In 2008 and 2009, the annual seniors curling bonspiel in Cochrane was cancelled.

That's not been the case since, thanks to its reinvention as the Super Seniors Square Bonspiel.

The 12th edition of the five-day bonspiel wrapped up on Sunday with 35 teams and 140 curlers taking part.

The teams are carefully divided into competitive and recreational squares of equal skill levels and ages. It's that attention to detail that has helped to make it a popular bonspiel for seniors, and its reputation continues to grow.

"We're attracting more and more teams from Okotoks and south Calgary as well as Canmore and Airdrie, so people are coming from as far away as an hour's drive, and that's a good, good sign," says chair and drawmaster Doug Campbell.

Campbell says they start as early as September to promote the bonspiel by sending invitations to 26 curling clubs in the Calgary area and don't strictly focus on the highly competitive 55-plus and 65-plus groups.

senior curlersThis team had an average age of 85 years old. (Photo/Doug Campbell)

"We pay equal attention to try and get 70-year-olds and 80-year-olds. We had nine curlers that are over the age of 80 and that was beautiful to watch. It's good for the grandkids to see, and good for everybody to see. It lifts up your spirits, it's a little bit physical, a little bit mental but a lot of social, too, which is a great breakout from the COVID we've had for the last 36 months."

A highly-sociable Saturday evening banquet was enjoyed by 150 people. The food was great, there were plenty of opportunities to socialize, and a duet of performers kept the evening lively.

"They had people up singing, they had people laughing and even down on the floor crying, so our Saturday evening was a great hit."

He says the generous support of local businesses helped to make the event a success.

Event winners included four teams from Calgary, two from Canmore,  one from Bearspaw, and seven from Cochrane. A total of 14 of the 35 teams were cash winners.

Square A: 1st Scott Egger, Canmore; 2nd Gary Hawkes, Cochrane.

Square B: 1st Steve Horne, Cochrane; 2nd Dennis Graham, Canmore.

Square C: 1st Mo Coutney, Bearspaw; 2nd Bill Strain, Cochrane.

Square D: 1st Warren Neumeier, Cochrane; 2nd Graham Jones, Calgary.

Square E: 1st Alicia Brooks, Cochrane; 2nd Shaun McGrath/S. Caron, Cochrane.

Square F: 1st Mike Kinakin, Calgary; 2nd Henry Schulenborg, Calgary.

Square G: 1st Jim Paramchuk, Cochrane; 2nd John Gorman, Calgary.

Major Sponsors:

Gold, Two Pharmacy; Mr. Mike’s; Silver, Tim Horton’s, Curlers’ Corner, HD Automotive Detailing; Bronze, Erol’s Automotive, Wilson Law, and Country Hills Golf Course.

Supporters: Cochrane Golf Course, Thanh Thy Vietnamese Restaurant, Vintners’, Mountain Vista Law, Chez Soi, Amy-Stacey Massage, Cochrane Core Pilates, Terry Plante Realtor, Jean Prince, and Linda Bint.