There's a strong Estevan connection to the female curling team that will represent the southeast region at the upcoming Saskatchewan Winter Games in Regina.
All four members of the team curl out of the Estevan Curling Club, including skip Heidi Fradette, third Kristen Carlson, second Amy Fradette, and lead Malina Stead. Carlson and Stead are both from Estevan, while the Fradette sisters hail from Laka Alma. They range in age from 13-17.
Estevan Curling Club Manager Pauline Ziehl-Grimsrud will coach the team.
"We're super excited. This was one of our goals that we had set for the team here last October," Ziehl-Grimsrud said. "We're pretty happy to have won the southeast region here...we played against a really good team from Gainsborough. We're excited to get up there."
The curling competition at the games begins Monday Feb. 20
"There are eight teams cut into two pools of four, so it's pretty important you get going right away," Ziehl-Grimsrud said. "You've got three games in your pool, so we need to come out ready to go. Your results from the pool will affect your placing in the playoffs."
Ziehl-Grimsrud said they are familiar with many of the teams who will be at the Sask Games, having played against them in the past.
"We're feeling pretty confident there. But it's the teams that we've never played before and we really don't know what's coming when we play these new teams, but it's the same for them. We're really interested in seeing some new competition while we're up there," she said.
"You throw your rocks, you play the best you can, and that's all you can do."
She added that the team does have fairly high expectations.
"We've worked very hard to get to this point. We would certainly like to be making the top two in our pool, that would certainly be our goal to get there," Ziehl-Grimsrud said. "Then we're into the medal rounds, and we'd certainly like to come away with a medal."