The Amherst Curling Club received a $500 Community Support Grant from the Town of Amherst on Feb. 9 to assist it in hosting the 2018 Nova Scotia Senior Curling Championships.
The event, which begins on Feb. 15 and runs to Feb 19, has attracted 13 teams, as eight men’s teams and five women’s teams are vying for the championships.
Manuge noted they have received several donations from a variety of other businesses and organizations as well.“Receiving this grant from the town is very important,” said Chris Manuge, the Nova Scotia Curling Association liaison for the event, while noting any event, like the championship, costs money to put on.
While events like this cost money to stage, Manuge said it is worth it because “having championships like this here in Amherst raises the profile of the town and helps local businesses through spinoffs.”
She pointed out the last provincial championship staged by the local club – the 2017 U17 championship – saw local restaurants and hotels like the Comfort Inn fully booked
Mayor David Kogon agreed the curling championships will raise the town’s profile.
The town also presents itself as a vibrant active community and sporting events such as this set “a good example and encourage us to keep active,” Kogon said. “It also sets an especially good example for our seniors and encourages them to be active.”
The competition will be keen as the teams are comprised of some well decorated athletes. On the men’s side, the field includes Team O’Leary, the 2015 World Seniors Silver medalist. On the women’s, it includes Team Kelly, which has three members of Team Jones, the reigning World Gold medalist. Also taking part is Team Pinkney, which brought home gold from the 2010 World Seniors and a silver medal from the 2014 World Senior Curling Championships.
For the first time, the entire senior championships will be live-streamed by Bell TV 1.
Play begins on Feb. 15 at 4 pm when all eight men’s teams take to the ice. The women begin play at 7:30 pm. Prior to the start of the championship, an opening ceremony will be held in which Deputy-mayor Sheila Christie will bring greetings from the town.
Draws continue on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The competition ends on Monday at 9 a.m.
The winners will represent Nova Scotia at the 2018 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships in Stratford, Ont. from March 24-29.