Terri Weeks has spent five years curling with Brock University. She’s been a part of the programs growth and development over her career. Weeks is also set to graduate this year, marking the end of her time competing as a Badger, but she gets one final chance to compete for a national banner.
Before coming to Brock, she curled with her family, most of them having curled at some point in their lives. She was 10 years old when she took up the sport and wanted to follow the family roots after seeing her sister join an elementary school curling program.
Her father coached her until she was 16, which is when she started traveling for curling competitions.
“Eventually I started talking to Murray [Etherington] about coming to Brock to curl and the rest is history,” she said.
Weeks has been able to put together an impressive list of achievements, including two OUA silver medals, two OUA bronze medals, and a bronze medal at U Sports in 2018 — where she was also named a First Team All-star for the second time in a row.
The most noticeable difference between her first-year and this year is how much more support the team has from the university.
“There is definitely a little more awareness now,” she said. “We are one of the only schools in the OUA that regularly sends both the women’s and men’s teams to U Sport and it’s a great privilege to be a part of this program.”
She attributes some of this success to the help of the kinesiology program at Brock. The team was recently given access to the Brock’s Sports Performance Centre where they are able to work with student trainers.
“You can see the difference when we play on the final day of competitions, we are fresher and it’s great.”
Sports psychology has become a more vital part of the curling team, where the psychologists are working with them to create activities and lessons that address their needs as a team.
“[They] help us improve our mental game on the ice, which is another way to put us ahead of other schools,” said Weeks.
The team also had opportunities to increase their funding over the last few years. The Scotties Tournament of Hearts took place at the Meridian Centre in 2017, which increased the visibility and interest in the sport around the community. Brock Curling consistently holds fundraisers, at the Golf and Country Club in St. Catharines, and it helps with purchases of new equipment.
Weeks is grateful for the opportunities curling has provided her, she’s served as a leader for the team and an ambassador for the sport, running Learn to Curl clinics at the university. She’s traveled around the province, country and world competing in bonspiels. In 2015, she went to Yichun China, to participate in an international bonspiel.
Even though the program has grown, Weeks still sees room to take it further as curling often struggles to get the same attention as the mainstream sports.
“I think there is still a lot of room to improve the awareness of our team on campus, and on the social media pages. It really means a lot to our program when we get recognized for all the work that we put in over the season and our successes as a team,” she said.
The Badgers qualified for U Sports national championships after both the men’s and women’s teams finished in the top three at the OUA tournament. This will be Weeks’ final appearance at the National Championship which takes place in Fredericton, New Brunswick from March 15-19.