This year’s Wilf Smith Memorial Curling League is being hailed as another success. (Observer file photo)

Wilf Smith Memorial Curling League Lions Cup Bonspiel a hit

Special Olympics curlers team up with other league members in annual Quesnel competition

This year’s Wilf Smith Memorial Curling League is being hailed as another success.

The league, which is named for Wilfred Smith, a teacher and long-time member of the Quesnel community who championed the integration of Special Olympics athletes with other curlers in the region, who passed away in 2017, runs from October to December, then holds its annual bonspiel after the holidays in January.

The league draws members from across the Quesnel curling community, who team up with 14 Special Olympics athletes to form 10 teams. This year’s league and bonspiel were as popular as ever, says league co-organizer Alison Duddy.

“We had 10 teams in the bonspiel this past Friday, made up of all sorts from the curling community,” she said. “We never have a problem getting it filled up, and it’s just a fantastic event and we all have a lot of fun.”

Teams play three two-end games then take part in a skills competition and end the event with a potluck dinner. While the competition on the ice heats up during the bonspiel, the focus of the event is all about bringing people together and having fun.

“The thing that I really enjoy about this bonspiel is that during the games, at the end of the second end, all the rocks are left in play and we draw a card out of a deck of cards and certain cards get you certain things — for example, you can get bonus points, so if you pull a three and your team hogged a rock in that end, you get two bonus points, or if you have any rocks touching the line, you get bonus points and things like that,” said Duddy. “It makes it so that anybody can win. You don’t necessarily have to curl great. You can get bonus points and do well in the skills competition, and that’s actually what happened this year for the winning team. So any team that enters, no matter their abilities, can win the bonspiel, and that’s what I like about it.”

The league and bonspiel are made possible by sponsorships from businesses in Quesnel. The group has found a unique way to raise funds — rather than just asking for donations for the league, they ask for gift cards from local business, which they will in turn match with a gift card purchase for the same amount.

“It’s really hard fundraising, going out there with your hand out saying ‘give to us,’ versus when you can get something out of it as well,” said Duddy. “We’ve had a very good response from local businesses for our strategy, and we’ve had quite a few that have just donated and said ‘you don’t have to give us anything.’”

The league would like to thank all of this year’s sponsors: Mr. Mikes, Dairy Queen, Booster Juice, Granville’s, Home Hardware, Safeway, K-max, Big Country Printers, Save-On-Foods, Craig’s Table, Bliss, Carer’s Jewellers, Reason to Run, Rocky Peak Adventure Gear and the West Quesnel Business Association.

READ MORE: Quesnel athletes find success at Special Olympics BC Winter Games



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

curlingSpecial Olympics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Forestry Ink: Forestry practices and mine reclamation in B.C.

Columnist Jim Hilton writes about the possibilities for using biochar to reclaim mine-affected land

Workshop will help move Quesnel Timber Supply Area community forest forward

The City of Quesnel will facilitate a workshop in April with all the key players

Join Brenda Gardiner for an adventure in Peru and Bolivia in next Lawnchair Travel flight

Gardiner will share highlights from her recent trip Monday, Feb. 24 at the Bouchie Lake Hall

Quesnel RCMP still searching for Darryl Leblanc Jr.

Leblanc was last seen Dec. 30, 2019, and police are asking for the public’s help in locating him

Quesnel Council agrees to tax shift that gives light industry a break

The shift means residences will see a tax increase of about $3 per $100,000 each year

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read