Naseby currently hosting largest curling event ever held on our shores

It's a sport typically associated with winter, but that hasn’t stopped the small Central Otago town of Naseby from hosting a world championship qualifier on ice.

The town is playing host this week to the biggest curling event ever held in New Zealand, with four spots at this years’ world championships on offer.

"It’s the biggest we’ve ever held in New Zealand," tournament organiser Sam Inder says.

While the Kiwis have both men and women sides competing, another team to watch comes from an unlikely source, with Brazil looking to qualify for their first ever world champs.

"It’s quite surprising for a lot of people, but Brazil is actually the fifth largest audience for curling in the world," Brazil men’s player Sergio Mitsuo Vilela says.

Popularity for the sport has grown so much in recent years, the country should have its first ever curling rink built by the end of 2019.

"We are building a rink in Sau Paulo ... by the end of this year we’re going to have our very first rink, so very excited,"  Brazil women’s player Luciana Barrella says.

The tournament starts today, with the finals played next Wednesday.

The top two qualifiers from both the men’s and women’s categories, will qualify for the world champs held in March.

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Teams have come from all over the globe, vying for a spot in the world championships. Source: 1 NEWS