CURLING: Surrey teen sweeps up B.C.’s ‘Team of the Year’ honours

CLOVERDALE — They live 1,300 miles apart, but that couldn’t stop a curling team led by a Surrey athlete from winning bronze at this year’s Canada Winter Games in Prince George.

Team Tardi, led by Cloverdale’s Tyler Tardi, 16, includes young curlers from Fort St. John, Coquitlam and Victoria – namely, Sterling Middleton, Nicholas Umbach and Timothy Henderson.

Because of their medal-winning performance in February – the first B.C. men’s team to do so at the event since 1999 – Team Tardi has been named Team of the Year by Curl BC. They share the award with Team Brown of Kamloops.

Team Tardi is coached by Tyler’s dad, Paul.

“I have always loved curling ever since I first watched my dad curl in his league, and I could not wait to try it,” Tyler, a Grade 11 student at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, told the Now.

Looking ahead, Tardi and Sterling will represent Canada at the 2016 Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

Tyler intends to take his curling career “one step at a time. I hope to win a M&M junior nationals, represent my country in Junior worlds, and finally bring home a medal from the Youth Olympic Games. For now, those are my goals.”

Curl BC’s annual awards event was held in Burnaby on May 30.

Other award winners that night included North Delta’s Ernie Daniels, who won the Anita Cochrane Award for Coach of the Year.

Daniels, a member of Delta Thistle Curling Club, guided his daughters’ team to a silver medal at the BC Junior Championships and also coached the Canada Winter Games women’s team, which finished fifth with a 6-2 record.

Daniels is described by his award nominator as “a knowledgeable, innovative, compassionate and inspirational leader.”

Meanwhile, Curl BC’s customer service award went to Peace Arch Curling Club, which has seen its membership increase by more than 20 per cent over the past two years.

“This is the result of hard work by management and volunteers who have run open house days and learn-to-curl clinics,” the awards committee stated. “Peace Arch was also an excellent host of the recent BC Mixed Doubles Championship, providing the competitors with a great experience.”