Hall of Fame talent lined up for Ford World Women’s
- Updated: July 5, 2013
Heidi Hanlon was recently inducted into the Saint John Sports Hall of Fame, located in the main lobby of the Harbour Station complex – the very same venue that will host the 2014 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Booster Juice, March 15-23.
The well-deserved recognition is the culmination of Hanlon’s distinguished career in competitive curling that has seen her represent New Brunswick 11 times at the Canadian women’s curling championship, as well as at national mixed and seniors competitions.
She won’t be on the ice at Harbour Station next March, but her presence will be felt throughout the building for the entire week as one of the hundreds of volunteers dedicated to ensuring Saint John delivers a world-class event.
“I first started curling in McAdam, New Brunswick, in grade seven when my parents were the high school coaches,” said Hanlon. “It was a small village and there weren’t enough kids for a school league so I curled in the women’s.”
It was 1987 when she took the first major step up the competitive ranks, representing the province in the Scott Tournament of Hearts in Lethbridge, an experience that stands out as one of her most memorable.
“The first national competition is always special,” she said. “But the 2011 Canadian senior’s is obviously something I’ll never forget.”
Hanlon skipped her New Brunswick team to the province’s first national women’s curling title in Digby, N.S., and moved on to take gold at the 2012 world women’s senior championship in Denmark.
She also came close to a national championship in 1989, losing a tie-breaker to British Columbia’s Julie Sutton – and even closer in 1991, when Sutton defeated her again in the championship final of the Scott Tournament of Hearts.
“Coming second was pretty amazing, even though it was a bit depressing… that year also meant qualification for the 1992 Olympics. But, we did beat a very good team in Heather Houston of Ontario to reach the final.”
The 2014 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship will mark the second time Saint John has hosted the event and Hanlon was also scheduled to be part of the volunteer team the last time around.
“I would have been involved in 1999, but I had some minor surgery and couldn’t do it. So, I’m really looking forward to this one.”
With Level II officiating status, Hanlon is no stranger to volunteer duties, taking on timing and stats responsibilities for a number of provincial playdowns. While she anticipates filling some of those shifts this March, her main focus will be as part of the official ceremony committee.
“You Gotta Be There” when the most accomplished athletes in the sport meet in Saint John next March to compete for the world title. Reserve prime seats in Harbour Station today by clicking here.