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Friday, January 25, 2013

Curling club ready for provincials

Curling club ready for provincials

By Josh Aldrich, Daily NewsJanuary 24, 2013

Ellis Tully and Corinne Jensen are hoping to book another trip to the wheelchair curling national championship this weekend as the Nanaimo Curling Club hosts the 2013 Thyssen Krupp Elevators Ltd. B.C. Wheelchair Curling Championships.

They are part of a newly formed rink under skip Rich Green out of Richmond. Tully plays second and Jensen lead while Bob MacDonald of Vancouver is third and Samantha Siu from Richmond is their alternate. There will be two other rinks made up of players from across the province vying for the championship, the fifth year it has been held.

The two other rinks also contain members from last year's provincial championship team. Gerry Austgarden of Kelowna is skipping a rink that also includes Sonja Gaudet of Vancouver at third, Mark Peeren of Kelowna at second, Pat Ryan of Kelowna as lead and Brandon Perger as alternate.
The other foursome is skipped by Gary Cormack of Vancouver, with third Grank LaBounty from Prince George, second Vince Miele of Richmond and lead Allison Duddy of Quesnell.

Tull is just in his second year of competitive wheelchair curling and he is motivated to get back to nationals. Playing in their favour is the fact none of the teams have curled together much at all this year.

"We're hoping it's going to be pretty much an even playing field," he said. "We are hoping the home ice advantage will help and a lot of the local members and spectators will come out and hopefully that will put us over the edge."

The bonspiel gets underway on Friday with opening ceremonies at 2 p.m. and the first draw at 4 p.m. On Saturday, draws will be at 9: 30 a.m. and 2 p.m. with the semi-final going at 9: 30 a.m. on Sunday with the final at 2 p.m. Admission to the weekend is free.

The curling club has spent the past year officially preparing for the provincial championship but has been building towards this weekend since serving as the accreditation centre for the 2002 B.C. Summer Games and realized how far below standard the facility was. They have spent the past several years upgrading the club with ramps, elevators and handicap bathrooms to make it more accessible to everyone.

"Wheelchair curling was starting to come on the horizon at the time," said club manager Denise Wood. "It was in combination of just being a community facility that was available to people."
JAldrich@nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4243

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