SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —
Suzanne Birt is bringing a renewed enthusiasm back to the national stage.
The 37-year-old Summerside native will skip P.E.I.’s representative at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the 10th time.
“Each and every time it is such a privilege to go,” said Birt, who returned to competitive curling this season after a two-year break.
“I needed a little recharge, a little mental break,” offered Birt. “It made me realize watching the curling in the provincials and this time of the year, I missed that competition. I’m looking forward to competing and getting back at it.”
The Mitchell O’Shea-coached Birt rink, which also includes third stone Marie Christianson, second stone Meaghan Hughes and lead Michelle McQuaid, will begin play in the 2019 Canadian women’s curling championship in Sydney, N.S., on Saturday evening.
“I’m really excited,” said Hughes, who will be competing in her fourth national Scotties in a row. “It took me a few tries to get to the Scotties, so I will never take for granted another trip there.”
McQuaid will team with Hughes to handle the majority of P.E.I.’s sweeping.
“A big role for us is judgment sweeping,” said McQuaid. “We have tried to get out on some quicker and curlier ice, because those are the conditions at the Scotties.”
“We have been doing a lot more work off the ice than we have in previous years, so I think we are feeling a little more prepared in that aspect.”