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Sundre Curling Club delays season opening until next year

President says organization plans to pour ice later in December
MVT stock curling
File photo

SUNDRE — As a result of complications stemming from the provincial government’s Restrictions Exemption Program, the local curling club decided to postpone the start of its season.

“That was a decision that was a hard one,” Kris Burkholder, president of the Sundre Curling Club, said on Thursday, Oct. 21 during a phone interview.

The call to wait until early in the new year was made following a survey of the club’s membership, Burkholder said.

“About 98 per cent of our seniors were gung ho. But sadly, that’s not enough to justify putting the ice in,” she said, adding the mixed and women’s leagues were roughly split 50-50 on whether to proceed with the opening under the provincial government’s public health protocols. Some members, she added, did not respond or provide an opinion one way or another.

In the end, she said the decision largely boiled down to the exemption program, which would have meant only being able to proceed under the condition that members were either double vaccinated or able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.

“That was the big issue. People were not really interested in the 72-hour testing, that would get expensive. That’s where things ended,” she said, later adding also coming into consideration was the fact that “a lot of people are not eager to get their vaccinations.”  

But the club is planning to prepare the ice later in December to open up the curling rink for the week of January 3.

“The good news is when we do get up and running, it’ll be curling as usual,” she enthusiastically said. “Two sweepers and no crazy rules. So, we’re pretty excited about that.”

In the meantime, the club plans to meet in November to discuss setting not only the fees for the shortened year, but also the schedule of bonspiels as well as a fundraising event, she said.

And at least local curlers who are really keen to play have options that aren’t too far away in light of other nearby clubs being able to start their season.

“It’s really nice to see that Olds is opening. I’m very excited about that. But they have such a bigger base to draw from,” she said, urging the Sundre Curling Club’s membership to hang in there.

“We’re going to be curling!”

Despite the frustration of how long the pandemic has been drawn out, Burkholder maintains an optimistic outlook with a focus on finding silver linings.

“With this many months off, our knees will be just great for January curling,” she said, chuckling.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel is the editor of the Sundre Round Up and a longtime columnist for other publications of Mountain View Publishing.
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