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Palmerston curling champion wins big at provincials

Tori Zemmelink's rink won an Ontario title then finished fourth at nationals

Tori Zemmelink, from Palmerston, is now a provincial curling champion after skipping her rink to victory at the CurlON U20 Women’s Curling Provincial Championships in Ajax in March.

Her rink then went on to represent Ontario at the New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Quebec from March 26 to April 2, taking home fourth place.

“For four-person women’s curling, this was my first national event. It was such a cool experience,” Zemmelink said.

“The Curling Canada Committee and volunteers did such a great job running it. For me, it was so amazing to be able to represent Ontario.”

As captain of her team, Zemmelink says she could not have done it without her teammates.

“I'm now living in Guelph. My one teammate, who was the lead, is in Waterloo. And the other two are from the Ottawa area. The memories that we made together as a team have just been awesome,” she said.

Zemmelink grew up in the Palmerston area, attended Palmerston Public School and then Norwell District Secondary School.

Today, the 20-year-old is a student at the University of Guelph, studying biology and psychology.

Zemmelink says when it comes to curling, she loves the social aspect of the sport.

“Curling is known as a social sport. That really is a big part of it. Because the teams are so small, the friendships made become long lasting. Once I began to play competitively, that’s what really kept me in it because I have made really close friends,” she said.  

“Then there’s obviously the competition aspect which I love. I am a very competitive person so there’s always that feeling of wanting to do well and to get better, and to make those shots for you and your team to win.”

Zemmelink has been curling for 11 years.

“I got into curling because my friends were trying it. And then I told my parents that I wanted to curl. My parents actually started up a junior program in Palmerston,” Zemmelink said.

“My parents were my first coaches and I just kept growing from there. I think they are pretty proud of me. They have seen me grow from my first time being on the ice to now,” Zemmelink said.  

“I am now curling on a new team and at a new level. I’m really looking forward to skipping again,” Zemmelink said.

Zemmelink’s new teammates are based in the Guelph and Waterloo area.

“Now that I've aged out of the junior level, we will be competing in a whole new age group and a much bigger group,” Zemmelink said.

“We are really looking forward to it and there’s lots of experience within this new team. We are really hoping to use that to our advantage as we take on our first year at the women’s level.”

Zemmelink is grateful for all of the support she has received along the way.

“I can’t thank my parents enough for helping me get here, as well as many others including my coach Stu Anderson. For the last three years, he has given me tremendous support as a mentor and coach and he has really helped me grow as an individual and as a curler,” Zemmelink said.

“I’m just so thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way.”

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Barbara Latkowski

About the Author: Barbara Latkowski

Barbara graduated with a Masters degree in Journalism from Western University and has covered politics, arts and entertainment, health, education, sports, courts, social justice, and issues that matter to the community
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