Organizers of a new curling bonspiel in Brandon hope the event will help to bring back some former curlers and bring out some new players.

The first annual Wheat City Curling Classic Bonspiel will be held January 13th to the 15th at the Brandon Curling club and Riverview Curling Club.

Kyle Sambrook curls out of the Riverview Club and is on the planning committee. He says the Wheat City Curling Classic is open to curlers of all skill levels. “We look at what places like Souris and Carberry have done with their bonspiels and the good job they’ve done because it brings out lots of people and new people into curling. This is a recreational spiel trying to get interest in the game.”

“We noticed during the pandemic numbers at both of our clubs dipped and we want to get those numbers back up.”

Sambrook says numbers at the Brandon Curling Club took a big dip in terms of men's teams. Riverview Club noticed a drop but not quite as much, but numbers are still down.

“The big thing about getting the numbers back is attracting people looking for something to do. It’s a sport you can start at any age. We’re hoping if we can make this a fun spiel the people will come back next year and perhaps look to play in league play say maybe one night a week,” said Kyle Sambrook.

The Wheat City Curling Classic has 56 teams registered with 32 in the men’s division and 24 teams in the women’s division.

“We’re quite pleased with response to the first ever bonspiel and next year we’d like to grow the event and hopefully get it up to say 40 men’s teams and 30 women’s teams. This is not a competitive bonspiel it’s about people coming out and having a good time.”