The eight-time former provincial champion did just that playing third for Stefanie Lawton in the 2015 Scotties when they first took place at Mosaic Place. And in a word?
“It was the best experience of my life,” Anderson said matter-of-factly. “I had played in Regina in the Olympic Trials and kind of felt like the home team but not really because there were other Saskatchewan teams in it. It was a great experience, but the Scotties in Moose Jaw were unbelievable.”
The stands were full for every Saskatchewan draw and the fans made sure Lawton and her crew knew that more than 4,000 supporters were behind them each and every game.
“Every time we walked out on the ice the crowd went crazy and it gave me goosebumps every time,” Anderson said. “It’s such an incredible feeling and I’ve never had that before to that degree.
“Curlers like to be under the spotlight like that, even though some of them say ‘oh, I like to hang back in the reeds’. We love playing in front of a crowd, when you’re standing there holding the broom and they’re from here to there and you can hear them talking,” she added with a laugh. “It’s really cool.”
Anderson was in Moose Jaw recently for the Saskatchewan Women’s Curling Tour stop at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre, where both her senior team and regular women’s team – skipped by third Nancy Martin – reached the playoff round. Anderson’s senior squad would reach the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Penny Barker.
Anderson has also played a host of World Curling Tour events this season, and earned enough points on the Canadian Team Ranking System to land a direct berth in the Scotties provincial championships next month in Melville.
It’s been a long road for the 55-year-old curling veteran, who won her first provincial Scotties title in 1994 and most recent championship in 2018. Through that time, the national tournament – which takes place in Moose Jaw Feb. 14-23 at Mosaic Place – has seen its share of changes in presentation but not a whole lot of difference on the ice.
“The show they put on, they used to pay a lot of money and put on a big show, we’d go there and there would be a lot of elaborate stuff like banquets and things like that,” Anderson said. “They’ve cut out a lot of that because of the cost of those things.
“But the actual curling, it’s still the same as it was. And the fact that we get to showcase a women’s sport and get good television coverage, there’s not a lot of women’s professional sports in Canada that get coverage like that. So it’s a dream come true for the curlers who get there because there’s nothing better than competing and being on television and competing in an arena where the ice conditions are great.”
Anderson has never been able to win the big one, finishing third in Kitchener in 1994 and falling to Colleen Jones in the final in Brandon in 2002. But as well as things have gone in her regular women’s career, it’s her most recent success that has attracted plenty of attention.
The Saskatoon skip and her rink of third Patty Hersikorn, second Brenda Goertzen and lead Anita Silvernagle are the two-time defending World Senior Women’s Curling champions as well as the three-time defending Canadian champions.
“It’s a lot of fun, it’s fun playing with the team we have,” Anderson said. “It’s just a great experience, people say ‘when are you going to hang up your shoes’ and I say ‘when I don’t think I can compete anymore’ and right now I still think I can compete so why quit?”
Extra Ends… Anderson was one of six teams announced as having pre-qualified for the provincial Scotties earlier this week…. Moose Jaw’s Penny Barker was the first to earn a berth, winning the Saskatoon Nutana direct-entry spiel last month… Michelle Englot, who also reached the quarters at the Moose Jaw SWCT, earned the SWCT champion’s berth and Lorraine Schneider the SWCT runner up spot… Defending provincial champion Robyn Silvernagle claimed the second CRTS berth and Moose Jaw’s Amber Holland, now curling out of Regina, earned the third CRTS spot… provincials are in Melville from Jan. 24-28 and will use a triple-knock-out format for the first time.