Team Buchy skipped by Kimberley curler Kaila Buchy are unable to defend their BC junior women's title this year, after CurlBC announced the cancellation of the event due to the pandemic. Photo: CurlBC

CurlBC cancels U18 and U21 championships

With curling clubs closing due to PHO order, CurlBC was forced to cancel U18 and U21 events

Like the men’s and women’s before them, the 2021 U18 and U21 BC curling championships have been cancelled.

Curl BC announced the decision on Friday, (Jan. 15) even though the 2021 youth events had already been postponed and hoped to go in the spring.

The top U18 teams were to meet in Chilliwack, while the U21 teams were slotted for Kelowna. However, due to the Provincial Health Officer restrictions on group sport as a result of the pandemic, many curling clubs decided to close their doors for the season.

“The latest extension of the restrictions has seen a surge in clubs deciding to shut for the remainder of the 2020-21 season,” said Scott Braley, Curl BC CEO. “There are still many unknowns about the length of the season for those clubs that remain open, so we decided it was not practical to press ahead with plans for spring championships.”

The Chilliwack Curling Club announced it was shutting down its ice plant following the Jan. 8 PHO order.

“It is with great disappointment that I am having to write this to advise you of the Board’s decision to close the ice plant immediately, in light of the extended gathering restrictions issued by Dr. Bonny Henry and Adrian Dix, which includes sports,” wrote the curling club’s president Wendi Prinse in a letter to members.

“We have no guarantee that the orders will be lifted on Feb. 5, and there is a possibility that the existing orders may continue past that date.”

Last week Curl BC cancelled the women and men’s provincial curling championships scheduled to run Jan. 26-31 in Kamloops. However, the provincial curling body decided that last year’s champions would represent BC at the women’s Tournament of Hearts and the men’s Brier in Calgary. Unfortunately, the national U18 and U21 events had already been cancelled by Curling Canada.

Curl BC thanked the clubs who were planning to host these events for their support as well as all the teams who registered to take part.

“We understand this will be a huge disappointment. However, we also know that it is the best way to keep everyone safe and give more flexibility to host clubs who may need to close at short notice,” said Braley.

Last year’s 2020 U18 BC championship set to go in Parksville Mar. 17-22, 2020 was also cancelled.

Kimberley’s Team Buchy won the 2020 BC Junior Women’s Curling Championship in Victoria last January.

Curl BC, Curling Canada and its sport partners are already putting plans in motion for a return to a more normal season in 2021-22.

Timmons, Ont. will host the 2022 Canadian Under-18 Boys and Girls Curling Championships from Feb. 14-20, 2022.

The location of the national U21 event, scheduled for Mar. 19-22, 2022, has not yet been announced.