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National Wheelchair Curling Championships return to Moose Jaw

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The National Wheelchair Curling Championships have taken over the Moose Jaw Events Centre for the second year in a row.

“I think it was more of an idea that having a stable host city bodes well for the program and Curling Canada really loves Moose Jaw and the Moose Jaw Events Centre. The curling club is second to none. It’s probably one of the most accessible venues in the country,” Moose Gibson, chair of the host committee and second on Team Saskatchewan 1 said.

“I like having my friends and family be able to come out because I can look up in the crowd and wave at them and they’re all waving back,” Team Saskatchewan third and vice-skip, Marie Wright shared.

Gibson and Wright were on last year’s team that took home gold in front of the home crowd.

“I think as the week goes on, and the standings get tighter, I think we’ll notice the pressure a little bit more [to win again],” Wright said.

Wright added the event is already garnering more attention than last year and that includes extra media coverage.

“It puts it out there for others to see that Wheelchair Curling is a sport and maybe we’ll get some people to come out and try it,” she said.

Saskatchewan has two teams competing as they earned an extra being the host and having won last year. Team Saskatchewan 2 has new faces in the sport and that includes second, Mark Kennedy, who only took up the sport in October.

“It’s a little intimidating for sure. But we’re just going to play to the best of our abilities and hopfully we can win a gam here. [I got involved in the sport because of] the technical aspect, the camaraderie, the teammates, and everyone is really friendly. It’s really fun,” Kennedy said.

There are 11 teams from across the country competing this year: B.C., Alberta 1, Alberta 2, Saskatchewan 1, Saskatchewan 2, Manitoba, Ontario 1, Ontario 2, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

“It’s pretty cool to see everybody from around the country and to compete at a high level. It’s really nice to see how friendly everybody is and the amount of spectators that have watched [already] is great,” Kennedy said.

“I think it’s great that they get to come to Moose Jaw and experience curling hospitality and get curl in this fantastic facility,” Gibson added.

The event runs all week with the semi-final and final taking place on Saturday.

More information about the championships and draw times can be found here.

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