Keith Johnston

2023 Strathcona Cup

First played in 1902, the Strathcona Cup is a curling competition between Scotland and Canada. Rotating every five years, a large contingent from one country will travel to the other to either compete for or defend the Strathcona Cup.

The 2023 tour has Scotland visiting ten provinces and over 100 curling facilities. The “West Tour” (to cover the country, three groups of 20 form the West, Central, and East tours) played their first set of matches (Game #1) at the Tunnel Town Curling Club in Tsawwassen, BC, on January 12. Following a couple of days on Vancouver Island, the tour headed east across BC and through the prairies.

Two and half weeks later the group of 20 Scottish curlers arrived at the Fort Rouge Curling Club, in Winnipeg, for Game #21 on Saturday, January 28.

Game #21 featured four matches with four of the five Scottish teams playing four Fort Rouge teams. The result was split down the middle with each side winning two games. More important to the event is the actual tracking of the score. The “counting of shots” is recorded through every game played by all three tours. In the end, one country will have accumulated more shots than the other and be declared the winner of the Strathcona Cup. The West Tour left the Fort Rouge with another split. The score was 24-24.

The West tour concludes this weekend with games at the Granite CC on Saturday, followed by the Pembina and Deer Lodge clubs on Sunday. All three tours will then meet in Ottawa for a tour of the city, the final games #25-#27 (including the RCMP Curling Club), and closing festivities.

What a terrific celebration of the game of curling. Sportsmanship, competition, and hospitality were on full display. Canada will send their group to Scotland in five years. An application process determines who has the privilege to represent. You never know!

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