed her for anything else, whether it was a Scotties or a Brier, she was ready to jump right into it.

“The job I have right now is really, really flexible and they’re really supportive of me kind of pursuing that type of thing,” she said.

She’s expected to play in a bonspiel in the United States in the near future. She will be playing with the unnamed high-profile team that could very well be adding her as the fifth for a run at the Canadian women’s curling championship this year.

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