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Curling for a cause: Outdoor bonspiel takes over the Red River

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It may have been pushed back a couple of weekends due to the warm weather, but curling enthusiasts were finally able to participate in the Ironman Outdoor Curling bonspiel in Winnipeg this weekend.

The eight sheets of curling ice along the Red River opened up for play this weekend as the bonspiel marked its 23rd anniversary.

Each team was guaranteed to play three games over the weekend.

"The ice surface is a little different. Whereas, if you're indoors, you're not dealing with the outdoor elements and the changing temperature of the ice and so the curling surface is a little bit more unpredictable and there's more bumps and cracks," said Lynne Roy, the marketing and communications director for Ironman Curling.

She said players were excited to finally get a chance to play this season and also support a good cause in the process.

Each year, the bonspiel supports the Heart and Stroke Foundation and more than $200,000 has been raised for the organization. Roy said money is also being raised for Hope Worldwide Canada, which they joined forces with a few years ago.

"It's important for us to have this annual event for us to continue to contribute to the charities that we choose to contribute to."

For those who might want to look at playing next year, Roy said registration opens up in October and the event can support up to 80 teams.

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