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Two major curling events awarded to North Okanagan

Armstrong to host B.C. stick curling finals; Vernon will entertain teams for the B.C. Winter Games event
The City of Armstrong and Armstrong Curling Club have been awarded the 2023 Women’s and Open Category B.C. Stick Curling Championships. The provincial tournament will run Feb. 17-19. (Black Press - file photo)

Two major curling events are coming to the North Okanagan next year.

The Armstrong Curling Club and City of Armstrong have been awarded the 2023 Women’s and Open B.C. Stick Curling Championships for the first time since it became an official Curl BC championship in 2019.

The tournament will take place Feb. 17-19.

Greater Vernon will host the B.C. Winter Games from March 23-26, 2023, with the Vernon Curling Club playing host to the sport’s competition.

The Thompson Okanagan zone BCWG qualifying tournament will be held at the Enderby Curling Club Jan. 20-23, 2023.

The Armstrong Curling Club has a solid track record of encouraging a large number of entries in this category of event, as they regularly offer mixed, men’s, women’s and open stick leagues. In addition, the club hosts multiple stick bonspiels in the fall and winter months that are focused on recreational and competitive stick curlers.

“We hope to see stick competitors from every member club in B.C. register for this inclusive category of event,” said Will Sutton, Curl BC’s competitions manager. “The past two seasons, it’s been wonderful to see competitors continuing to compete later into their 70s and 80s. It’s also been fantastic to see new curlers who take up curling later in life now have the opportunity to experience a championship competition.

“The very nature of stick curling reduces elimination barriers, such as back pain, knee issues or lack of balance on the ice, that might otherwise limit participation in the game.”

The 2022 BC Stick Championships attracted five women’s and eight open-category teams to the McArthur Island Curling Club in Kamloops. The women’s championship title was won by Kelowna Curling Club’s Margaret Campbell and Tammy Hughes team and the open championship winner was Prince George’s Jamie Mould and Gary Shalansky team.

The winner of this championship will qualify for the 2023 Canadian Stick Curling Championships as Team BC. The National Championships will be hosted by the Nanaimo Curling Centre from March 30 – April 2, 2023 with a unique “open entry” policy, allowing more than one team from B.C. to play for the national title.

Originally scheduled for Feb. 23-26 this year, the 2022 Greater Vernon BC Winter Games — expected to attract up to 1,800 participants in 17 sports competitions— will now be held March 23-26, 2023 due to the impacts of COVID-19 last season.

Athletes under the age of 17 as of Dec. 31, 2022 will be eligible to participate.

One successful girls’ and one successful boys’ zone representative will earn the opportunity to participate in the BC Winter Games in Vernon.

READ MORE: Local duo takes stick curling nationals

READ MORE: Greater Vernon to host BC Winter Games in 2023

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