The last 14 months have provided opportunities for Lauren Lenentine to realize some childhood dreams.
During this time, the 20-year-old New Dominion native has won Canadian and world junior curling championships. This week, she is playing in Canada’s premier women’s curling event – the Scotties Tournament of Hearts – in Calgary.
Lauren Lenentine of New Dominion makes a shot for Manitoba during the 2020 New Holland Canadian junior curling championships in Langley, B.C. – Curling Canada/Michael Burns
Her accomplishments were recognized on Wednesday night as Lenentine was named the 2020 recipient of the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award, presented to P.E.I.’s top all-around athlete.
“I’m so honoured to win this award,” Lenentine told The Guardian through a text message early Thursday morning. “The Island has so many talented athletes, so to be able to receive this award is such a great honour.”
Lenentine’s parents, Robbie and Jennifer Lenentine, and younger sister, Ella, represented her at the 47th annual Sport P.E.I. Amateur Sport Awards at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown.
Jennifer described it as a very prestigious award with a steep history.
“For Lauren to achieve this at such a young age, it’s quite an accomplishment, and we are quite proud of that,” she said.
Although Lauren was unable to attend the ceremony in person – she was on the ice playing a round-robin game in the Scotties at the time – a recorded video played of a conversation between her and Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry.
Hear from our 2020 Lieutenant Governor's Award winner, @laurenlenentine, as she discusses her childhood curling inspirations with the honourable Antoinette Perry.#SportPEIAwards #PEIProud #IslandPride pic.twitter.com/d1LBy2SuWj
— Sport PEI (@SportPEI) February 25, 2021
Move to Winnipeg
Lauren, who was also named the junior female athlete of the year, decided in 2019 to move to Winnipeg and join the Mackenzie Zacharias-skipped rink at the lead position. After winning the Manitoba provincial championship, the rink, which includes third Karlee Burgess of Truro, N.S., and second Emily Zacharias, won the Canadian junior title in Langley, B.C., in January 2020. Lauren was named the all-star lead.
Team Zacharias then donned the Team Canada uniform and won the world junior title in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, in February.
Lauren also won the 2018 world juniors as an alternate with Kaitlyn Jones-skipped Nova Scotia squad, which also included Burgess.
Inspired by well-known and accomplished P.E.I. curlers Kathy O’Rourke and Brett Gallant, Lauren started curling at age seven in 2007.
“I vividly remember watching Kathy play Jen Jones in the 2010 (Scotties) final, and I just thought that that was so cool,” said Lauren. “I had just started curling three years prior and was so excited to see a team from P.E.I. on TV at the Scotties.
“It definitely made me want to play there someday.
“Brett has always been a role model for me. He has had so much success and has inspired me to follow in his footsteps.”
Gallant, a three-time winner of the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award (2016, 2017 and 2019), was named the 2020 senior male athlete of the year.
Jennifer praised the tremendous support Lauren has received from Sport P.E.I., Curl P.E.I., the Cornwall Curling Club, its members and all of the province.
“The Cornwall Curling Club will always be her home club. She’s happy to be in Winnipeg living out her dreams.”