Ontario mixed doubles curling championship open to everyone
By JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency
|Curling Quebec’s Dwayne Fowler is disappointed the CCA doesn’t subsidize mixed doubles provincial champions. (QMI Agency file photo)
OTTAWA - Ontario has thrown the doors open to everyone to compete in the new mixed-doubles provincial.
The Ontario Curling Association announced last week: “If you and a friend are one of the first 32 teams to sign up, you will play in the OCA Mixed Doubles Challenge at Annandale, Jan. 18-20.”
The winning team advances to the new national mixed-doubles competition in March, which leads to the 2013 world mixed doubles championship in April.
Despite having to pay the $135 entry fee, despite having to travel to Annandale, despite having to pay for accommodation, curlers seem to be embracing the concept.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 27 teams had signed up.
Local curlers Cassandra De Groot and Gary Rowe signed up right away because they thought it would fill up quickly.
“I think it’s a fun opportunity to participate in the first year.” De Groot said. “The fact that it can lead to a national is a big drawing factor.”
Other provinces have not yet begun to sign up players, but some harbour reservations.
Curling Quebec’s Dwayne Fowler said: “The most discouraging thing for players is the fact that the CCA is not subsidizing provincial champions. Airfare and hotels are costs that the mixed doubles players will have to absorb themselves.”
Curl B.C.’s Scott Braley hopes they have 24 rinks competing in their February championship.
Jim Pringle from Alberta said: “At this point I don’t believe there have been a lot of entries. I am thinking that most entries (if there are a lot) will be last minute.”
Curl Manitoba’s Shane Ray said: “We have heard from some of the non-elite, but I wouldn’t say they are beating down the doors to get involved.”
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