Team New Zealand

L-R: Luke Steele (Fourth/Skip), Eleanor Adviento (Third/Vice-skip), David Weyer (Second) and Kelsi Heath (Lead) Photo: New Zealand Curling Association

Introduction to Team New Zealand
by Vice-skip Eleanor Adviento

It has been a while since the New Zealand Youth Olympic Curling Team was selected in March, yet it did not seem that long ago that I was sitting upstairs with my fellow athletes, waiting in anticipation as the selectors decided the team.

For four young curlers, everything was about to dramatically change; four of us were about to become Olympians! (How great would that be on a CV?)

Luke Steele, Eleanor Adviento, David Weyer and Kelsi Heath were the names.

My name is Eleanor Adviento, and I am the vice-skip of the New Zealand Winter Youth Olympic Curling Team. I would like to introduce you to the pack of curling hooligans who I have been throwing rocks at houses with for the past 9 months, the team who will be representing New Zealand at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in January 2012.

Luke Steele is the team's 17 year old skip from Ranfurly. He attends Maniototo Area School and is a successful athlete, having excelled in curling, golf, and cricket.

He has competed in many national curling tournament and placed respectively, including 2nd Place at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Curling Championships. Luke is a quiet but observant skip.

As mentioned earlier, I am the vice-skip of the team. I attend Birkenhead College in Auckland and have gained several national and provincial curling titles including 2nd in the 2011 New Zealand Under 21 Championship as vice-skip, 1st 2011 New Zealand Secondary Schools Championship as skip (undefeated), 1st Auckland Secondary Schools Curling Championships as skip (undefeated) and 4th in the Auckland Premier League.

I have gained an NCEA Level 1 Excellence Endorsement and am widely involved in music and performing arts. Fellow curlers have referred to me as bubbly and full of energy.

David Weyer is the team's 17 year old 2nd, also from Ranfurly. With Luke, he attends Maniototo Area School and is involved in numerous sports such as curling, golf, rugby, cricket, squash and road racing.

He has played in many national curling tournaments alongside school mate, Luke, gaining 2nd Place at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Curling Championship. David is a team player with a great sense of humour!

Kelsi Heath is the team's 16 year old lead from Auckland. She also attends Birkenhead College and is very experienced in her position and has medalled in national and provincial championships such as NZ Secondary Schools Mixed Championships (1st), Auckland Secondary Secondary Schools Mixed Championships (1st) and NZ Under 21 Championships (2nd).

Kelsi is our team fitness motivator with a good knowledge of principles and methods of training. She has also gained an NCEA Level 1 Excellence Endorsement.

The first time we played together as a team was at the New Zealand Mixed Fours Tournament and had some really close games. Second time we played together was at the New Zealand Open Championships in July where we had a pretty awesome win against the NZ Senior Womens Team 9-3.

Then we paired up for the New Zealand Mixed Doubles also in July. David with Kelsi, and Luke with me - where Luke and I narrowly beat David and Kelsi 9-7. My highlight of that tournament was definitely defeating World Mixed Doubles silver medallist Sean Becker and Bridget Becker 11-10 on the extra end!

Now we are together again training in the South Island and the excitement and exhiliration is rapidly building up. With plenty of game and training oportunities, we hope to be in top form when we arrive in Innsbruck on the 9th of January. See you there!

www.curling.org.nz/index.php/the-yog-blog

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