Moose Jaw’s Pat Simmons will have his name on the same award as the Great One, Wayne Gretzky.

Simmons, along with Glenn Howard and Craig Savill, was named as a recipient of the 2017 World Fair Play Diploma last week as recognition for their efforts from the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier.

The award will be presented next month at the World Fair Play Awards Ceremony in Brussels, Belgium.

“It’s pretty neat and definitely an honour for sure,” said Simmons over the phone this week.  “It’s more of the sport of curling that wins in this case, that moment was all about Craig, he was going through a tough time and for him to come out and show that strength, that was inspiring for all of us.”

During a late round robin game at the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa, Savill was given the opportunity to hit the ice during the game between Simmons’ Team Canada and Howard’s Team Ontario.

Savill, an Ottawa product, was undergoing a battle with cancer during the event and unable to play, but he was given the chance to throw two rocks for the Howard team.

“I’m not sure how it came about, but Craig was in the middle of chemo treatments with his cancer and that was a Brier that he anxious and badly wanted to play in with it being a hometown Brier,” said Simmons.  “It was just one of those things that just happen to work out great and it was an awesome moment for all of us.”

Simmons added that this is one instance of sportsmanship that’s being highlighted, but that’s a key part of the sport of curling and he’s happy to see that being recognized.

“This is something that we’re lucky to be part of and in sport it’s very prevalent and we’re all just a big family, so it’s nice for the sport to get the recognition more than any one individual,” Simmons said.

Pat Simmons' new rink for the 2017-18 curling season, which will be curling out of Winnipeg, MB. (Submitted photo)

The 2017-18 curling season is in full swing for Simmons and his new team of young curlers from Manitoba.

The Moose Jaw product is looking to bounce back after having last season cut short when he parted ways with Team Bottcher just before the start of the provincial run.

Simmons said he’s excited about what’s in front with the new trio of teammates.

“We’re continuing to improve, getting better each event and definitely have had some success and are competing with teams that we need to be competing with going forward,” said Simmons.  “We’re right on track with where we want to be right now.”

The rink includes third Colton Lott, second Kyle Doering and lead Robbie Gordon, who are all in their 20s. 

The 42-year-old Simmons said he’s really enjoyed leading the young squad so far,  “On and off the ice it’s just been fantastic, I can’t say enough about the guys that I’m playing with,” he said.  “It’s been a joy to be around them and we’re having a lot of fun for sure.”

Team Simmons is in Lloydminster this week for the Grand Slam of Curling’s Masters where they opened with a 7-5 loss to Steve Laycock on Tuesday night.  Click here for the full schedule.

They will also be one of 28 teams in Summerside, P.E.I. in two weeks for the Road to the Roar Pre-Trails, which run Nov. 6-12.