Roaring end to Grand Slam

Community Sports

Curling event exceeds expectations at Wellness Centre

Days, weeks and years leading to the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling have led to ultimate triumph at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.

Organizers feel it has been mission accomplished in every facet of the event that drew hundreds each day to the curling, meals, entertainment and hospitality.

Well over 1,000 fans watched four teams win their respective divisions on Sunday. There was a similar crowd for much of Saturday’s curling.

Team Jacob from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. defeated Team Brad Gushue from St. John’s, N.L. 6-4 on Sunday to capture men’s Tier I title, while Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden defeated Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man. 8-5 to win the women’s Tier I title.

Team Korey Dropkin of the U.S. edged Team Tanner Horgan of Winnipeg 5-4 to win the men’s Tier II title, while Team Min-Ji Kim from South Korea won the Tier II women’s honours with a 9-2 victory over Team Jestyn Murphy of Mississauga, Ont.

More than 60 teams contested the two Tier I and two Tier II titles during the tournament produced by the television sports network Sportsnet.

Wellness Centre chief operations officer Greg Smith said the tournament confirms the ability of the facility and the wider community to host such events.

“I think it exceeded our expectations,” he said. “Events like this can only happen with the help of the whole community, so it’s nice how the community came together, how the volunteers rallied and how the accommodations and entertainment came together. Our caterers went above and beyond to serve fresh food. It shows organizations like Sportsnet what this facility is capable of hosting, and I think people were surprised with the production values here. It’s all world-class.”

Wellness Centre customer engagement and events manager Jenny Greencorn said hosting the Grand Slam has expanded the Wellness Centre’s potential.

“I think it shows the versatility of the building and what it can do,” she said. “It’s brought out a whole new clientele. It puts us in a place to do sports tourism as a sports event destination.”

Larry MacGregor from Pantry Kitchen Catering said he enjoyed the experience of serving food items at the lounge set up for the event.

“It’s great to see a lot of people we know supporting us,” he said. “It went very smooth. It was well planned out beforehand.”

Sponsorship committee chairman David Holle said the business community responded well to support the event.