OLDS — The Olds Curling Club’s Ladies Bonspiel bounced back up to 22 teams from 16 last year.
The event, held March 3-5 at the Sportsplex, not only featured local teams but also teams from across Alberta.
Competitors included the Debbie Santos team of Sherwood Park and Calgary, which is heading to the 2023 Ladies Senior Masters Championship in New Brunswick in a couple weeks.
They proved their abilities by winning the A side of the tournament.
The B side winners were the Yvonne Keck rink from Calgary. The Angela Fazakas rink from Olds won the C side.
Bonspiel coordinator Amy Venneman says early advertising helped increase the number of teams this year.
“We put the word out there a little earlier this year, just because we knew that we could for sure give it a go, so we just got our poster out there and yeah, made some phone calls,” she said.
Not all bonspiels the club has held this year have seen the number of teams increase.
"Some have struggled to get teams, but yeah, we lucked out this year,” Venneman said.
"And lots of the teams that were here said they would for sure come back next year, try to bring another team with them. So hopefully next year we get up to 26 teams maybe, who knows?”
Venneman is unsure what the record would be for the number of teams in the Ladies Bonspiel but she has seen draws as high as 32 teams.
As the tournament was winding up Sunday, an Olds Grizzlys game was also being held at the Sportsplex. Venneman was pleased to see that several fans of that game drifted in to watch some of the curling action.
“We had lots of people floating back and forth and coming and watching and also watching the men’s curling on TV in the lounge, so it was nice,” she said.
“We had our raffle table set up in there and we even had a couple of people who purchased some tickets and won a couple of things from that too, so it’s nice to have people come over and support us.”
Venneman said all in all, the club got great support from Olds residents and businesses.
“The community, the sponsorship was unbelievable. We wouldn’t have been able to do what we did without them, so it was great,” she said.