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Nunavut rink just hoping to have fun at curling nationals


Quiet and reserved, the Nunavut foursome led by Kane Komaksiutiksak, don’t spend much time looking at the scoreboard.

The foursome, out of the Qavik Curling Club in the tiny community of Rankin Inlet, just want to have fun throwing stones against their peers from across the country at the 2015 M & M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships.

“Having fun, to me, is better than winning,” Komaksiutiksak said during a break in the action earlier this week at the Corner Brook Curling Club.

Qavik Curling Club has been sending teams to the national junior event for three years. This group of young curlers didn’t have to compete in a playdown to earn the right to represent Nunavut on the national stage, but the 17-year-old skip hopes the sport will grow in the north to the point where he will have to earn the privilege of competing against the top curlers in his age bracket.

They didn’t win a game, but they certainly had a blast on the ice. While it’s proper etiquette in curling to offer a handshake after eight ends when a team is on the receiving end of a blowout, these guys have been willing to take it on the chin because they don’t care about the scoreboard because they are here to improve their game by playing against tough opponents.

Coach Angela Dale, a Nova Scotia native who moved to Ranklin Inlet to search of a new adventure, said it’s all about getting on the ice and gaining knowledge from the experience.

“The kids decided that every minute they have on the ice gives them a better opportunity for competition and practice and to learn from the other teams,” Dale said. “We’ve been very gracious that the other teams have agreed to play longer games with us.”

Tyson Komaksiutiksak, third on the team and older brother of the skip, defended the team’s position on not giving up on a game despite no chance of rebounding from a large deficit.

“We need the practice because we’re not as competitive as all the other teams and to have fun too,” he said.

Coach Dale has been impressed with how some of the young curlers in the north have embraced the sport despite the challenge of having very little competition in their community.

“We’ve seen a lot of passion and dedication from some of these kids and they have dreams to one day play in the Brier,” Dale said.

The boys admit most of their fun has been happening on the ice, but they are teenagers so they have played some pranks on each other and kept it pretty tame.

“Enough for fun, but not too much to get us kicked out of the event,” the bespectacled skip said with a big smile.

Of course, there had to be a precious moment and that, according to the skip, came in the 8-3 loss to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Greg Smith.

“We had them on the shakes,” he said. “We had a close game and they had that hometown pressure. I think we had them tight for a bit.”

Kane has complete his high school education so now his plan is to save up his money with intentions of being the owner of his own plumbling business.

A goal he expects to accomplish in time.

For now, he just wants to hang out at the curling rink and seize the experience.

Twitter: WS_SportsDesk

The foursome, out of the Qavik Curling Club in the tiny community of Rankin Inlet, just want to have fun throwing stones against their peers from across the country at the 2015 M & M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships.

“Having fun, to me, is better than winning,” Komaksiutiksak said during a break in the action earlier this week at the Corner Brook Curling Club.

Qavik Curling Club has been sending teams to the national junior event for three years. This group of young curlers didn’t have to compete in a playdown to earn the right to represent Nunavut on the national stage, but the 17-year-old skip hopes the sport will grow in the north to the point where he will have to earn the privilege of competing against the top curlers in his age bracket.

They didn’t win a game, but they certainly had a blast on the ice. While it’s proper etiquette in curling to offer a handshake after eight ends when a team is on the receiving end of a blowout, these guys have been willing to take it on the chin because they don’t care about the scoreboard because they are here to improve their game by playing against tough opponents.

Coach Angela Dale, a Nova Scotia native who moved to Ranklin Inlet to search of a new adventure, said it’s all about getting on the ice and gaining knowledge from the experience.

“The kids decided that every minute they have on the ice gives them a better opportunity for competition and practice and to learn from the other teams,” Dale said. “We’ve been very gracious that the other teams have agreed to play longer games with us.”

Tyson Komaksiutiksak, third on the team and older brother of the skip, defended the team’s position on not giving up on a game despite no chance of rebounding from a large deficit.

“We need the practice because we’re not as competitive as all the other teams and to have fun too,” he said.

Coach Dale has been impressed with how some of the young curlers in the north have embraced the sport despite the challenge of having very little competition in their community.

“We’ve seen a lot of passion and dedication from some of these kids and they have dreams to one day play in the Brier,” Dale said.

The boys admit most of their fun has been happening on the ice, but they are teenagers so they have played some pranks on each other and kept it pretty tame.

“Enough for fun, but not too much to get us kicked out of the event,” the bespectacled skip said with a big smile.

Of course, there had to be a precious moment and that, according to the skip, came in the 8-3 loss to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Greg Smith.

“We had them on the shakes,” he said. “We had a close game and they had that hometown pressure. I think we had them tight for a bit.”

Kane has complete his high school education so now his plan is to save up his money with intentions of being the owner of his own plumbling business.

A goal he expects to accomplish in time.

For now, he just wants to hang out at the curling rink and seize the experience.

Twitter: WS_SportsDesk

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