NZ's 2020 YOG team in their quarter-final vs Germany
NZ's 2020 YOG team in their quarter-final vs Germany. Photo © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

27 Jan 2020 – Hunter Walker, Zoe Harman, Will Becker and Lucy Neilson took 4th place at the 2020 Youth Winter Olympic Games Mixed Curling competition, by far the best result by a New Zealand side at the event.

The opening week of competition was a Mixed (Fours) event. They opened their pool games with an 8-4 win against Slovenia before recording a last-stone victory against France 6-4.

With scores tied at four-all going into the last end the New Zealand Team of Zoe Harman, Lucy Neilson, Hunter Walker and Will Becker held their cool.

"It was a bit stressful, if we didn't win that end there would've been another end in a tiebreaker situation," said Harman.

The Kiwis had another last stone win over Turkey 7-6, before yet another nailbiter where they headed Norway 6-5 in an extra end to qualify for the playoff rounds with a game to spare.

2019 NZ Junior Women's team and coach
Thumbs up for a great tournament. Photo © Team Facebook page

19 Dec 2019 – Although disappointed by their last-stone, 5-4 quarterfinal loss to Denmark, the New Zealand Women's team were proud of their performance at the World Junior B championships in Finland this week.

They started their week with an encouraging first round win against Germany but then dropped three consecutive pool games, two of those on the last stone to Australia and Denmark respectively.

Needing to win both remaining matches on the last day of pool play to have any hope of playoff qualification, the Kiwis had a comprehensive win in the morning session and then faced Scotland in a winner-takes-all match for the last playoff spot.

Zoe Harman at the 2019 NZ Curling Championships
Lausanne team member Zoe Harman at the 2019 NZ Curling Championships. Photo © NZCA / Janyne Fletcher

22 Nov 2019 – Four curling athletes have been selected by the NZ Olympic Committee to the New Zealand Team for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Hunter Walker, Will Becker, Lucy Neilson, and Zoe Harman will compete at the Games from January 9th to 22nd in the Palladium de Champéry, Switzerland.

Captain Hunter Walker says he's thrilled to be selected and loves the strategy involved in the sport.

"It's very physical so you've got to be really fit to play which is part of the fun. It's also great to compete internationally and make friendships all over the world."

Team NZ vs China in the bronze medal match at Pacific-Asia Championships 2019
New Zealand played China in the bronze medal game. Photo © WCF / Richard Gray

10 Nov 2019 – The home side China beat New Zealand 9-4 in the Men's playoff for third at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championship 2019 in Shenzhen yesterday. This earned Team China the bronze medal, and with it an entry to the Qualifying Event for next year's World Men's Championship.

The Kiwis found themselves chasing the game early, after a missed runback gave Chinese skip Qiang Zou the chance to draw for a big 4-point lead in the first end.

"Unfortunately we didn't play like we should have in this game," said NZ skip Scott Becker. "We showed some of what we could do, but against professional teams you cannot afford so many misses."

Team NZ in action at the 2019 World Mixed Curling Championship
Team NZ vs Czech Republic. Photo © WCF / Richard Gray

21 Oct 2019 – The New Zealand team were disappointed but not disheartened following their 2 win - 5 loss record at the World Mixed Championship 2019 in Scotland.

"We didn't quite get the results we wanted," said Benjamin Frew. "But we had an amazing time nonetheless. I don't have enough words to describe how amazing competing here was."

"I think we all learned a lot," added Kieran Ford. "It was a great event to be part of, and a great atmosphere."

These two joined Mhairi-Bronte Duncan and skip Thivya Jeyaranjan in their first tournament together at the Curl Aberbeen-hosted event.

Mhairi-Bronte Duncan at Sundbybergs CurlingKlubb
NZCOE participant Mhairi-Bronté Duncan in Stockholm. Photo: Mhairi-Bronté Duncan

9 Oct 2019 – The NZCOE (New Zealand Curling Overseas Experience) is a new initiative from NZ Curling.

It is designed to provide our aspiring athletes with the opportunity to spend an extended period overseas, developing their skills and understanding of the game.

"We anticipate that by being fully immersed in a curling community in Canada or Europe, our athletes will both improve their ability, and importantly, return to New Zealand as strong advocates and teachers of our wonderful sport," explained Peter de Boer, NZ Curling's National Coach.

2019 NZ Senior Men's Championship winners
L-R Iain Craig, Dave Watt, Dan Mustapic and Hans Frauenlob

8 Sep 2019 – Hans Frauenlob, Dan Mustapic, Dave Watt and Iain Craig went undefeated to win the NZ Senior Men's Curling Championship in Dunedin over the weekend, but they had to work for their win.

In a tournament of two halves they were untroubled to win their first two games in the three-team competition. But both opponents picked up their game to push Team Frauenlob all the way in the second half of the double round robin.

Kenny Thomson, Phil Dowling, Dean Fotti and Ian Ford put 3 on the board in the second end to take an early lead, and Team Frauenlob didn't get their noses in front until they scored 3 with a measure in the seventh.

Wendy Becker Trophy
Peter Becker presents the Wendy Becker Trophy to Warren Dobson and Jennifer Stewart. Photo: Janyne Fletcher

22 Jul 2019 – The new Wendy Becker Trophy for Sportsmanship was awarded for the first time at the conclusion of the New Zealand Men's and Women's Championships earlier this month, to Warren Dobson and Jennifer Stewart.

Peter Becker presented the half-curling stone trophy in memory of his late wife, who passed away three years ago. Wendy is fondly remembered by all who knew her both for her sportsmanship on the ice, and for her warmth, hospitality and generosity to the local, national and international curling community when off the ice.

The inaugural winners were selected by their fellow curlers at the NZ Championships.

The Australian Curling Federation also honours Wendy's memory with their annual Wendy Becker Memorial Sportsmanship Award.

Courtney Smith
Courtney Smith encourages her sweepers. Photo: Janyne Fletcher

15 Jul 2019 – After six rounds of games over three days, Teams Courtney Smith and Matt Neilson claimed the 2019 Women's and Men's titles at the New Zealand Junior Curling Championships in Naseby over the weekend.

A feature of the competition was the tightness of many of the matches – particularly the Men's. Although there were only three Men's teams entered, the six curlers with international experience were spread across the three teams so played with younger emerging talent.

Team Matt Neilson dropped their first game 5-4 after trailing throughout, and after the first full round robin, the three sides had recorded a win and a loss each.

International coaches and managers wanted

15 Jul 2019 – New Zealand Curling sends athletes overseas to the majority of the WCF sanctioned events each year. However, due to funding constraints, we are often unable to also send dedicated coaches to support our athletes.

We are therefore seeking expressions of interest from internationally based Team Coaches and Managers to work with and support our athletes during these events.

We would like to create a pool of willing and able people, and call on them once teams and venues are confirmed.