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Collingwood curler’s team to rep Ontario at Scotties

'There’s something extra special about getting to the Scotties,’ says former Collingwood resident and curler Cassandra de Groot
From left to right are Team Inglis: Kimberly Tuck, Cassandra de Groot, Calissa Daly, Kira Brunton and Danielle Inglis, upon winning the Milk Every Moment Ontario Scotties provincial championships.

A curler from Collingwood will be rocking it on the national curling stage.

Team Inglis won first place at the Milk Every Moment Ontario Scotties provincial championships which ran from Jan. 22 to 26. The championships saw 12 women’s teams compete for the chance to represent Ontario at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts next month in Calgary. Team Inglis is made up of Collingwood local Cassandra de Groot, Calissa Daly, Kira Brunton, Danielle Inglis and alternate Kimberly Tuck, and is coached by Steve Acorn.

“It was honestly, a dream come true,” de Groot told CollingwoodToday this week. “We have been working really hard at that goal specifically for my whole life as an adult curler. It’s the ultimate dream for Canadian curlers to represent your province on the national stage.”

“It still feels surreal. I think we were in shock when it happened,” she said.

De Groot started curling at the age of seven at the Collingwood Curling Club as part of their junior program. In 2000, her family moved to Stayner where she curled at the Stayner Granite Club. However, de Groot didn’t start curling competitively until she went to university in Ottawa in 2006. She moved back to Collingwood in 2019, but has since moved back to Ottawa where she currently resides.

“I still have the Collingwood roots,” de Groot said, with a laugh. “It’s where I threw my first rock. It always has a special place in my heart.”

She credits Collingwood ice maker Eldie Benson for helping along the way.

“He has not only been a sponsor of the team over the years, but continues to provide us with some of the best ice in the country to practice on anytime we are in town,” she said.

While some of their team members have changed over time, Inglis and de Groot have curled together for 10 years as part of Team Inglis. De Groot notes the team has worked hard this season to get where they are.

“We’ve poured our heart and soul into this this year. We feel like best friends on and off the ice,” she said. “It’s our first Scotties together.”

“There’s something extra special about getting to the Scotties.”

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be taking place in Calgary from Feb. 16 to 25, and will be televised on TSN.

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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