Mayor’s message: Community proud to host curling championships

Township is hosting the 2017 Canadian Junior Men's and Women's Curling Championships

Esquimal Mayor Barb Desjardins

Esquimal Mayor Barb Desjardins

Starting last weekend and running until Jan. 29, the Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt will be hosting the 2017 Canadian Junior (Under 21) Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships.

I invite the region to join us for some top notch curling action and to see the best young curlers in Canada compete for the national men’s and women’s championships. The winning teams will represent Canada at the 2017 World Junior Curling Championships in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Our facility is ready for both fans and competitors, and our community is most certainly ready, and proud to be hosting this high profile national sporting event.

Opened in 1961, and honouring all-around athlete and outstanding lacrosse player Archie Browning, who was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1971, the centre has both a storied history and is a modern and energized gathering place for sports fans, competitors and the community.

It has been a training facility for Skate Canada and renowned athletes Elvis Stojko and Josee Chouinard. “Mr Hockey” Gordie Howe paid a visit and held an autograph signing at the centre in 1965.

It was the host rink for the Pacific Rim Curling Challenge in 2000, practice facility for the Olympic Chinese Curling team in 2010, and site of the 2010 Victoria Curling Classic, a professional curling event drawing some of the top players in the sport. In addition to these high profile events, we have a very energetic local curling scene through the Esquimalt Curling Club.

The Victoria Cougars Junior ‘B’ hockey team — a team with a formidable history of winning  — also calls Archie Browning home and we are proud to have them as our hockey team at Archie Browning.

The facility has seen a number of improvements over the years including the new plaza entryway, energy efficiency upgrades, and improvements in both building design and facility equipment.

Are we ready for these championships?  You bet! We welcome competitors, fans, and the media to the Archie Browning Sports Centre Jan. 21 to 29 for the 2017 Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships. Best wishes to all of the young athletes and we welcome you to the Township of Esquimalt.

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