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Curling on the rise across the Lower Mainland

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Reported by Sam Mowers 

Marpole Curling Club’s men hit the ice on February 1 to practice for the upcoming Marpole Open. Photo by Sam Mowers.

The Marpole Curling Club is one of four clubs in the Lower Mainland to host a curling bonspiel in the upcoming weeks as the popularity of the sport has enjoyed a resurgence in the region.

The annual bonspiel hosted by Marpole Curling Club has a theme for each year and, this edition, they’re running a “Yukon Gold Rush” from Feb. 24-26. Pam Langham, general manager of the club, explained what the event will look like.

“The upstairs lounge and possibly the lobby gets decorated in a gold rush theme,” she said. “They all have a theme. For each bonspiel, they try to think of something fun.”

Gaining popularity amongst youth

One of the club members, Gerry Waller, thinks the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver was a catalyst for young people adopting the sport.

“The Olympics really made a difference,” Waller said. “It was waning, but it’s having a resurgence. I think that the young people are replacing the older people.”

The Marpole Curling Club opened its doors in 1959. Since then it has become a fixture in the community, running 18 leagues seven days a week of both a competitive and recreational nature. The club is open to beginners but still attracts many of the original members from its inception.

“There’s about five of those guys that are still curling here that started in 1959,” said club member Gerry Waller, who joined in 1996 with his wife. “They’re curling two or three times a week still.”

 

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