Delburne curler, Kaylee Raniseth, was recognized for her sportsmanship during the World Junior Curling Championships in Finland.  

Throughout the event, teams voted for specific athletes who deserved the World Curling Junior Sportsmanship Award, based on who showed the best sportsmanship, who was kind to other teams, and who played fairly.  

“I was honestly shocked when I first won it,” Raniseth said. “As a fifth, I didn't really expect to win it because a lot of sportsmanship qualities are found on the ice. I guess everybody found that I was deserving of the award.”  

Raniseth explained that as a fifth, she supported her team from behind the scenes, made gift bags for other teams, worked with coaches, watched what rocks other teams threw, and made sure she could match the rocks that the team would play the next day.   

“It was honestly a crazy experience. I don't think words can actually describe how I felt during the moment, but for me, it was a life once in a lifetime opportunity," Raniseth said. “To be able to experience this with Team Canada was honestly a dream come true. It was neat to be on the big world stage and see all the other teams, how good they were, to be able to compete against them and with them, and make friends was unbelievable.”  

Team Plett at the World Junior Curling Championships in Finland.Photo provided by Kaylee Raniseth.

To prepare for the event, Raniseth practiced with her team frequently and participated in team bonding exercises to ensure the team knew how to play together.   

“I hadn't played with them before, and in case I did have to play with them, we wanted to make sure I knew their team,” Raniseth said. “I've played against them for years, but we've never played together. We had to take a little bit of a different path to get to know each other and to start learning each other on the ice.”  

Although Raniseth never played with her teammates before, the team instantly clicked.   

“I knew they were sweet, I knew what kind of competitors they were, and how good they were at the sport. So, when they asked me to be fifth, I was honestly shocked that they would want me because they're such amazing curlers,” she said. “As soon as I got to know them through teammates eyes I knew that I would instantly click with them, and it was amazing being with the four girls.”  

Raniseth is now preparing for the Junior Slam in Ontario and is hopeful she will have the opportunity to represent Canada in Sweden in April.  

“I have big goals and big dreams with the sport, and I wouldn't want it any other way,” she said.