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What is next for Dauphin on the curling front?


The 2020 TELUS Junior Curling Provincials was a great success on many levels.
Organizers were pleased with the ticket sales, the ice appeared to be in great shape and there was some great curling, as well.
Perhaps the best part was watching Dauphin’s Lawson Yates become a provincial champion in his hometown. He was understandably excited after Sunday’s final. If he was a rubber ball, he would have been bouncing all over Credit Union Place and it would have been difficult to stop him.
Another Dauphin curler, Lane Prokopowich, had a chance to win a provincial crown, but giving up five in the third end proved to be the difference, as Mackenzie Zacharias repeated as champion.
Still, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Prokopowich, who won the Susan Galbraith Sportsmanship Award, as voted on by the players.
Those two are just an example of the success of the junior curling programs in the Parkland.
Look at the numbers, of the 128 curlers hitting the ice in Dauphin last week, 34 have ties to the Parkland.
There were three Parkland teams in each of the competitions - three from Dauphin, two from Swan River and one from Winnipegosis - and 10 players from other teams who are originally from the Parkland.
No, the local teams did not fare well, but they were there competing as hard as any other team. They are proof that the junior curling programs in the Parkland are working and it won’t be long before the experience of competing at this year’s event will see them vying for another provincial title in the future.
Given the success of the junior provincials, one has to wonder when Dauphin will host another provincial curling event. Since Credit Union Place opened, there has only been three provincial curling events held in Dauphin.
Prior to the junior event, which just wrapped up, the Safeway Men’s Championship was held at Credit Union Place in 2007 and 2012.
Bringing the Scotties Tournament of Hearts to the City of Sunshine is, I believe, long overdue. Perhaps the powers that be, when it comes to curling in Dauphin, can make it happen.
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Hockey fans will remember a few years ago when Braden Pettinger, a defenceman with the Portage Terriers, fell into the boards in a game in Winnipeg and fractured his C5 vertebra in his neck in several places and was paralyzed from the chest down.
Another incident happened just before Christmas, on Dec. 19.
Reese Ketler, a 19-year-old defenceman with the St. Vital Victorias of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League, suffered severe injuries to his neck and upper back when he collided with another player and went head-first into the boards.
Ketler, a second-year business student at the University of Winnipeg, had surgery to stabilize four vertebral fractures in his spine and, like Pettinger, Ketler is paralyzed from the chest down and also has paralysis in his hands.
A GoFundMe page has been created to raise money to support Ketler and his family. Money raised will go toward medical support, mobility equipment such as wheelchairs, home modifications and vehicle modifications.
If you wish to donate go to gofundme.com/f/reeseketler.
As of 1 p.m. on Monday, $175,432 of the $250,000 goal has been raised.

Doug Zywina