Aaron and Amanda Sluchinski curled their way to a tournament win and an Alberta Mixed Doubles crown, giving them the right to represent the province at the 2024 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship in Fredericton, N.B. in March.
The couple competed at provincials in Lethbridge between Christmas and New Year’s. Aaron competes competitively and has represented Alberta at the Mixed Doubles Championships twice before–this is the first time the couple will play together on the national stage.
“I thought it was really great.” said Amanda, who took a nearly 10 year break from curling competitively before taking it up again in 2023. “We were lucky enough to have some family down [in Lethbridge] with us and it was nice to share it with the kids.”
Amanda said she took a step back from curling competitively years ago to better balance the busy schedule she had with working and raising the family’s two kids.
“I was working full time and going back to school and then with the kids it made it hard to put in the time and effort to play competitively,” said Amanda. Then last year the couple decided to play a little more together.
Remembering provincials back in December, Amanda said she didn't find herself having any nerves after being away from competitive curling for so long.
“I was excited the pressure wasn't getting to me,” she said.
Last year, Aaron competed in the Mixed Doubles Championship with a different teammate, but said that the tournament wins he and Amanda have racked up in 2023 and 2024 have felt special.
“It was awesome,” said Aaron when asked about the couple's provincials’ result. “It felt really good to have the whole family there and we got some pictures with the kids at the medal presentation…it felt really good to win.”
According to Aaron, the competition in mixed doubles curling has seen a steady increase since it was added as an Olympic event.
“All the top players in the world have started playing mixed doubles,” said Aaron. “It’s really competitive and you have to bring your A-game if you want to win.”
However, Aaron and Amanda said they expect to compete for a tournament win in Fredericton.
“We’ve rattled off a few wins over top teams in Lethbridge and we played well at an event in Banff with some of the top talent in the world…my expectations is to go [to Fredericton] and compete for a championship,” said Aaron.
Amanda said that Aaron’s experience representing Alberta at the Mixed Doubles Championship is something that she’s going to rely on as a first time curler at the event.
“Aaron’s been there before so I’ll rely on his experience…it’ll be a good trip for me to learn and hopefully we do well,” said Amanda.
This year’s Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship starts March 17 and runs until March 22.