Matt Dunstone has earned yet another award for his outstanding 2012-13 curling season.
The Dunstone rink of West Kildonan Curling Club was named the Calm Air Junior Team of the Year at Sport Manitoba’s Night of Champions gala, which took place Mon., April 28 at The Fairmont Winnipeg.
In 2013, Dunstone, along with his teammates Colton Lott (third), Daniel Grant (second) and Brendan MacCuish (lead), won the junior men’s provincial championship in Brandon, the junior nationals in Fort McMurray, Alta. and captured the bronze medal at the World Junior Curling Championship in Sochi, Russia.
"It was crazy (playing in Sochi). It felt so foreign. You definitely knew you weren’t at home," Dunstone said. "We got to play in the Olympic venue and seeing the development of the Olympic venues was such a super cool experience."
Dunstone’s 2013-14 curling season was almost as sweet. The 18-year-old Charleswood resident sported a near perfect season, before his rink lost to Braden Calvert in the provincial final. Calvert would go on to win the Canadian junior championship, picking up Dunstone as a fifth man for the worlds in Flims, Switzerland.
Dunstone also skips the University of Manitoba curling team, which beat the University of Alberta’s Team Brendan Bottcher on March 23 to capture the Canadian Interuniversity Sport/Canadian Curling Association championship. In March, Dunstone’s U of M team will represent Canada at the 2014 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain.
Dunstone said it’s his team’s ability to throw heavy weight accurately, and his knack for anticipating shots, that has served him so well.
"Personally I think I’m good at thinking a few shots ahead of the other skip and the other teams. I always feel like I’m a few shots ahead, so that definitely helps us out," Dunstone said.
Besides the strategic aspect of the game, Dunstone said his favourite part about curling is the people he meets and the places he gets to go. In fact, his rink qualified for the men’s provincial championships next March, but he’s opting for the Universiade in Spain, which happens at the same time.
"I love the people you meet from curling, that’s probably the best part of all," Dunstone said. "I’ve made so many friends in Manitoba and Canada and across the entire world playing this sport. That’s probably my favourite part, the trips, the bonding with your team that you get to do. Even just during the season, we travel across Canada a little bit and those trips with the guys are super fun."
Dunstone said he’s committed to curling competitively for life — he’s just trying to find a career that will allow him the flexibility to do so.
"That’s been on my mind the last year and I’m trying to figure that out still. It’s my dream to make it to the Olympics and the Brier, and I’m really trying to work towards that," Dunstone said.