Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chinese exchange student curls in championships with Royals

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

When Yina Chen, an exchange student from the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, came to Canada and Douglas College, she wanted to know where she could continue her training in curling. This led her to the Royal City Curling Club.

Just one year after she first set foot on the ice, back in China, Yina is in Edmonton this week competing in the CCAA Curling National Championships as a Douglas College Royal.

"I think it is a great honour to represent Douglas in this competition," she says. "It is the first time my school, SIFT, has ever sent curling students to Douglas. I am so glad that I can join the school team and go for the CCAA championships."

The only team representing B.C., the Douglas College Royals women's curling team was put together by coach Gert van Niekerk.

Yina says she first became interested in curling when she saw a competition on TV when she was in high school. She thought it was interesting but never dreamed she would one day be doing it. When SIFT created a team in February of last year, she jumped at the chance to play.

"After I learned the curling rules and had real experience in curling, I found it really interesting and charming," she says. "It combines strength, wisdom and the skill of teamwork. The greatest part is when you work with your teammates and go through all the happiness and sweat together."