Oilmen’s Bonspiel going ahead in two-day format

Eligibility broader than ever

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The days of huge fields in the Slave Lake Petroleum Association’s (SLPA) Oilmen’s Bonspiel appear to be long gone. But the annual curling shindig and fundraiser for a good cause is still happening and promises to be a fun time.

“It’s going pretty good,” said Wayne Dastou of the SLPA last week.

“We’ve got 18 teams for sure and are hoping for a few more.”

One thing organizers have done to counter the decline in participation in recent years is to broaden the eligibility for participating. Once upon a time it was only for men, and only if they worked in the oilpatch. Now it’s pretty much open to anybody.

“Men, mixed, ladies,” says Dastou. “Not just oilmen.”

But don’t expect to see two-person teams, with the shooter hustling down to sweep his or her own rock, a la Olympic champions John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes. The action commences on Friday, March 2 and concludes on Saturday, March 3. It’ll be a regular bracket-type of tournament, Dastou says, probably starting at eight in the morning.

The Oilmen’s has always been a significant fundraiser for the association, allowing it to donate thousands each year to local groups. Together with the Oilmen’s Golf Tournament and – more recently – the Oilmen’s Shoot, the SLPA was able to give back $55,000 to the community in 2017. There’s still time to get a team in.

Contact Leard at the curling rink, Dastou at 780-849-8540 or Doug at 780-849-0070.

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