The first annual Love Where You Live fun bonspiel was a great success, organizers report.
A total of 16 rinks (64 curlers) took part in the event, which was held last Friday and Saturday at the Sportsplex.
Many of the participants were new to the sport. Several others had played before but not for several years.
Employers in the area had been prompted to enter at least one team into the spiel. The entry fee was affordable – each employer was required to contribute four prizes per team, up to a value of $75.
This meant that every participant took home a prize.
District of Clearwater and Wells Gray Country (Thompson-Nicola Regional District electoral area A) sponsored the event.
According to Clearwater’s chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx, the idea originated in the fall of 2011 when she and Canfor-Vavenby manager Dwayne Thiessen decided that a bonspiel would be a great way for employers to promote wellness in Clearwater. It also would bolster Wells Gray Curling Club, which has seen its numbers slowly decline over the past few years.
In the summer of 2012 District of Clearwater and Wells Gray Country services committee put together funding to hire a sports coordinator. A focus of this position is to increase the use of District facilities and promote sports tourism as an economic driver. Melody Romeo won the sports coordinator contract and one of her first jobs was to organize the Love Where You Live fun bonspiel.
Groulx said the District appreciated the participants who took part.
Also appreciated were the members of Wells Gray Curling Club who helped guide the participants through bonspieling.
There were winners but, because it was a fun spiel, the prizes were drawn from a hat by team name, not placement in the event.
Winners of the A – Century 21 – Almost two Century’s in Clearwater; B – Safety Mart – Safety Mart Grizzly Mountaineers; and C – Clearwater Mator’s (the teams all had to make up names with Clearwater in them).
The following employers supported the event: Safety Mart – two teams, Pharmasave, District of Clearwater, Wells Gray Country services committee, Canfor – two teams, Headwaters Forest District; RCMP, Burlap Baskets, Sierra Simmentals, Clearwater Towing, Clearwater Liquor Store, Wells Gray Inn, Dutch Lake Resort, and Century 21.
“Mark your calendars for next year!” Groulx added.