The curling spotlight has been on the women in recent days. There have been plenty of entertaining games to be seen, both on television and on the ice locally…
Last Sunday afternoon, the Scott Tournament of Hearts wrapped up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Emerging as national champion for the fifth time in her career was skip Jennifer Jones, whose Manitoba team edged Alberta’s Val Sweeting 6-5 in the final.
On the local scene, recent curling action also featured women’s competition in the form of the annual Nanaimo Senior Ladies’ (50-plus) Bonspiel. A total of 24 teams took part, with a third of the field coming from out of town. This year’s theme was ‘A Night at the Movies’ and the curlers had great fun with costumes and skits at the bonspiel banquet. There was also plenty of excellent curling on the ice and my thanks to bonspiel organizer Agnes Geiger for passing along results.
In the A event, the Natalka Strilesky foursome from Parksville claimed top honours. In second place was Nanaimo skip Marg Obee and her teammates Karen Hungar, Moira Ryan, Shirley Sloan and Moyra Graham.
Earning first place in the B event was Nanaimo skip Joanne Phillips together with third Susan Barber, second Ann Mack and lead Sharon Wright. Runners-up were an Esquimalt entry skipped by Ethel Vincent.
It was also a visiting team that placed first in the bonspiel’s C event, as that honour went to the Sheila Percival foursome from Duncan. In second place was Nanaimo skip Kelly Meikle and her teammates Anthea Simick, Judy Jones and Mary-Lou Haines.
Local teams swept all four top spots in D event. In first place was the team consisting of Patty Pedersen, Sandy Ostle, Kelly Mayer and Heather Chase. Runners-up were skip Sheila Southin and her crew of Sharon Stonehouse, Gertie Pick, Gail Campbell and Elaine Toole.
Next week (March 3-8), one of the major events of the local curling season will take place at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. The facility on Wall Street is hosting the Provincial Masters (60-plus) Curling Championships, sponsored by Berwick Retirement Communities.
The top eight men’s teams and the top eight women’s teams from around the province will all be competing, hoping to earn the right to represent British Columbia at the nationals.
Teams will arriving in town at the start of next week, with practice sessions happening on Tuesday, March 3, prior to official opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. that day just before the first draw at 2 p.m. Games are then scheduled for 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, followed by playoffs for top teams on Saturday and Sunday.
An organizing committee led by co-chairs Marg Obee and Bob Franklin has been active for months, dealing with the many details necessary to make this a top-notch event for our community. Spectators are welcome, and there is no charge for admission. For more information, contact the Nanaimo Curling Centre at 250-753-3474.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.