Skipper hopes to sweep up titles
NOBBY sports star Angus Young has traded some hot Australian weather for curling training in the United States and Canada.
The Australian 21 and under skipper flew out this week to train for the Pacific Asia Curling Championships in South Korea on January 27-February 2.
The national team includes five men and five women.
This year's titles will be the third Young has contested.
The skipper said his team aimed to make the top three and become eligible to contest the play-offs.
"If we can make the play-offs, we are a chance of going further as the teams are so close," Young said.
He rates South Korea as the team to beat. Competing in South Korea is a means to an end for the team - their aim is to make it to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.
It is likely the current junior team will work together to make it to the Winter Olympics.
The best curling reps in Australia don't just need to be the best in the nation, but must also perform well internationally to qualify.
While Australia has finished sixth twice at the open world championships, it is yet to make it into the top 10 for a medal competition at the Winter Olympics.
"We nearly made it to Vancouver in 2010 and did play in 1992 when curling was a demonstration sport," Young said.
"Australia has the players to make it to the Olympics."
But Olympic qualification doesn't come easy.
"We have to be dedicated to chase winter across the world for training," he said.
"There is a limited amount of training we can do in Australia so we have to train in New Zealand or other countries."
As the Australian junior players touch down at the New York airport this week, they will arrive in North America where the winter is unseasonably warm.
"The grass is still green (on the curling surface) but it is being cut," Young said.
Their first port of call will be Plainfield, New Jersey.
Young is in no doubt there will be snow for some curling training when they move to Toronto, Canada.
"We get used to the cold. It is all part of the sport," he said.
Often Young fields a question about what curling is.
"The best description is lawn bowls on ice. It is a mix of athleticism and flexibility.
"The sport is a real test of so many aspects of fitness.
"Anyone who tries curling appreciates the level of fitness required."
While there is no opportunity on the Darling Downs for curling, Young does a lot of cross training, particularly running and swimming.
"I swim in summer at Clifton and also Toowoomba," he said.
Sprint training is also important and Young has a best of 12.9 seconds for 100m.
In his last year of school in 2008, he won a bronze medal in javelin at the Queensland Secondary School Track and Field championships.
That win secured Young his first Daily News/Warwick Credit Union Sports Star of the Month award. He has since won monthly awards each year.
Described as lawn bowls on ice.
Australian junior curling team:
- Angus Young (Nobby) skipper
- Max Thomas (Brisbane) vice-skipper
- Dean Hewitt (Victoria) second
- Sam Williams (Gold Coast) lead
- Grant Hamsey (Brisbane) alternate player