A roaring game event two years in the making is days away from reality.
Black Diamond’s Oilfields Curling Club plays host to the 2022 Alberta Mixed Curling Championships from March 9-13 after being slated to put on the event at the outset of the pandemic.
“We’re happy that it will be happening,” said John Desjardins, host co-ordinator for the event. “It’s a small club and we want to be able to show the people that are coming the virtues of a small club.
“It’s a family atmosphere and people are willing to help out and know each other. I think it will be a good way to show our club off and hopefully get more curlers because of it.”
After seeing the 2020 event called off due to sports restrictions entering the sphere at the time, organizers have had to roll with the punches and changing circumstances in 2022.
“It’s been an experience under the circumstances, with COVID around and trying to make sure we do things properly and safely,” he said. “We had the (2019-20) event cancelled on us about two weeks beforehand so we had a plan ready to go for us this time.”
Another boon to organizers is putting on a successful mixed provincial event in 2015 out of the club.
The 2022 event will feature the defending champion Team MacAlpine who won the postponed 2021 event on Okotoks ice back in October.
Skip Craig MacAlpine and his sixth-place national finishing team has been revamped since then with Hannah Phillips, Braden Pelech and Brenna Bilassy now throwing stones with the Cole Adams rink out of St. Albert.
Airdrie’s Jessica Wytrychowski and Cochrane/Calgary’s Team Morgan Muise will be competing in Black Diamond after earning berths through the qualifying event in Medicine Hat.
Sexsmith’s Graham Powell rink, Beaumont’s Jordan Lightbrown, Sherwood Park’s Guy Algot and North Hill Curling’s club’s Colton Goller round out the eight-team field at the provincial event.
Throwing the ceremonial first stone will be junior curler Michael Keenan from Turner Valley.
Keenan, the second for Team Wipf headed to the Canadian U18 Curling Championships in May, is no stranger to the Oilfields club as a curler and in assisting his father Peter with the ice-making crew over the years.
“He did grow up at the club, on the ice and making the ice with his dad, “ Desjardins said. “We consider him part of the club.”
The opening ceremony will also feature a colour guard from the legion and brief welcome messages from the mayors of Black Diamond and Turner Valley.
Tickets for the event are $5 per draw or $25 for a full event pass.
For full information on the 2022 Curling Alberta Mixed Championships go to occcurling.com.