There’s a new force to be reckoned with on the Manitoba women’s curling scene this season.
A province that is already stacked with rinks skipped by the likes of Kerri Einarson, Jennifer Jones and Kaitlyn Lawes now has a new world-class foursome after Kate Cameron and Meghan Walter recently joined forces.
After playing out of Alberta the past four seasons, New Bothwell’s Cameron is back curling in her home province again, and back skipping her own team for the first time in a decade.
“I was kind of at a point in my life that I was ready to be done being an import,” Cameron said. “It’s really challenging to constantly be on the road and be away from your family and your friends.”
The 31-year-old Cameron and her longtime teammate Taylor McDonald hooked up with new third Walter and Walter’s old lead Mackenzie Elias to form the new Team Cameron, where there is a 10-year age gap between them.
“It’s a nice refresher to have two young girls just starting their top-level career to just kind of relight that spark for Taylor and I,” Cameron said. “And I think that’s been really refreshing so far.”
Walter, 21, said that “Kate and Tay come with a lot of experience playing for how many years in the top leagues of women’s curling.”
“So, I think getting that opportunity would really benefit ourselves in the game,” she said.
Cameron won the Manitoba Scotties as the third for Michelle Englot in 2017. She’s made a total of six appearances at the national Scotties, also with Laura Walker and Casey Scheidegger. She won both a silver and a bronze medal as a third, while Walter is coming off her first Scotties appearance as a skip, so they’re both still getting familiar with their new spot in the lineup.
“Definitely an adjustment,” Walter said. “It’s always a learning curve, getting to know a new position, but I think I’ve settled in a little bit quicker than I thought I would.”
Cameron said she’s “enjoyed transitioning back.”
“I would say I was slightly terrified at the beginning, but it’s been a good change, for sure,” she said.
“I kind of have a lot of experience in that role and in my role, she had a lot of experience. So, I think it’s nice to be able to lean on each other and kind of get the best out of both worlds.”
After curling together all summer, it’s so far, so good for this new squad. They won their first event of the season and qualified for the semifinals in the other two to move into the top 10 in the world rankings to put them currently in a position for berths in the Grand Slams.
“I think the results are great,” Cameron said. “We need to continue to build ourselves and we just need to continue working really hard. I think the competition is just so good everywhere now that we can’t really let off a little bit.”
Team Cameron is scheduled to be back in the field this weekend at the Curling Stadium Alberta Curling Series Major in Beaumont, Alta.