That’s pretty much the mentality for those involved with organizing the Northwestern Ontario ladies’ playdowns, which starts tomorrow at the Fort Frances Curling Club.
It’s been 18 years since the NWOLCA last was held here.
“You’re going to get an opportunity to see ladies’ curling played at its best,” said Tom Fry, who is the chairman of the event.
“There’s no question the teams from Thunder Bay are high-calibre, and are very competitive when the whole of Ontario is concerned,” he added.
The local club will be represented by the Kathie Jackson rink, which also includes Stacy Beacham, Colleen Scrimger, and Charlotte Bazylewski.
Jackson’s quartet got an automatic berth into the eight-rink playdowns as they were the only team from this zone that had entered. And they will be in tough as they look to claim one of the two available spots to the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts.
Also competing here will be the rinks of Amy Stachiw (Port Arthur Curling Club), Krista Scharf, Christine Eby, Tara George, Michelle Bolan, and Angela Lee (Fort William Curling Club), as well as Dawn Sauve (Eagles Landing Golf and Curling Club in Dryden).
“There’s a good possibility that people are going to see a team from this event that is going to be representing Northwestern Ontario at the national level,” said Fry.
“I’d say probably around a 20 percent chance.”
Draw times tomorrow are at 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with the opening ceremonies slated for 7:45 p.m.
Friday’s draws will get going at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with the round-robin wrapping up Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.
Tie-breakers, if necessary, will be played Sunday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Jackson will open the round-robin against Stachiw, then will face Eby in the second draw tomorrow.
She’ll play George and Sauve on Friday, then face Lee, Boland, and Scharf on Saturday.
The reason why it’s been so long since the NWOLCA visited Fort Frances is because the association is split into eight zones that have a number of curling clubs representing each one.
As such, Fry and the rest of the organizing committee will be looking to take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the local club to outside curlers.
“These events only come around every once in a while,” he noted.
“Our community is definitely a welcoming community, and we’ve got a first-class facility here in Fort Frances that we’d like them to come back to for bonspiels and so on,” Fry added.
Organizers also wish to remind everyone that the club will be completely smoke-free during the playdowns.