Falon Burkitt didn't have much of an opportunity to curl competitively last season. So, when Tracey Jones approached her about joining her veteran-laden women's rink this season, Burkitt's decision was an easy one to make.
Burkitt is young -- just 22 -- and is throwing third stones for Team Jones. She's part of a rink that includes Melinda Kotsch at lead and Kay-Lynn Thompson at second. The main goal for the foursome is to qualify for the 2014 B.C. Scotties Tournament of Hearts, which will be held at the Prince George Golf and Curling Club in January.
Burkitt is young enough to be the daughter of any of her teammates, which puts her in an unusual situation. The arrangement, however, has been working out well.
"It's been really good," said Burkitt, who has been curling since the age of nine. "Of course I'm still kind of getting into the swing of things. They've been curling together for quite a while but they've been very good and very welcoming and very helpful so far."
As the third, Burkitt sets the table for her skip and also calls out the instructions to the sweepers on those all-important final rocks. Doing the job well is critical to the success of a team and Burkitt is getting more and more comfortable in the role.
"Third is the position I've had the least amount of experience with so far," she said. "But I generally have skipped so I do know a bit about the line call. It's a little bit of an adjustment but it's been really good as I get more comfortable with the team and just trusting that I know what I'm doing."
Last season was Burkitt's first in the women's division. But, with the limited number of competitive women curlers in town, she couldn't find a full-time spot on a team. Instead, she was a spare for Patti Knezevic's rink. Burkitt was called into action once, at a playdown in Vernon, and helped the team qualify for the 2013 B.C. Scotties.
Burkitt is excited about the possibility of playing in this year's tournament, Jan. 6-12 at the Prince George Golf and Curling Club.
"I'm really glad that it's here in Prince George," said Burkitt, a recent graduate of UNBC who is now working as a pharmacy assistant at a local drug store. "I'm really looking forward to the qualifying events and hoping that we get a chance to play in [provincials] and represent the city here at home."
-- PETERS, Citizen staff