|The host MEDIchair Sudbury wheelchair curling team. Front (l-r) lead Norm Martel, second Dennis Duclos, third Sarah Lashbrook and skip Rick Prudhomme. Standing is team coach Norm Gervais. Photo courtesy of Brent Gervais Photography.|
The Sudbury Curling Club is hosting the Northern Ontario Wheelchair Curling Championships for the first time this weekend, Jan. 27-29.
There are four teams competing for the right to represent northern Ontario at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships, slated for March 18-25 in Thunder Bay. Two are from Thunder Bay (Ft. William CC), one from Kenora (Kenora CC) and the host team from Sudbury Curling Club, coached by Norm Gervais, whose MEDIchair franchise is the title sponsor of the event.
The championships will kick off with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by draws at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Following the round-robin format on Friday and Saturday, the championship game will be played Sunday at 10:30 a.m., followed by closing ceremonies.
“I encourage all Sudbury and area residents to come out and cheer on our local Sudbury team,” Gervais said. “I think they will be surprised at the high level of competition of the disabled athletes that we have in wheelchair curling.”
He said playing the sport from a wheelchair is “a lot harder than it looks.”
“First of all, there is no sweeping and every curler must throw his/her 40-pound stone from a stationery wheelchair using a curling stick. Each team has four players, one of which must be a female. Some teams also have a spare.”
Admission to the event is free.