Powell River Curling Club will host the Vancouver Island region senior curling playdowns January 18 and 19, when men’s and women’s teams will compete to earn the right to represent the region in the upcoming provincial senior curling championships.
“This is the first time Powell River will host the senior playdowns, which are for participants 50 years of age or older as of June 2020,” said Roger Pagani, the curling club’s bonspiel coordinator. “We’ve hosted juniors, open and masters playdowns in previous years. We have a great venue for curling and it will be great to share it with the curling community from the island.”
There are four men’s teams and two women’s teams registered to compete.
“We have Powell River teams competing in both men’s and women’s curling,” said Pagani. “The calibre of the teams will be very high. The competition is open to spectators, and people can expect some really great curling.”
For the men, four-time provincial champion Wes Craig will be attending with his team from Nanaimo and Kerry Park. Craig is the defending provincial champion, having won the senior men’s title at last year’s provincials.
For the women, Penny Shantz will bring her team from Parksville, Nanaimo and Courtenay. Shantz won a gold medal in curling at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary as part of Linda Moore’s team.
“We are lucky to have such strong competitors coming to Powell River,” said Pagani. “It will give our local teams a chance to compete against some of the best senior curlers on Vancouver Island, if not all of British Columbia.”
Pagani will be curling third on the men’s team, together with skip Tony Leach, second Dwayne Uyede and lead Dan Dupuis. “We’ve all competed provincially and nationally in some sport in our lives, but not necessarily curling,” said Pagani. “We know the value of competition and how much you can learn from it, so that’s definitely what I’m looking forward to.”
Lynda Sowerby will skip the Powell River women’s team, and while she has competed before, the playdown will be the first provincial competition for the rest of her team: third Barb Cooper, second Lisa Skinner and lead Rhonda Raimondo. “We’re just hoping to play well and have good games,” said Sowerby. “This is our first time together as a team, though we know each other through the curling club. We hope the community will come out to cheer us on as we represent Powell River.”
Curling is a sport that is accessible to people of all ages, and does not necessarily require a person to learn it at a young age, according to Pagani.
“I curl with my dad, I curl with my children, and now I curl with my grandchildren,” said Pagani. “If anyone in Powell River is curious about the sport, we hope they will come out, watch the competition, and ask any questions they have about curling.”
For more information and the schedule for the Vancouver Island region playdown, go to powellrivercurling.com/island-senior-playdowns. Start times are 9 am, 2 pm and 7 pm on Saturday, and 9 am and 2 pm (if necessary) on Sunday.