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Assiniboia curler wins international bonspiel in Quebec

Assiniboia Curling Club is home to curler who was part of winning team at international bonspiel in Quebec as Tim Cobbe returns home with Sask. team's win.

ASSINIBOIA -- It might have been 44 years since Saskatchewan has won a Brier but a team from Saskatchewan that included local curler Tim Cobbe, captured top spot at an international bonspiel in Quebec.

Tim Cobbe, who lives in Limerick but has curled out of Assiniboia for the last dozen years, joined long-time friend, Jim Wilcock on the ‘Pile of Bones’ team competing at the 64-team event held in Quebec.

The team included players Tim McMahon, Jim Wilcock, Don Bzdel and Cobbe, who says he has been buddies with Wilcock all of his life and was the person who encouraged him to join their team.

Cobbe said, “The bonspiel used to include over 100 teams but since COVID, it is just building back up again and now includes 64 teams with women joining the event a couple of years ago.”

Cobbe’s team won all of their games in the A event, including the A final, putting them in the Grand Aggregate event. Even though they lost that final, both teams had identical records so the top spot was awarded to both teams.

The Frontenac International Bonspiel has a storied history, all detailed on their website  2025 will be the 100th year for the event.

While there is no big prize money awarded or prestigious prize winnings, Cobbe said it's all for fun, pride and the experience of competing in something of this magnitude.

“I was a designated rookie this year meaning I had to wear a 10-foot scarf on and off the ice. It wasn’t easy to curl with but I have since filled it with pins earned and received while there and I am bringing it back for the Assiniboia Curling Club,” adds Cobbe

Cobbe marvels at his first-time experience saying there were 157 rookies this year and the event included all the big event components including an awards banquet, initiation, magic potion and hospitality rooms, with much of the activity, and their accommodations, in the historic and majestic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel.

The Frontenac is one of the most famous hotels in the world, located in Quebec City, inside the walls of the Old City.

The Quebec International Bonspiel is not just a typical curling bonspiel as it includes traditions that date back to its roots in 1913, as well as offering many other different aspects that are unique.

Cobbe marveled at the ceremonies, traditions and overall ‘rock-star’ experience of participating, including 87 Highlanders from Quebec City marching teams in for special ceremonies and the main banquet.

“I would definitely go back to this event and I would sure like to get a team from Assiniboia to go next time.”

The Limerick resident, Assiniboia curler, says he told everyone he encountered about the amazing state-of-the-art venue in the Southland Coop Centre and Prince of Wales Centre and the wonderful curling facility in his curling community. “Our rink is far above what we played in while in Quebec, although it is an older arena.”