Curling Alberta has cancelled the provincial championships scheduled to take place in Sylvan Lake at the end of the month.
In a press release issued Friday afternoon, Curling Alberta says the cancellation of the week-long event is due to the “state of public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving provincial health authority directives.”
“The past 24 hours have kept us on our toes as we tried to find a responsible way to proceed safely with the provincial championships,” said Jill Richard, executive director of Curling Alberta.
“However, after Premier Jason Kenney’s announcement on Thursday that the current restrictions will largely continue to apply, it became clear that it was no longer a realistic situation for our athletes, volunteers, officials, and ice technicians, on whom the event relies.”
Three events scheduled to be played in Sylvan Lake between Jan. 25 and Feb. 5 in Sylvan Lake, the Boston Pizza Cup Presented by Best Western, Alberta Mixed Doubles Provincial Championship and the Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, were cancelled.
Richards says the decision to cancel was a difficult one, and understands it will be upsetting to the athletes, fans and partners.
“We’re extremely grateful to the volunteers and partners who stood arm-in-arm with us, working so hard to find a way to make this happen. But in the end, we had to make the responsible and realistic decision to let go of this ambition considering the recent updates,” she said.
Despite the cancellation of the provincial championships, Curling Alberta says it will send representatives to the national championships.
National curling championships are currently scheduled to take place in February, with Calgary acting as the hub city.
Plans to name the representatives to the national championships will be present soon, according to the press release.
Remain events in the provincial curling season remain unchanged at the time of publication.
“We stay hopeful for a safe return to our sport soon, and we truly appreciate the hard work being done by Alberta Health during the pandemic to keep people safe.”