Off to the World Senior Curling Championships
Bryan Cochrane, Ian MacAulay, Morgan Currie and Ken Sullivan are hoping to come back from Norway with another banner to hang at the Russell Curling Club. Courtesy Pearson photo

RUSSELL – Team Cochrane was given a resounding sendoff last Friday to the World Senior Curling Championships set for Stavanger, Norway, April 20-27, in conjunction with the World Mixed Doubles Championships.

Skipped by Bryan Cochrane, the Russell-based foursome also includes Ken Sullivan, Ian MacAulay and Morgan Currie. Looking smart in their new Team Canada jackets, the championship-bound team thanked the crowd for the well-wishes and promised to represent Russell and Canada to the best of its abilities.

“The team will be playing our hearts out in Norway in our quest for gold,” the curlers stated. “The support we receive from our Russell club members, family, friends and sponsors is greatly appreciated.”

Among attendees were Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux, councillors Cindy Saucier and Mike Tarnowski, and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin. The team received certificates of recognition from the three levels of government.

“Curling is a game of skill and sportsmanship but also of community,” said Pam Pearson, sendoff event co-organizer. “We know that Team Cochrane will represent the Maple Leaf well across the pond.”

Participants were entertained by local band The Front End and a silent auction raised a “healthy sum” to help the team with expenses while in Norway.

Team Cochrane earned the privilege of competing in the Senior Worlds by claiming silver last month at the Everest Canadian Seniors competition in Chilliwack. Last year, the team brought home the Curling Canada Senior Men’s Champions banner, something it also did in 2016.

Cochrane has become a legend in the sport. Going back many years, competitive curling teams skipped by the former Russell High School principal have been regular visitors to the winner’s circle. Cochrane’s proficiency has even earned him an entry on Wikipedia.

In 2003, he skipped an RCMP Curling Club team in the Nokia Brier after getting special dispensation to use a whistle to pass on directions to his curlers due to a chronic throat condition. MacAulay was also part of that team.