Lee Black (left) and Chris Manuge have been busy preparing for this coming weekends Nova Scotia Mens Club Curling Championship at the Amherst Curling Club. Curlers from throughout the province will converge in Amherst to see who rules the house. Besides Amherst, 11 other teams will participate in the event, including teams from Windsor, Wolfville, Halifax, Dartmouth, Truro and New Glasgow. Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
AMHERST?- The Amherst Curling Club is proudly hosting the Nova Scotia Men's Club Curling Championships this coming weekend.
The 12-team event will see the Amherst Curling Club up against 11 other clubs from throughout Nova Scotia.
The round robin event begins Friday morning and ends Sunday afternoon with the Championship game.
"2008 is the first year for the Nova Scotia Club Championship," bonspiel organizer Chris Manuge said. "The intent of the Nova Scotia Curling Association in creating this event was to give curlers who aren't of Olympic calibre the opportunity to participate in a provincial championship."
To be eligible for the bonspiel teams must be made up of curlers from the same curling club and they cannot have participated in tankard or senior's men's play in the last year.
The Amherst Curling Club team will feature Gary Jackson as lead, Peter Rushton as second, Ray Fowler throwing last and Lee Black as skip.
"This championship is a chance for players who don't play at as intense a level as they once did, or players who have never played at that level, the chance to compete for a provincial title," Black said.
In 2000 Black and his teammates at the time made it to the Nova Scotia Seniors semifinals.
In 2001 they made it to the Nova Scotia Seniors quarter-finals and won the Nova Scotia Senior Legion Provincials, afterwards going on to the Canadians.
"When you play at the senior level, which our boys have, you have to be awfully good to beat those guys," Black added. "This championship gives players who don't play at that level the opportunity to get to win a provincial championship."
The event is sanctioned by the Nova Scotia Curling Association and gives the winner bragging rights as the Nova Scotia Men's Curling Club Champion.
"Because of work commitments or family commitments, not all people can give the time needed to compete at the tankard or senior levels," Manuge said. "This event gives them the opportunity to become champions without having to make the sacrifices needed to compete at the senior or tankard level."
The bonspiel will feature some well-known names from the Nova Scotia curling circuit.
Besides Black and his Amherst team, the event will also feature Alan Marshall from the Kentville Club, Jimmy Nix out of the Bluenose Club in New Glasgow and Hugh Avery out of Halifax.
"This being the first year, we're hoping it will be very successful and carry on and grow," Black said. "It's a tremendous idea for club curling."
The bonspiel format will have a Division A and Division B, with six teams in each division.
The round robin will kick off on Friday at 9 a.m. with each team playing the five other teams in their division by around 11 p.m. on Saturday night.
Three teams in each division will qualify for play on Sunday.
The championship rounds will begin on Sunday at 8 a.m. with the championship game beginning at 2 p.m.
"There will be some great curling so we hope the public comes out to support the competitors, Manuge finished by saying.