Pandemic restrictions lead to cancellation of B.C. curling championships in Kamloops

 

As a result, Team Brown of the Tournament Capital, by virtue of its 2020 title, will represent B.C. at the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary later this year.

 

The 2021 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship and BC Men’s Curling Championship, which were to be held later this month, have been cancelled.

The cancellation came on Thursday (Jan. 7) afternoon after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry extended sweeping restrictions and bans on travel, gatherings and events to at least Feb. 5, due to rising COVID-19 case counts.

The two provincial curling championships had been slated to hit the Olympic ice rink at the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre from Jan. 26 to Jan. 31, with the winners proceeding to the national Scotties and Tim Hortons Brier at a hub city event in Calgary later this year.

The decision to cancel the B.C. title tourneys means the 2020 BC curling championship winners will be awarded B.C.’s berth at the 2021 nationals. Kamloops’ Team Brown, with Corryn Brown, Erin Pincott, Dezaray Hawes and Samantha Fisher, will represent the province at the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary. And Team Laycock from Kelowna and Vernon, with Steve Laycock, Jim Cotter of Kamloops, Andrew Nerpin and Rick Sawatsky, will represent B.C. at the Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary.

“The safety of our athletes and volunteers is a top priority,” said Curl BC CEO Scott Braley. “We were hopeful that all the efforts to bend the curve would lead to fewer cases of COVID-19 in the province and more opportunities for people to compete. However, the numbers are still much higher than anyone wants and it will be difficult for clubs to stay open, so the best course of action is to cancel.”

Kamloops committee chairs Linda Bolton and Brenda Nordin and the City of Kamloops had been working to stage the dual championships.

Bolton issued a statement following the cancellation decision:  “Brenda Nordin and I would like to say there may be disappointment  in the cancellation of the event, but the positive side is the amazing support of sponsors and volunteers ready and waiting to assist in many ways. The City of Kamloops never disappoints. Over 60 volunteers and multiple major sponsors — we thank them all. We would like to wish the Corryn Brown team and the Steve Laycock team all the best at nationals.”

Curl BC has also cancelled the 2021 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, which had been rescheduled for Feb. 10 to Feb. 14 in Chilliwack.

The winners of the 2020 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, Steph Jackson-Baier and Corey Chester of Victoria, will represent the province at nationals, also scheduled to take place in the hub city of Calgary.

 U18 and U21 events, which we had previously postponed until the spring, have now been rescheduled, subject to restrictions being lifted.

 

Marty Hastings/January 7th, 2021

Andrew Klaver Photography