Local curling sisters Cathy Inglis (then Trowell) and Karen Cottenie (then Inglis) have recently been inducted into the hallowed halls of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in Regina as one half of the 1996 Mixed Curling National Champion Randy Bryden rink.
The sisters joined up with the Bryden brothers, Randy and Russ, in 1995 when Randy, who had signed up a mixed team despite only having two of the four necessary players, began cold-calling all female curlers he knew of. "He (Randy Bryden) went to the Caledonian (Caledonian Curling Club, Regina) grabbed the directory of the members and started phoning ladies that he could get to curl starting from 'A' and working his way through," laughed Cathy Inglis. "He got to me, called and talked to me. He asked if I'd want to play, I said 'well maybe' and he asked again and I said 'okay I will' and then he told me to bring a lead and he'll bring a second, which was his brother.
"So I said 'okay, your brother, my sister. We're done.' And that's exactly how we got together."
Little did Cathy know, however, that by signing herself and her sister up for mixed curling, she was dedicating over a year of their time to curling with two people they initially did not know. "When we got together we didn't really know each other or anything before we started playing," mentioned Cathy, continuing, "so each weekend we played we got to know each other more, the team evolved, became kind of like a family and we started having more fun."
The fun for Cathy, Karen and the Bryden's lasted from March of 1995 all the way through to the 1996 Mixed Nationals in Charlottetown, PEI, where, facing off against some of Canada's top curlers, the team really came together, becoming the eighth Saskatchewan rink to win the Mixed National title and first since 1984.
But while the 1995-96 mixed curling campaign was extremely successful, the 'Call to the Hall' in 2014 still caught the sisters off guard. "We were very surprised," said Karen, who threw lead rock for the Bryden rink in 1996. "Eighteen years had passed by and we weren't expecting it but it was very special."
"It caught us completely by surprise," echoed Cathy. "When you go through there (Sask. Sport Hall of Fame) it's something that you never think would be part of your career.
"It's definitely a big honour for us."
What makes it better for the two sisters is that, not only are they being inducted together, but they now join their other sister, 1998 Olympic Gold medalist Joan McCusker (née Inglis), in the HOF. "Being inducted with Cathy, that definitely made it more special," offered Karen. "Especially with having another sister in the Hall of Fame as well, with Joan being there, it kind of put us there as well which was nice. It made it a nice family affair."
In addition to the Bryden rink, nine other inductees made it into the Hall of Fame in 2014. Joining them were Captain Edward Lyman Abbott (Hockey), Bob Bourne (Hockey), Jacqueline Lavallee (Basketball), Keith Magnuson (Hockey), Brian Clark (Builder - Athletics), Claude Petit (Builder - Boxing), and the Saskatoon Hilltops 2001, 2002 and 2003 football teams.
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