Canadian National Champions - The Gil Dash team has had a busy and successful month after the team won silver at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship and they brought back their fourth gold medal from the National Wheelchair Curling Championships. The team is made up of (l-r) Moose Gibson (lead), Darwin Bender (second), Lorraine Arguin (coach), Marie Wright (third) and Gil Dash (skip).

National Wheelchair Curling Championships

Kipling curler captures his fourth gold medal after winning silver at World Championship

xciting month for Gil Dash and several of the people that he often curls with.
Dash (who is originally from Kipling) was a member of Team Canada, which captured Silver at the World Wheelchair Championship held in Richmond, BC earlier this month.
Then last week, Dash went on to skip Team Saskatchewan (Marie Wright – 3rd, Darwin Bender – 2nd & Moose Gibson – lead) at the 2023 National Wheelchair Curling Championship held in Moose Jaw. That championship ended with Dash and the other members of that team emerging as Canadian National Champions and receiving a Gold Medal.
Dash says that the win capped off what had been a particularly hectic month for he and Wright (who had also been a member of Team Canada).
“Both Marie and I were pretty tired when we got back to Saskatchewan the Tuesday after the World Championship. But we both curled on Wednesday – took Thursday off – and then took part in a bonspiel on Friday and Saturday! Then on Sunday – we were in Moose Jaw – practicing for the National Championship that started the next day.
“So, the past couple of weeks really have felt like a marathon. I was a bit worried about that, because competitive curling demands that a person be strong from the beginning to the end of the tournament.”
However, Dash says that the strength of Team Saskatchewan (led by Coach Lorraine Arguin) was what made the difference in Moose Jaw.
“The teams we were curling against were all Provincial Champions. So, they are all top-notch teams.
“But the Saskatchewan team has curled together for years. Curling is a team sport – and we are a great team. The four of us all know what needs to be done in order to win, and each person on the team fulfilled their role. We were able to stick to our game plan and execute our shots very well.
“So, even though we didn’t win the first game of the week against Northern Ontario – we outcurled the other teams and then beat Northern Ontario in the Gold Medal game.
And we came out as Canadian National Champions because of that great team effort.”
This is the fourth time that Team Saskatchewan has garnered the National title and also the fourth National Championship Gold Medal for Gil Dash, Marie Wright, and Darwin Bender (who have all previously claimed the title as members of Team Saskatchewan in 2012, 2016, 2018).
As well, Team Saskatchewan now shares the record for having earned the title of Canadian Wheelchair Curling Champions four times with B.C.’s Frank LaBounty.
However, Dash says that winning the National title in Moose Jaw was particularly satisfying for the team.
“We are the Canadian National Champions! It’s a huge honour to be able to say that – no matter where you happen to be.
“But it was really special for us, because we curl quite often in Moose Jaw. They have a beautiful facility there that is extremely accessible.
“There were also a large number of fans who came out to watch during the week. Some had come out to our games before. But others were first time spectators who were really impressed by the level of play that they saw on the ice. Being able to hear people cheering us on was amazing!
“But most of all – this was something that family and friends could come out to watch – and people from our home communities could easily share with us. For example, I was amazed at the number of messages I received from people in Kipling, Whitewood, Windthorst, Wolseley and area.
“Having that kind of support from the people that mean the most was huge for all of us.”
As well, Dash (who was forced to battle back after a serious medical concern early in 2022) says that the success he has experienced this past month was also a personal victory for him.
“There might come a time in your life when you think everything is over.
I’ve now experienced this twice in my life.
“But with the support of surgeons, medical staff, family and friends…what felt like it was ‘the end’ became a beginning. From there – I’ve been able to be part of winning Silver at the World Championship in BC – and now been part of winning the National Championship right here in Saskatchewan!
“I know that many people face very hard situations in their lives. It is so important to be grateful for what you do have and find your way to carry on! No matter what happens or what challenges you have to face…keep on working hard – and trying hard – to make life as awesome as you can!”

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