Lacombe gets set to host 2014 BP Cup

It could be the biggest event in curling ever to take place in Lacombe.

HURRY HARD - Ian Foster sweeps in a rock as his opponent

It could be the biggest event in curling ever to take place in Lacombe.

From Feb. 5 – 15, Alberta’s greatest curlers will make their way to Central Alberta as Lacombe hosts the Alberta Boston Pizza Cup, the provincial championships for the Alberta Curling Federation (AFC).

Don Gullekson, executive member of the Lacombe Curling Club and chair for the BP Cup said the championship has become more than just a curling club initiative and that the community has bought into it as well.

“It’s become a community thing,” said Gullekson.

Mandy Peakman, club manager, agreed.

“It’s exciting. I think it’s been really well received. I think the support has been good and they are just as excited for it as we are.”

Gullekson said there are a number of reasons why the Lacombe Curling Club wanted to host the Boston Pizza Cup. First of all the event can be a great source of income for hosting clubs if done right.

“It can be a money maker,” said Gullekson.

However, promotion of Lacombe and Central Alberta were also high on the list of reasons the club wanted to host the event.

“It’s a chance for Lacombe to promote itself,” said Gullekson.

He added it gives people a reason to come to Lacombe.

“It sort of puts you on the map,” said Peakman.

It’s a chance to promote the sport of curling itself as well.

Peakman said that some of the local schools will be coming to the event in hopes that it will generate some interest in curling among the younger generation.

“We’ve got junior curlers that have probably never seen a professional curler or anything like that live,” said Peakman.

Some of the best curlers in the country, if not the world will be coming to Lacombe to participate in the event. Peakman added that Alberta is well known for creating strong curling teams.

“Alberta is known for being really strong in this field,” said Peakman.

Lacombe hosting the BP Cup has been a process that has taken nearly three years. Gullekson said the club first started exchanging emails with Alberta Curling Federation Executive Director Jim Pringle in 2011.

Two things are necessary to host a successful BP Cup, said Gullekson, a dedicated group of volunteers and the proper facility.

He added he knew going into this that the club would support the bid to host the BP Cup and they could make it a successful event. That support has spread beyond just the curling club, Gullekson added, as evidenced by the committee for the BP Cup which is made up of more than just curling club members.

“There are some people from the community itself that feel the event is important.”

Peakman agreed that there is a great amount of support behind the club and the event. She added that Gullekson has done a great job of spearheading that support.

“It takes that person to get the ball rolling.”

One of the first thing that happened after Lacombe Curling Club began talks with the AFC was a walkthrough with Pringle through the Barnett Arenas.

After that, the AFC actually encouraged Lacombe Curling Club to host the event, said Peakman. She added that Lacombe’s central location made it a good place to host the BP Cup.

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