While the results still somewhat matter, the real measure of success is how the players felt.
The Ponoka Curling Club hosted its annual junior bonspiel on Feb. 3 drawing a total of 16 teams. Five local rinks were joined by teams from Lacombe, Sylvan Lake, Rimbey and Warburg in the two divisions — rookie and bantam.
According to organizers, all of the players had a blast and enjoyed being able to play teams outside their community.
“We got lots of feedback from both the kids and parents plus the coaches, and everyone said it was a great and fun day,” said Sherry Smith with the Ponoka Curling Club.
“Everyone appreciated all that was done, from the complimentary lunch to the gifts handed out and the prize money that many of the players didn’t expect. It was an excellent day I think.”
The bantam side of the bonspiel saw three Ponoka rinks take part, one in each of the three four-team pools, with prize money dished out to winners of each game as well as for their place in their pool at the end of the day.
Initially, there were only two, but the final one had to be cobbled together at the last minute after one out-of-town team was unable to make it due to inclement weather.
Ponoka saw two of its teams wind up finishing second, while the other wound up fourth.
One change this year was the inclusion of the ‘rookie’ division — made up of mostly first-year curlers. Two Ponoka teams faced off with rinks from Rimbey and Sylvan Lake in what Smith described as “an opportunity to play against some outside teams as a learning experience.”
Smith added it wasn’t about being competitive, but about having fun and learning from game situations.