Wheelchair curlers gather for championships

B.C. jackets will be on the line at the Nanaimo Curling Centre this weekend. The local club is hosting Curl B.C.’s wheelchair championships from Friday (Jan. 25) through Sunday.

Three teams will be taking to the ice. In wheelchair curling it’s rare for one club to be able to ice a complete foursome, so each of the three teams entered this weekend is a co-operative effort of two or more clubs.

The two Nanaimo players, Corinne Jensen and Ellis Tull, are part of Rich Green’s team, while the other skips entered are Gerry Austgarden and Gary Cormack. Jensen, co-chairwoman of the event, said the calibre of curling is going to be fantastic.

“Everybody that’s going to be there, we’ve all been at the provincials and won the provincials, pretty much,” she said.

She and Tull won B.C. jackets last year. Jensen said the national championships – where 50 wheelchair curlers are gathered together and people who are up walking around are the minority – is an amazing experience. It’s a coveted prize, so all the players will be giving it their best this weekend.

“I always expect to go out and win, but I expect more than anything to have really good fellowship and know that I’m going to play my best and everybody is going to enjoy themselves,” Jensen said.

She said the ice at the local club has never been better, making for perfect conditions for the best wheelchair curlers in the province.

Some home-club support will also help the cause.

“If they’re able to, they’re going to come out and catch the game and they’ve all wished me the best of luck,” said Jensen.

GAME ON … The first draw is Friday at 4 p.m. following opening ceremonies at 2 p.m. … Saturday and Sunday’s draws are at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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