All those ferry trips from Vancouver Island and road trips taking her three daughters to various bonspiels have been worth it.
“I go to everything they go to,” said Cindy Van Osch, whose eyes started welling up with tears as she spoke about her three daughters Kesa, Kalia and Marika who are representing B.C. at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. “I’m just so proud.”
Mom and dad have been trucking the trio around for over 16 years from the Nanaimo Curling Centre, the trip to Penticton for the women’s national curling event is the cherry on the top for all the work they have seen their kids do.
“It is really stressful though with three of them on one team. I am anxious about every shot. I suffer through it sitting in my seat though,” said Cindy. “We have family in Ontario and we have been getting Facebook messages, texts all the way from Newfoundland to B.C.”
It comes to no surprise to youngest of the trio, Marika.
“My family is just as invested as us. They have put in so much time and so much effort and not that they will be disappointed if we lose but they just live and die with every shot. I don’t think they would be able to do it any other way.”
The sister act has previously teamed up in 2012 at the Canadian Junior Curling Championship where they finished in third. Team B.C. skip Kesa is the only one that has been under the glare of the national spotlight before. In 2014 she won the provincial championship and ended up in fifth at the Scotties that year. Meanwhile sisters Kalia and Marika placed second at the 2014 Canadian Junior Curling Championship.
The Van Osch trio, along with lead Amy Gibson, kicked off the Scotties conceding to Team Canada 6-2 in their first outing, but then bounced back to defeat Nunavut 7-4. Team B.C. shook hands with Prince Edward Island conceding their next game, 9-5. On Monday they were back on their winning ways defeating Quebec 10-4.
The third win at Scotties was followed up with a big victory against Ontario on Tuesday, with Team B.C. stealing three points in the 10th end to win 6-5. The crowd roared as they took the win and the Van Osch sisters waved in acknowledgement to those in the SOEC stands.
“It’s pretty cool. You have seen it on TV when someone makes a big shot and you hear the big cheer … it’s nice when you make one and then realize hey that is for me this time,” said Kesa.
Even while exploring Penticton this week during their downtime, Kesa said they are getting recognized.
“Everyone is really rooting for us and lots of people we pass are saying ‘Go B.C. Go B.C.’ We just want to make them proud.”
In the Team B.C. entourage are family, friends and Kesa’s boyfriend Griffin Woodward. If you don’t recognize them by the horns they are blowing after every Team B.C. shot it would be hard to miss them wearing the provincial colours or the flag draped on Woodward’s tall frame.
“They are fantastic fans. They make the most noise out there. Even if we weren’t playing for B.C. they would still be the loudest,” said Marika of her family and friends. “They are awesome. We can hear them for sure, especially the horns. I love it. The louder the better. For us I think it gets us really pumped and ready to go, so the louder the better.”
The top four teams from the two pools move to the Championship Pool, which is played this Thursday and Friday. However, Team B.C. is in a three-way tie as of Wednesday morning for the fourth spot in their pool. They play at 2 p.m. Jan. 31 against Newfoundland and Labrador (5-1) at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.