Petrolia’s Stephanie LeDrew is taking her love of curling to the broadcast booth.
The personal trainer who was part of Rachel Homan’s Canadian rink which earned a bronze and a silver in the last two years will be joining TSN (The Sports Network) as a commentator for the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Championship Jan. 29 to Feb. 1.
LeDrew says TSN usually has three curling commentators. Last year, Linda Moore retired. LeDrew, who got to know many of the TSN employees while competing, mentioned she would be interested in being a commentator. So when the network decided to “invite a smattering of guest commentators” they thought of LeDrew.
Producer Scott Higgins emailed LeDrew asking her if she was from Corner Brook – she lived there as a young girl – and then offered her the chance to travel back to her hometown for the job.
She jumped at the chance. LeDrew says her work life at Evolution Workout is hectic and an “amazing challenging” right now so she decided to step away from the curling circuit this winter. “Competitive curling is a lot of time …and all winter long it seems like you’re on a plane.”
The commentator’s position allows her to remain involved in the sport without the constant travel over the winter.
LeDrew has never worked in broadcasting but says it’s something she’s always wanted to try. “I’ve always thought that type of job would be interesting to do and because the opportunity was there I threw my hat into the ring to give it a shot.”
She says over her years in curling she’s been interviewed enough to do a good interview. And she hopes to add some insights as a player. “You don’t hear hockey commentators explaining what off side is, in curling its a lot of explaining what’s going on because… the viewership is growing,” LeDrew says adding she expects to be “explaining curling in laymen’s terms.”
While she may not have any experience in broadcasting, she does have a good role model to look up to at TSN – former World Champion Russ Howard who is also part of the broadcast team. He didn’t have broadcast experience either when he started working at TSN.
“He’s an Olympic gold medalist and before that he had decades of curling success,” she says. “I had pleasure of meeting him before – he’s a great guy I’m sure I can learn a lot from him.”