Sunday, January 30, 2011

Team Yizek wins 5th straight Alberta Championship

Bruno Yizek, Jack Smart, Anne Hibberd, Bridget Wilson, Martin Purvis
Coach Andy Jones

 Cliff Nuspl skip, Mike McMullan 3rd, Warren Fleury 2nd, Shawna Walsh lead
Coach Cathy Craig. 

Calgary's Team Yizek, playing on home ice and looking for their fifth consecutive provincial title, went out to an early 7-0 lead over Edmonton's Cliff Nuspl in today's final of the Alberta Wheelchair Curling Championship at the Ogden Legion CC. After the break, Nuspl took a single in 5 and stole 1 in the 6th, but gave up 4 in the 7th. Yizek won 11-2.

Team Yizek, with Jack Smart, Anne Hibberd, Bridget Wilson and Martin Purvis, is a talented team that has been working together since Ernie Comerford started the program in Calgary in 2004.

Bruno Yizek is a Paralympic gold medallist who will be in Prague defending Canada's World title in Prague in three weeks. Both Anne and Bridget have also worked with the Team Canada squad, and their experiences have been integrated into the teams practices.

Now coached by Andy Jones, for the past two plus seasons they were guided by Tony Zummack, newly appointed British national coach. He told me the team prepares just as hard as Team Canada; the only diference is lack of access to the specialists and off-site resources that the national team enjoys.

Team Yizek's experience and the time and effort they put into preparing for championships, made them heavy favourites to repeat as provincial champions. In seven weeks they will know if they are good enough to go one better than in 2007 and 2009, and break BC's stranglehold on the national championship.

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