Planning is underway by the Sylvan Lake Curling Club committee which is hosting a major provincial curling championship March 1-3.
Building on the previous success of hosting the Alberta Scotties in 2009 and the provincial mixed championships in 2010, Sylvan Lake is hosting the Alberta Optimist Juvenile Curling Championships, said committee chair Noreen McCallum.
She said the championships are for curlers 17 and under. Six men’s and six women’s team will be competing, with two from the north, two from the south and two from the Peace region.
They qualify for the championships through zone playdowns.
“The committee is gearing up and looking for more volunteers and support from the community,” said McCallum during an interview last week.
“We still need a couple of key people for the host committee.” She predicted they’ll probably need about 100 volunteers to do a variety of things. Some of that may be during the event itself while other volunteers are needed for pre-event projects and organizing.
Those interested may contact the curling club or visit the club’s website at sylvanlakecurling.wordpress.com/.
Sponsorship packages and letters to businesses will be going out in the near future.
The event will also be themed ‘celebrating the past and embracing the future’ to tie in with Sylvan Lake’s Centennial.
There will be four draws on the Friday, four draws on the Saturday and as many as needed Sunday until a champion is declared, said McCallum. Four sheets of ice at Sylvan Lake Curling Club will be used with the fifth sheet converted for spectator seating.
“This will be a more spectator sport than the mixed,” predicted McCallum. “The youth will come with parents, grandparents.” There’s no admission charge. Everyone is welcome to come and watch.
“The community of Sylvan Lake is really well situated to support this juvenile championship because of the great number of young curlers,” said McCallum. Last year the club provided 600 school aged children the opportunity to curl.
“Hopefully out of our junior program we will be promoting kids to compete at the zone level,” added Lesley Hill, noting one local team participated in zone playdowns last year.
Sylvan Lake Curling Club has also been selected to again host the Alberta Scotties in 2014.