6 Sep 2014 – Birkenhead College's Team Haynes and Epsom Girls Grammar School's Team Sophie were the winners of the recent 2014 North Island Secondary Schools Curling Championships at Paradice Avondale.
The Epsom Girls winners Sophie Tran, Claire Crooks, Anna Parsons and Jaden Godfrey won the first four ends of their final against schoolmates EGGS Benedict (Bethany Carter, Hannah Macpherson, Snigdha Saha and Gillean Miller), and were never headed.
Team Benedict came back with a 3 in the sixth end to narrow the gap to 5-4, but Sophie closed out the game to secure the gold medal match 7-4. EGGS Brianna won the bronze medal.
The Birkenhead College side of Troy McLaren, Kurt Haynes, Scott Gannaway and Abhishek Rughani were the only Boys' side to enter the championship, but showed themselves to be worthy champions, winning all 4 matches they played against the Girls' teams in the tournament.
Commenting on the much smaller field than in past years, North Island Youth Development Officer Liz Matthews said, "Other teams have told us they were keen to enter, but the problem was the days and hours we are forced to hold the tournament. Because of the limited ice time available to us, we have no option but to start the tournament at 6:30am on a weekday morning."
"That means the curlers can only play if they can find parent transport to get here, and the start time, along with Auckland traffic, means that parents are unable to get their kids here and then get to work on the other side of the city."
"It's frustrating for us and for the kids, because they are keen to play", she added. "But until there's dedicated curling ice in Auckland there's nothing we can do about it."