Family affair

Provincial curling competition a family affair for Ottawa’s father-daughter duo

Curling is one of the greatest sports in the country, and an Ottawa family is passing on the love to the next generation.

Unleashing rock is the moment Jenny Madden has been waiting for.

This is his first time on the provincial scene, competing with his curling team, Team Madden, at the U18 Provincial Championships.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I always wanted to go to the provincials.”

The Madden team will have fierce competition in the games in Kingston, which will run until Saturday.

Girls and boys from across the province are vying for the top spots to represent Ontario at the upcoming national games in May.

The 18-year-old captain is with the Manotick Curling Club and her father is her head coach.

“He’s actually the reason I wanted to start curling,” she explains.

Paul Madden has been a competitive curler for 30 years, even going to the Brier in 1999. He will also represent Ontario later this year at the Senior Canadian Championships.

Jenny says her father inspired her when she was nine.

“He inspires me,” she says. “I just wanted to try it and once I tried it. I just fell in love with it.

Paul Madden says it’s about fostering the competitive spirit in her, but also the love of the game.

“It’s good that she’s obviously doing well, but she’s keeping everything in perspective, I think,” he says, “in terms of winning and losing.”

These matches are a chance to push further after she qualified for the provincials two years ago, which were canceled due to the pandemic.

“In a few years, some of these competitors could be competing in the Brier, the Scotties, the world championships or the next Olympics,” says Deb Wilken of the Royal Kingston Curling Club. “That’s the level of competition we’re looking at. They are damn good.

Paul Madden believes that curling has done a lot to promote girls in the sport.

“She definitely has a love of the game. It’s good to see the best players in the country show us how it’s done.

Dreaming of following in her father’s footsteps, Jenny Madden hopes this will be the first competition in a long series.

“I think it’s really, really special to be able to do this with him and share this with him,” she says.