Jennifer Jones has competed all over the world — but there’s no place like Naseby.
The Olympic gold medallist competed in the 2017 New Zealand Winter Games held in the town.
Jones has returned to Naseby with husband Brent Laing — also an Olympic curler and three-time Canadian champion — to run training camps with New Zealand and Australian curlers.
‘‘We’re here to coach and just share some of our experience and knowledge. We jumped at the chance because it literally is one of our favourite places to visit,’’ she said.
The Kiwi curlers took part in a three›day camp, with novice and junior players taking to the ice on Friday followed by the under-21 and more experienced curlers at the weekend.
‘‘The culture of curling is thriving [in New Zealand],’’ Jones said.
‘‘We see curling around the world and here it’s got the grassroots, the love of the game, just the community coming together to really make curling shine and it’s really the starting point.
‘‘You know, one day we’re going to watch a lot of these young people on TV, they’re going to be the next rising stars of curling and it’s really exciting for us to give back to a sport that we love so much and to really root for the next generation.’’
Curling was ‘‘love at first sight’’ for Jones.
‘‘It’s an individual sport because you have to make the shot, but a team sport.
‘‘It had everything I ever wanted in a sport and just the people we meet, the culture of the game, it’s all about sportsmanship and friendship.’’
Laing said the future of curling in New Zealand looked promising.
‘‘New Zealand has had some good results over the years.
‘‘ I think just the numbers are not at a place where they can consistently pump out the results that they want and that they’re capable of. In a curling sense, it’s a country on the rise.’’
‘‘It’s an established curling country but looking to grow …
‘‘It’s great to be a small part of helping them do that.’’
New Zealand Curling executive member Nelson Ede said the opportunity to learn from the Canadian curlers was ‘‘invaluable’’.
‘‘It’s so much better coming from people who have been there and done that.’’