A WORD WITH: Lucy Neilson (15), member of the NZ team for the World Junior B Curling Championships in Finland.
Q What was your reaction when you found out you had been selected?
I wasn’t expecting to be chosen this year, so it was a bit of a surprise.
I don’t think it will feel real until I’m on the aeroplane to Finland.
I am really excited to be a part of the team, as I know I will learn heaps.
Q How long have you been curling?
Q How did you get involved?
Both my older brothers curled on a Friday night when they were younger, so I was always up at the curling rink watching them, but refused to go down and try it myself.
One week my friend was there, too, and she made me go down and curl with her because she didn’t want to do it by herself.
Q What do you think is the key to your curling success?
As cliched as it may sound, practice is the reason I have improved, and practice is what is going to make me become an even better curler.
I am lucky that there is a dedicated indoor curling rink only 15 minutes up the road so I can curl often.
Q What do you think is the most challenging aspect of curling?
For me at this stage, I struggle with throwing the right weight for every stone, but I know that with more experience this will become easier.
Q How far would you like to take it?
My goal has always been to make the New Zealand under 21 curling team, which is what I have been selected for, and hopefully I will continue to be in the team in the years to come.
I also hope to be selected to go to the Youth Olympic Games in 2020.
Q Who do you look up to for inspiration when it comes to curling?
I look up to my two older brothers, who are both New Zealand representatives for curling.
I am also very lucky to have so many curling role models in the community, who give me as much advice as they can.
Q What encouragement/advice do you have for anyone looking at taking it up?
Give curling a try!
It is a great sport and there are plenty of curlers in the Maniototo who are willing to share their expertise/ knowledge and help young curlers develop.