Reported by Bala Yogesh
The Marpole Curling Club’s annual bonspiels have been a way for Vancouver’s curling community to come together for a mix of fun and competition for the last 58 years.
The club has been hosting annual curling tournaments since 1958. This year’s Driftwood Brewery Sportsman Men’s Bonspiel will start on Nov. 24 and will go on for four days. The tournament will offer cash prizes and various side activities apart from the curling.
Bonspiels connect teams from different places
Kevin Blackmur, one of the regulars at the Marpole Curling Club, said that the organized bonspiels are about connecting curlers from across Vancouver.
“These curling bonspiels were kind of a way of creating a social get-together for other curling clubs to come together and compete against each other in the sport of curling,” he said.
The organizers have received entries from 20 teams as of Nov. 12. Last year, the tournament saw 31 teams competing, including one from Seattle.
Teams keep coming back every year
Ron Stedman, coordinator for this year’s bonspiel, said the tournament sees familiar faces every year.
“There’s also a lot of returning teams, especially the Marpole teams. You tend to get the same 15 or 20 Marpole teams that play every year. The teams from other clubs change a little bit, but you get the same teams coming back,” he said.
Some teams are more competitive than others
Dale Cameron, one of the organizers and players, said that most teams are participating simply for the fun. Cameron, on the other hand, also wants to be competitive.
“I’m in the middle. I always want to do well, but we go in to have fun,” he said.
Blackmur said that his team will be competitive, but won’t let the outcome dictate their overall experience.
“To me now, whenever we go to the ice, we try to win. If we don’t win, it’s okay. We come up and have few drinks, and have fun. That’s what it’s about to me.”