Langley played host to the BC Wheelchair Curling Championships last January, and again this year. The action gets underway first thing Friday morning and wraps up with the finals Sunday morning at Langley Curling Centre. (Black Press files)

Langley played host to the BC Wheelchair Curling Championships last January, and again this year. The action gets underway first thing Friday morning and wraps up with the finals Sunday morning at Langley Curling Centre. (Black Press files)

BC’s best wheelchair curlers compete in Langley

A three-day provincial championship gets underway at Langley Curling Centre on Friday.

Langley is ready to host the provincial wheelchair curling championship starting tomorrow.

Langley Curling Centre will be the site of a number of B.C.’s best wheelchair curlers this weekend for the 2019 BC Wheelchair Curling Championship.

Three teams will be competing from Friday, Jan. 4 to 6 for the title of best in B.C.: Richmond’s Team Neighbour (Darryl Neighbour, Bob MacDonald, Gary Cormack, Janice Ing), Quesnel’s Team Duddy (Alison Duddy, Frank LaBounty, Ellis Tull, Vince Miele), and Kelowna, Langley, Marpole and Richmond’s Team Austgarden (Gerry Austgarden, Rick Robinson, Tracy Boyd, Marney Smithies).

The three competing skips are all former B.C. and Canadian champions.

Neighbour, Duddy, and Austgarden have all won the BC Wheelchair Curling Championships various times during the past 14 years.

They also have experience playing together on the same team, most recently winning the 2015 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship along with Frank LaBounty.

In addition, Neighbour is a two-time world champion (2009, 2011) and he, Austgarden,and Cormack have all won Paralympic gold (Austgarden and Cormack in 2006, Neighbour in 2010).

Round-robin play begins on Friday Jan. 4 at 9 a.m.

The finals take place on Sunday Jan. 6 at 10 a.m.

This season, Curling Canada is piloting a 14-team Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship. The 14 teams will include those from 10 member associations committed to sending a team (of which B.C. is one), a host team, and the top-three-ranked teams from 2018.

As B.C. won bronze at the 2018 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, B.C. will be sending two teams (the top two teams from the 2019 BC Wheelchair Curling Championship) to compete at the 2019 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que. from April 26 to May 1.

Live scores, schedules,and standings from the 2019 BC Wheelchair Curling Championship will be available at playdowns.curlbc.ca.

The event is free for spectators to attend at the George Preston Recreation Centre, 208th Street and 42nd Avenue in the Brookswood neighbourhood of Langley.

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