Another world-class curling event is in the books, with the 2023 Dekalb Superspiel concluding Monday night at the Morris Curling Club. This was the first year Mel Baxter was a co-chair of the organizing committee, along with Lisa Wiebe and Ralph Fyfe.
"It was a very successful weekend, very successful indeed, thanks, in part, to all the volunteers and sponsors that stepped forward and doing their bit," shared Baxter as the final draw was down to its last rocks.
The men's championship game came down to skip Tanner Horgan's last rock, and a runback takeout to win. The women's championship went an extra end, with Team Schwaller skip Xenia Schwaller making a take-out to secure the win for the Swiss rink.
The 16th edition of the cash 'spiel brought in dozens of curlers from around the world including Korea, Switzerland, the United States, as well as across Canada. As you looked out across the ice over the weekend, there were a lot of young faces among the rinks competing, something Baxter was happy to see.
"We recognize there's young up and comers out there, and they need a chance to play in a competitive atmosphere to collect Canadian curling points, and of course to win some prizes as well," stated Baxter. " So, we give them that opportunity, and then we do bring in name rinks, as well."
As for those teams from around the world that come to Morris every year, Baxter credits former event Co-Chairs Chris and Lorne Hamblin for building the foundation for the committee to continue that tradition.
"Certainly word of mouth is one way our predecessors, Lorne and Chris Hamblin, had extensive worldwide contacts, and they were essential in bringing the initial international curlers to Morris," he explained. "Now, we've tried to grow from that by sending out mailers and posting our event, using people in international communities we have access to, asking them to spread the word, especially in places like Scotland."
The Dekalb Superspiel is a significant event for Morris, bringing thousands of dollars in economic activity to the community.
"We've had nothing but compliments from our townsfolks that have generated some additional revenue, especially in hospitality," Baxter noted. "The people that have talked directly to me, on both the curlers and their guests that came with them, because that's another big factor here. It isn't just the four members or five members of the team. They bring friends, relatives and that all contributes to this economic boom, or push, we get in town."
Baxter says the organizing committee will take a few days to rest and reflect, but will be getting together next week to review the 16th Superspiel and start planning for 2024. The dates are November 29th through December 2nd next year.
You can listen to CFAM Radio 950 Morning Show Co-Host Chris Sumner's conversation with Mel Baxter, below.
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