Amherst to welcome Finland mens curling team

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Amherst will receive some international attention later this month when the men's curling team from Finland uses the Amherst Curling Club as a practice venue for the Ford World Men's Curling Championship in Moncton.
The Finns will arrive in Amherst on March 29 and remain in the community until April 1 before travelling to Moncton to begin competition April 4 against Norway.
"We heard they were looking for some ice to use for practices and we offered ours," host committee member Geoff deGannes said. "All practices and games they play are open to the public. There's no admission fee, but we're asking people to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank."
Team Finland will practice from 9 a.m.-noon and from 3-5 p.m., on March 30 and is expected to be the guests of Mayor Robert Small and town council that evening.
The team will practice again from 9 a.m.-noon and from 2-4 p.m., on March 31, and play an exhibition game at 6 p.m., against an undetermined opponent.
DeGannes said the committee is working with Ford Worlds organizers and officials from the provincial curling association to find an opponent. Ideally, the game will be against another team attending the world championship, but it's possible it could be against a team from Nova Scotia.
The final day of the visit will feature practices from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 3-5 p.m., with an exhibition game against members of the Amherst club at 6 p.m.
The team leaves for Moncton the next day
"This is an excellent opportunity for people to come out to the club and experience some top notch curling from the world's best," deGannes said. "Hopefully it will also raise some awareness about curling locally."
This is the third time in recent years that Amherst has hosted a major international team preparing for the world championships.
In 2003, the Amherst Stadium was the practice facility for the Czech Republic team participating at the world junior hockey championships in Halifax.
The following year, when Halifax held the world women's tourney, Amherst hosted the Chinese national team for a couple of days.

Organizations: Amherst Curling Club, Ford World Men, Ford Worlds

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium, Finland, Moncton Norway Halifax Nova Scotia Czech Republic

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