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Dedicated volunteers given Curling Canada honours

A passionate ambassador for the sport of curling in the province and a dedicated group of volunteers have been recognized by Curling Canada.

Past Curl BC chair Terry Vandale has been named this year’s recipient of the Ray Kingsmith Award while the Pacific International Cup organizing committee has won the Award of Achievement.

Scott Braley, Curl BC CEO, said it was great to see honours handed out to volunteers from BC. He said: “We have a tremendous number of wonderful volunteers in BC. I am always impressed with the caliber of people who are willing to dedicate so much time to our sport. We are glad they are being recognized in this way.”

Vandale, from Elkford, has never let a disability get in the way of her passion for curling. Despite dealing with the effects of multiple sclerosis, Vandale has contributed to curling in British Columbia as a coach, administrator, board member (at the club and provincial levels) and as chair of Curl BC.

She played a significant role in the amalgamation of the B.C. Ladies Curling Association with two regional men’s associations to form what is now Curl BC. With Curl BC, she championed both wheelchair curling and the use of delivery sticks to open doors to more curlers. She also raised awareness of mobility issues in curling centres, prompting many facilities to upgrade their buildings to include elevators, ramps and accessible washrooms.

As Curl BC chair, she was highly active at the national level, working with her member association peers on various committees — all with that familiar positive attitude and desire to make the sport better for all.

Vandale said: “It’s a big honour to be nominated for an award like this and it’s an even bigger honour to win it. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to volunteer with the curling community in BC. The sport has given me so much and I enjoy giving back.”

Vandale, who is a member of the Curl BC Awards Committee, added: “There are so many people out there that deserve this recognition so I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone to nominate people for awards. We hear about a lot of great people but I know there are more out there and we want to hear about them too.”

To nominate someone for a Curl BC Award, visit https://www.curlbc.ca/recognition/curl-bc-annual-awards/.

Ray Kingsmith, who the award is named after, played a leading role in bringing curling to the Winter Olympic family. He was a tireless volunteer in administration and management roles.

The organizers of the Pacific International Cup have also been recognized by Curling Canada, winning the association’s Award of Achievement.

For two decades, the Pacific International Cup has championed grassroots curling with its annual championship for club teams at the Richmond Curling Club.

Celebrating its 20th edition in April, the Pacific International Cup has grown from a B.C.-centric event into a wildly popular international event, with entries from all over the United States, China, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. In fact, future world champion Bingyu (Betty) Wang’s first significant curling victory took place at the Pacific International Cup.

The core of that group is the executive committee that has been in place since day one, and is certainly worthy of the Curling Canada Award of Achievement:
• Jim Schuman, Chair
• Jim Mann, Vice-chair
• Wayne Braun, Director of On-Ice Operations
• Howie Larke, Sponsorship Director
• Ettie O’Connell, Drawmaster/Historian/Webmaster

Curling Canada’s Award of Achievement recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to curling in one of four areas — builder, technical development (instructor, coach, official, ice technician), marketing and media.

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