The Strathcona Cup, a competition between Canadian and Scottish men’s curlers, has been played every five years since 1903. The latest installment will feature games in Vernon Jan. 17 and Kelowna Jan. 18. (stratchonacup.ca)

The Strathcona Cup, a competition between Canadian and Scottish men’s curlers, has been played every five years since 1903. The latest installment will feature games in Vernon Jan. 17 and Kelowna Jan. 18. (stratchonacup.ca)

B.C. curlers tangle with Scots

Strathcona Cup played every five years between Canada and Scotland; oldest international event

The oldest interational sporting competition in the world is coming to Vernon and Kelowna next week.

Three groups of 20 Scottish curlers are coming to Canada to contest, and for the right to hold, the Strathcona Cup for the next five years.

The Western tour will arrive in Vancouver Jan. 11, and spend seven days in B.C. before heading east to Alberta.

Curling in Canada began in an organized way when a group of Scots associated with the fur trade formed the Montreal Curling Club in 1807. Other Scottish immigrants to Canada established clubs in major cities in Eastern Canada by 1900.

In 1902-03, a Scottish team played a series of games in Eastern Canada and the U.S.A. Six years later a Canadian team toured Scotland for the first time.

The president of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in Scotland in 1909 was Lord Strathcona (aka Sir Donald Smith). He played a large part in the early history of Canada as Governor of the Hudson Bay Company and the financing and building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

He had returned to Scotland and while president commissioned the trophy that became known as the Strathcona Cup.

“Thus, this competition, now recognized as the oldest international competition in the world, was born and continues to take place every five years between Scotland and Canada,” said Vernon Curling Club manager Dave Merklinger.

The Western Tour will play games at the following times and places over the seven days:

Game 1 at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Tunnel Town Curling Club vs. Richmond curlers;

Game 2 at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at Tunnel Town CC vs. Tunnel Town curlers;

Game 3 at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan.13, at Peace Arch CC vs. Peace Arch curlers;

Game 4 at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at Royal City CC vs. Royal City, North Shore and Vancouver curlers;

Game 5 at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan.14, at Qualicum Beach CC vs. Qualicum curlers;

Game 6 at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at Victoria CC vs. Victoria curlers;

Game 7 is at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Vernon CC vs. Vernon curlers;

Game 8 2:30 p.m. Jan.17, at Vernon CC vs. Vernon curlers;

Game 9 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Kelowna CC vs. Kelowna curlers.

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