CurlSask mulling options for provincials

CurlSask has announced that it would not be holding the 2021 Viterra Scotties Provincial Women’s Curling Championship and the SaskTel Tankard Provincial Men’s Curling Championship in Estevan.

The tournaments were slated to happen at Affinity Place from Jan. 29-Feb. 7, 2021. 

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The initial news release said events were cancelled outright, but CurlSask later said the events wouldn’t be happening in Estevan. A decision has not been made on how CurlSask would crown its provincial champions in 2021.

National competitions for men and women slated to happen within a bubble in Calgary next year.

“Under current public health orders this championship was no longer feasible nor financially responsible to attempt to host,” said Ashley Howard, CurlSask’s executive director. “Estevan has served as a first-class host community for a number of events including the 2018 SaskTel Tankard and 2018 Home Hardware Canada Cup of Curling. 

"Given the success of past championships hosted by the community of Estevan, our team will not hesitate to return to Estevan when it is safe and responsible to do so.” 

Tyler McMillen, who was the event chair for the Scotties-Tankard, said that with the tighter restrictions that came into effect on Nov. 27, it became even tougher to host the event. Games for team sports were suspended on Nov. 27 and won’t be lifted until at least Dec. 17. Arenas are now limited to 30 people.  

It wasn’t responsible to try to host a large event and bring people from across the province into the community, he said.

Qualifying events for provincials would also be a challenge, since some qualifiers were already cancelled, and southern qualifiers were scheduled for early 2021.

Prior to the Nov. 27 restrictions, the Estevan Curling Club was still hopeful provincials could be held in Estevan. They were in discussions with CurlSask on how it might look, but they knew the event wouldn’t be quite as big. 

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