REDS To Host 2024 U SPORTS Championships

(PHOTOS: Evan Richtsfeld/UNB Athletics)
(PHOTOS: Evan Richtsfeld/UNB Athletics)

(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB REDS and Capital Winter Curling Club, along with the City of Fredericton, are partnering to play host to the 2024 U SPORTS and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Curling Championships.

The events will be part of a two-week curling extravaganza put on by Curling Canada.

The 2024 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship will also be part of the extended bonspiel, which will run between March 12th and 22nd at UNB’s Aitken University Centre.

“People know our Aitken Centre as one of the best hockey facilities in Atlantic Canada and this is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase its flexibility,’ said David Saad, the REDS Director of Operations. “The Aitken Centre has the ability to host different types of events and this two-week period will give us the chance to display the full scope of what the building can do.”

The national university and college championships will run simultaneously from March 12th to 16th with the national mixed doubles championship being contested between March 17th and 22nd.

“Fredericton’s curling community is among the most dedicated and committed to hosting outstanding national championship events,” said Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson. “The city, and the province at large, have dedicated leaders committed to bringing major events to the community and growing the game at the grassroot level.”

2024 will mark the second time Fredericton has hosted the trio of events.

In 2019, the REDS, the Capital Winter Club and the city hosted the same events, at Willie O’Ree Place.

“We’re very excited to be given the opportunity to host this season’s U SPORTS Championships,” said Lindsey MacKnight, head coach of the REDS men’s team. “Three of our student-athletes from last season are returning for what will be their second chance to compete for a spot in the national final four. To do so in front of a hometown crowd will be amazing.”

“We can’t wait to get our season started,” added MacKnight.

The 2024 U SPORTS Championships will be the 18th national university championship event hosted by the University of New Brunswick and the seventh in a ten-year span.

“The REDS are dedicated not only to providing student-athletes with national calibre programs in which to compete, but also to bringing national championship events to our campus and our city,” said REDS Executive Director John Richard. “We’re pleased to partner with the Capital Winter Club again to help bring a couple of very exciting events to the Aitken Centre.”

In 2023, the REDS’ men’s team, with skip Jamie Stewart, won the bronze medal at the Atlantic University Sport Championships, qualifying for the U SPORTS Championships, in Sudbury, Ontario, where they failed to advance from round robin play.

“We have a great team with lots of experience hosting national championship events,” said Wayne Tallon, coach of the REDS’ women’s curling team and chair of the host organizing committee for the 2024 events. “Our current women’s team has never played before our home crowd, and we look forward to representing UNB at the AUC. I think having the home crowd advantage will give us the lift we need to win a national championship.”

In 2020, UNB, under then skip Justine Comeau, captured the silver medal at the national women’s university championship.

In 2018, the REDS’ Jack Smelter rink won the bronze medal at the national men’s university championship.

2024 will mark the fifth time the U SPORTS and CCAA championship bonspiels have been staged together.

“UNB and Fredericton have a rich history of hosting U SPORTS championships and we know that participating student-athletes, coaches and fans will have an outstanding experience during the 2024 event,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U SPORTS Chief Sport Officer.

After the U SPORTS and CCAA championship events, the mixed doubles championship takes over the Aitken Centre. The Capital Winter Club will also host the New Brunswick Little Rock’s Jamboree on the arena ice.


STORY BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics (with files from Curling Canada)

PHOTOS BY: Evan Richtsfeld/UNB Athletics