Courtney Calder, Joe Sletmoen, Simone LeBlanc, and Jen Sletmoen intend to hit the books to prepare themselves for the provincial 4-H “Go for the Gold” showdown Nov. 6 at the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair in Toronto.
The foursome clinched a berth Saturday during the regional competition at Donald Young School, amassing 375 points in four games.
Coming in second was the team of Selene LeBlanc, Linda Zimmerman, Tina Hyatt, and Laura Zimmerman with 240 points. Rebecca Cornell, J.J. Hunsperger, Kerry Hyatt and Jason Empey—the youngest of the three teams at the regionals—had a respectable showing at 160 points.
“I didn’t think I was going to remember anything,” Joe Sletmoen admitted after his team was crowned the winner.
“I’ve always wanted to go the Royal Fair,” Calder said. “It’s a new experience.”
Questions for the provincial final, like those at the regional match, can come from any of the 50-plus 4-H project areas or the 4-H association in general. Questions also can be based on current events.
“There’s lots of preparation we need to do [before Nov. 6],” noted Jennifer Sletmoen, noting she and her teammates have gathered all the 4-H project manuals.
Kim Jo Calder, who organized the regional event, said she was quite proud of how all three teams did during the competition.
“The one team had two drop out [Saturday] morning,” Calder said, noting the two Zimmerman girls were recruited as last-minute replacements.
“And they answered a lot of questions,” she added.
The only disappointment was the lack of outside competition. Despite interest from the 4-H associations in both Dryden and Thunder Bay, they pulled out at the last minute.
“Dryden and Thunder Bay said they weren’t well prepared enough to come,” Calder said. “Dryden now wants to take it as a club and do it next year.”
But the fact no other team outside the district competed here means the local 4-H association will get to hold the regional competition again next year, Calder said.
“And that isn’t a problem,” she stressed. “We’ll be happy to do it again.”
Meanwhile, the local team has just over a month to prepare for the provincials. Since LeBlanc and Jen Sletmoen attend the University of Manitoba, team members will have to do much of the studying on their own.
But all four want to put on a good showing when they get to Toronto although the pressure to win was minimal.
“It’s just awesome we get to go,” LeBlanc said.
“It’s important just to be a part of this,” echoed Sletmoen.