GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — Two players, one current and one former, were honoured during Saturday’s Page playoff 3-4 game at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Revolution Place.
The Marj Mitchell Sportsmanship Award was presented to Saskatchewan vice-skip Ashley Howard. The cherished Award is voted on by the curlers and is named in honour of the late Saskatchewan skip who won the first world women’s title for Canada in 1980. The award honours an individual who the competitors feel exemplifies the spirit of curling. Interestingly, it’s the third consecutive year a Saskatchewan vice-skip has won the Marj Mitchell Award; Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson won the past two years.
The Joan Mead Builder Award, meanwhile, was presented to Renée Sonnenberg of Grande Prairie, Alta. Each year, this award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the growth and development of women’s curling in Canada. The Builders Award is named after Joan Mead, the late CBC producer who is credited with many innovative developments in curling broadcasting.
This year’s recipient became an instant torchbearer and inspiration for female curlers in the Peace District, skipping Alberta champion teams in the 1999 and 2001 Scott Tournament of Hearts.
She started giving back to the game immediately, coaching junior curlers in the area, serving as executive director of the Peace Curling Association and playing a leading role with the Peace Curling Tour.
She continues today to coach juniors in Grande Prairie, teaching at junior camps and she is a high performance consultant for Curling Canada.