Suzanne Birt is looking to make history.
The Charlottetown Curling Complex skip hopes to win Prince Edward Island’s first Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women’s curling championship later this month in Kingston, Ont.
“You always want to play your best and you always want to go out there and win. Bringing that (title) home would be wonderful,” said Birt.
“Women’s curling always has a lot of attention in P.E.I. (so) it would be great to make everybody proud and win it.”
Her team of lead Leslie MacDougall, second Sarah Fullerton and third Shelly Bradley has a wealth of experience they can draw on during the nine-day tournament, which starts Saturday and concludes Feb. 24.
The team leaves this morning, practices Friday and hits the ice Saturday for a pair of games.
“Everybody is just so talented. You just have to be consistent and get off to a good start,” said Birt, who noted the team is excited and mentally prepared for the tournament.
Birt won the world junior championship in 2001 and 2002. Her best finish in six previous trips to the national women’s event was third in 2003 in Kitchener, Ont.
She has never played at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston and said the practice round will be important to the team’s success at the event.
“It’s all about feel and . . . knowing the weight. Once you get a handle on that you’ll be good to go for the rest of the week,” she said.
The team opens against four-time Canadian champion and former world champion Jennifer Jones. Having a good first day is important, but keeping it in perspective will also be key.
“It sets the tone for the rest of the week, but it’s a long week, so you’re going to have a few losses during the round robin,” Birt said. “You just have to pace yourself and play the best you can in every game.”
Scotties Tournament of Hearts
What: The 12-team Canadian women’s curling championship
When: Feb. 16 to 24
Where: Kingston, Ont.
Local representative: The Suzanne Birt rink from the Charlottetown Curling Complex. Lead Leslie MacDougall, second Sarah Fullerton, third Shelly Bradley, skip Suzanne Birt and coach Peter Gallant.
When they play:
3 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Manitoba (Jennifer Jones)
8 p.m. P.E.I. vs. New Brunswick (Andrea Crawford)
3 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Canada (Heather Nedohin)
8 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Newfoundland and Labrador (Stacie Devereaux)
8:30 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Saskatchewan (Jill Shumay)
3 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Quebec (Allison Ross)
3 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Northwest Territories/Yukon (Kerry Galusha)
8 p.m. P.E.I. vs. British Columbia (Kelly Scott)
3 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Nova Scotia (Mary-Anne Arsenault)
10 a.m. P.E.I. vs. Alberta (Kristie Moore)
3 p.m. P.E.I. vs. Ontario (Rachel Homan)
Page playoffs begin
10 a.m. Semifinal
3 p.m. Bronze medal game
8 p.m. Championship game
* Note all times are Atlantic