A U of G student will represent Canada at the 2010 World Junior Curling Championships March 6 to 14 in Switzerland.

Craig Van Ymerren, a second-year bachelor of commerce student in agricultural business, is a member of the curling team that won the men’s junior national championships held in Sorel-Tracy, Que., last month.

“I don’t really know how to describe it, but it feels great,” says Van Ymerren of his upcoming trip to Europe. “Plus, I’ve never been to Switzerland before, so it should be exciting.”

He is the third on the team, which is anchored by skip Jake Walker and based out of Kitchener’s Westmount Golf and Country Club. In Quebec, the team defeated Manitoba 8-7 to claim the top spot. It was Van Ymerren’s first national win and only his second trip to the nationals.

“A lot of the top curlers in Canada have won junior nationals, including John Morris, who is the third on Canada’s Olympic team,” says Van Ymerren. “Winning the same thing he won is a huge accomplishment.”

The men’s and women’s junior national championship teams also get to go to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, where they will  meet the Olympic curling teams.

Van Ymerren is from Aylmer, Ont., and has been curling for about 14 years. “I picked it up at an early age — about seven. My dad is a pretty good curler, and so is my mom, so I definitely got it from them.”

He says he finds the sport rewarding and challenging, and he especially likes participating in tournaments where a championship or cash prize is at stake because the added incentive leads to more practice and better curling.