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Barb Spencer makes curling a family affair

WINNIPEG – They’re the Spencers.

And they’re all in this house together.

“I love playing with them not only because they’re my daughters,” said skip Barb Spencer. “But because they’re great curlers.”

Barb has brought a whole new meaning to mother-daughter bonding by forming a foursome that feature her two oldest girls.

“It definitely makes us stronger because we’re together all the time,” said third Katie Spencer.

All in the family but not family all the time.

“Being the teammate and mom, she’s been pretty good this year to separate those two roles,” said second Holly Spencer. “But she’s still the mom in the hotel room, cooking breakfast.”

But the family ties don’t stop there. Barb’s husband Jim, a former Brier champ, coaches the Assiniboine Memorial rink.

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“Just having him here for an extra set of eyes, some extra opinions,” said Barb.

This isn’t the first time Barb has made curling a family affair. She played with her sister Darcy for more than two decades, winning three provincial titles together. She also curled mixed with her father, Jim Kirkness, and her brother James.

“Once the whole family gets together, all the extended family, we talk about (curling) all the time,” said Holly. “Sometimes we have to be like ‘once we get home, no more curling talk’. But that never really happens.”

This year’s Manitoba Scotties is the first provincial women’s curling championship Barb has curled with two of her daughters and there are no signs of a family feud anytime soon.

“At the end of the day, win or lose, we’re all going home together,” said Katie. “We’re all getting along. We’re family and have a lot of fun together.”

The Scotties run until Sunday in Winkler. The winner will represent Manitoba at the national women’s curling championship February 14 to 22 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

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