Like most things during the pandemic, curling won’t look exactly the same, but having a season is a positive step for the Beaver Valley Curling Club.
The Beaver Valley Curling Club confirmed that their Men’s, Ladies’, Afternoon Ladies, Retirees and Mixed curling nights will return to the ice in November.
B.V.’s parent club president Ed Wilcox met with the representatives of the individual clubs last week to gauge their support and see how confident the clubs were to move forward with Curl BC’s guidelines to return to a modified game this year.
Wilcox said the response was positive with almost all the men’s teams wanting to play, about 60 per cent of the ladies teams committed, 70 per cent of the afternoon ladies, and about 80 per cent of the retirees were all in.
“The margins are tight,” said Wilcox. “We need about $16,000 to cover everything. There are lots of costs like the insurance, utilities, snowplowing and so on. But if we do nothing it will cost us $16,000, so any amount is better than nothing.”
The club, which relies almost solely on volunteers, will start about three weeks later than normal, setting Nov. 2 as its start date, rather than the week following Thanksgiving. Hosting registration nights will go in the second week of October, and the ice installation on the 20th.
Safety is the club’s primary concern, as it follows the lead of Curl BC’s guidelines for Return to Curling with a modified game at the centre of its plans.
The Phase 3 “Progressively Loosen” version of the guidelines, released on Sept. 8, allows for four-person curling but with a twist – only one sweeper per shot and physically distanced play.
The modified rules have allowed Curl BC to successfully advocate for curling to be moved from Group B into Group A in the viaSport guidelines.
“Our top priority has always been to ensure that clubs can open their doors,” said Scott Braley, Curl BC CEO. “Alongside our sport partners, curling club managers, ice makers and volunteers, Curl BC staff have been working for many months on plans to smooth the way for reopening. Now, with the announcement that Sport has moved into Phase 3, and with modified play, we are going to see all that hard work pay off.”
But like most other clubs, there will be no bonspiels for the Beaver Valley Curling Club this season, unless something changes.
“It’s unfortunate, because it’s the social part of our club, and the bonspiels make the parent club over $8,000,” added Wilcox. “There is going to be financial difficulty, but we think we can overcome it.”
B.V. will have ice layouts that allow for physical distancing – complete with ice markers so that people know where to stand. The club will take the necessary steps to social distance and sanitize in the curling rink and is confident the season can proceed safely.
Having a season is important to the community and to the players, says Wilcox, especially those new to the game.
“There is the fear that if you don’t play, how many will you lose forever. We think we can do it safely, and take the necessary precautions.”
Anyone who would like more information on the Phase 3 update should visit the website at: www.curlbc.ca/resources/covid-19-resources.