Photo © Steve Seixeiro
Here is a recent ABC morning radio interview with QCA Member, Tahli Gill. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/breakfast/tahli-gill/13720372
We extend a warm congratulations to Tahli Gill who achieved Curling history for Australia by going undefeated at the Olympic Qualifier Event in Mixed Doubles with her partner Dean Hewitt (VCA member). For those who watched the game online, Tahli, under tremendous pressure, calmly threw the last rock of the entire game for the win against Korea…and spoiler alert…it was a picture-perfect draw to the button!! At 22 years of age this is an incredible accomplishment, and we are so proud of her focus. Just seven months ago she was curling in the first league of the 2021 year in Brisbane with us and now she’s achieved a much-anticipated feat for Australian Curling and of course a personal goal for Tahli.
For those who may not be aware, a bit of background:
As QCA members, we have been fortunate to watch Tahli develop since the beginning of her curling career when Lyn, Tahli’s mother and QCA member since inception, first introduced and taught Tahli how to curl. At age 12, Tahli joined the existing Junior Women’s team Lyn had been coaching and was the youngest female member at that time. Over the years, we have watched her develop as a junior through dedication and commitment to the sport – often volunteering her time to help new curlers at Boondall Come and Try events and as a representative for the QCA on the ACF executive in 2019. Throughout her junior years, Tahli paid her own way to attend overseas training camps like the Canadian Trillium Curling Camp and World Curling Federation (WCF) Junior Camps in Germany. In 2018, Tahli was awarded the Keith Wendorf Award while attending the WCF Füssen Junior Camp in Germany; an award voted on by all camp instructors and assistants for the camper who best displayed leadership & teamwork.
Tahli was awarded the QCA Junior Club Curler of the Year at the AGM in May 2019 after an outstanding season of achievement skipping both the Australian Junior Women’s and Women’s teams in 2018 – I might add these teams were made up solely of QCA members which is another proud moment for Curling in Queensland. Queensland watched Tahli Gill, Lyn Gill, Kirby Gill and Jayna Gill go undefeated at the 2018 Australian Women’s Nationals which saw the team represent Australia at the 2018 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in Korea. All of the Junior Women’s and Women’s team experiences contributed to Tahli’s skill development and experience of playing under pressure at international events. The opportunity to play in these events cannot be understated.
At the 2019 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships, Tahli and Mixed Doubles partner Dean, placed 4th in the bronze medal match against Team USA (John Shuster – 2018 Olympic Men’s gold medallist and Cory Christensen). This high-level result provided Tahli and Dean with individual athlete support from the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia https://www.owia.org/individual-athletes-about.html. Many of you may not know, but in the lead up to the 2020 World Mixed Doubles event, Tahli spent considerable time overseas competing in World Curling Tour events and training on dedicated curling ice securing medals in various events (New Zealand Winter Games, Russia and Canada). Just before the 2020 event Tahli and Dean were called back to Australia when international travel restrictions were imposed. Although this limited the ability to curl on dedicated ice and the ability to train with a partner who lives in Melbourne, Tahli worked hard to maintain fitness levels with the support of the Queensland Academy of Sport trainers. Tahli also participated in our regular league sessions at Boondall. It is notable that despite these pandemic challenges, travel restrictions, and lack of dedicated curling ice in Australia, this team has overcome all odds to achieve an undefeated run at the recent Olympic Qualification Event.
Like most success stories, things don’t happen overnight and are a result of many factors. There are many levels of support and of course the sheer determination and commitment from Tahli who has sacrificed her job at home and family time to be overseas training. Watching the success of all our juniors is exciting as they are the future of Australian Curling. Currently Queensland boasts the largest Junior Curling membership in Australia and is home to the majority of team members for the Australian Junior Men’s and Women’s teams. We are so fortunate to be a part of this exciting time in Australian Curling and I offer congratulations and support to our long-time QCA members, Tahli Gill and The Gill Family, as they embark on the next part of this exciting journey. If you want to stay up to date with news you have several options:
The Australian Curling Federation website will post news: https://curling.org.au/ (under the Beijing media announcement section) curling schedules available on this site, plus daily updates
Facebook users can go to either the Australian Curling Federation or QCA pages: https://www.facebook.com/AustralianCurlingFederation or https://www.facebook.com/QueenslandCurlingAssociation Australian Curling Federation Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/australian_curling_federation/