A STONE'S THROW: Skip Kerri Lipsack of Special Olympics Oceanside releases a shot during the Region 6 Special Olympics curling bonspiel at Parksville Curling Club Saturday.

Special Olympians rock Parksville spiel

Oceanside chapter hosts 14-team Region 6 curling event

As her final skip’s stone completed a perfect take-out to cap her rink’s win, Kerri Lipsack threw a fist in the air, tilted her head back and yelled, ‘Yes!’ before sharing a high-five with her coach.

It was a fitting conclusion as Special Olympics Oceanside hosted 14 teams from across Vancouver Island and Powell River in the Region 6 curling bonspiel Saturday at Parksville Curling Club.

It was the first time in years that the Oceanside local has hosted a curling bonspiel, director Natalka Strilesky said. It came about through its partnership with Parksville Curling Club, where Special Olympics athletes play and practise each Tuesday afternoon throughout the season.

“Parksville Curling Club donates the ice to us,” said Strilesky, who doubles as head curling coach for Special Olympics Oceanside. “They’ve been very accomodating, and volunteers took care of the breakfast and lunch.”

Special Olympics Oceanside teammates Kenyon Shaw, left, and Ashley Thompson sweep ahead of a stone during the Region 6 Special Olympics curling bonspiel at Parksville Curling Club Saturday. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS

Lipsack skipped the local rink, which included third Kenyon Shaw, second Mark Blasco, lead Ashley Thompson and alternate Priscilla Dickson. The squad, coached on the ice by Diana Creagh and Diane Cruickshank, lost its first two games but closed with a rousing, 8-1 win over Port Alberni Team 2.

Each team played three, five-end games in the one-day bonspiel. Port Alberni Team 1 claimed the C/D Division, with Oceanside just off the podium in fourth place.

The A/B Division went to Campbell River Team 1 with three wins.