Kimberley to host world class curling event

Mixed doubles championship to be contested at Kimberley Club right after Grand Slam in Cranbrook

Kimberley will host a major mixed doubles championship in November. Above

Kimberley will host a major mixed doubles championship in November. Above

The Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge will bring the upper echelon of the curling world to Cranbrook from November 8 to 13, 2016.

But if you don’t get a chance to get down to see the action in Cranbrook, you still have an opportunity to watch some of those top athletes take on the new Olympic sport of Mixed Doubles Curling in Kimberley  on November 14, 15 and 16.

The Kimberley Curling Club is very pleased to host the 2016 Wall Grain Mixed Doubles Classic for those three days.

Twenty-four teams have registered for the event and they include names every curling fan will recognize playing as teams of two. Rachel Homan/John Morris; Jennifer Jones/Brent Laing; Kaitlyn Lawes/Marc Kennedy; Jill Officer/Pat Simmons; Val Sweeting/Brad Gushue and Dawn McEwen/Mike McEwen are just some of the big names scheduled to curl. There are also four top teams from the United States and a team from China.

“Without exception, we’ve got some of the top curlers in Canada,” said John McGillivray from the Kimberley Curling Club.

For the Canadian teams the prize is a big one, a berth in the Canadian Olympic trials.

Mixed doubles is a new variation of the roaring game. It’s played at a faster pace, two players per team, with a rock in the house and a guard pre-set before the end begins.

It’s been newly accepted as an Olympic sport — the 2018 Winter Games will mark its debut.

It’s that opportunity for a chance to represent Canada at the Olympics that will drive all the Canadian teams in Kimberley.

Round robin games will be played Monday and Tuesday beginning at 8:30 a.m. and playoffs and finals are on Wednesday. If you’ve been to the Kimberley Curling Club you’ll know there isn’t a lot of room for spectators but the club is borrowing bleachers from the Aquatic Centre for extra seating.

Because of limited seating, the club won’t charge admission but will ask for donations from anyone who wants to watch the action.

The event has a total prize purse of $23,600.