Vernon Curling Club aiming for league play start mid-October

Club hopes to put ice in after Thanksgiving and begin league play soon after

The Vernon Curling Club will focus on its membership and introducing the sport to newcomers in 2020-21.

While there is no 100 per cent confirmation date as to when play will begin, the club will try to put its ice in after the Thanksgiving long weekend in October, as the facility currently is being used as a temporary homeless shelter.

“Things are still up in the air,” said curling club manager Dave Merklinger, who added league play will definitely go ahead in 2020.

“We will do all the social distancing things, obviously. Curling, to be quite honest, is a low-risk endeavour. There are at most eight people to a sheet (of ice), and they can be socially distanced properly.”

As soon as the club knows exactly when ice can be put in and leagues can commence play, notice will be put out to the club membership and uploaded to its website.

COVID-19 has claimed the club’s biggest annual event, the Prestige Curling Classic cashspiel for 2020, which was slated for Oct. 1-4. The event features some of curling’s best teams including past B.C., Canadian, Olympic and World men’s and women’s champions.

“All cashspiels and bonspiels are off,” said Merklinger. “We’re going to concentrate on the community and our members, and promote the sport to people who have never curled before.”

The club hosted the 2020 B.C. senior men’s and women’s championships in January prior to COVID. No provincial events are slated for the facility in the upcoming season.

The Vernon Curling Club offers traditional curling as well as stick curling for those who have issues bending to deliver a curling rock out of the hack.

The club has leagues for adults and seniors and is looking at operating a junior league for 2020-21.

More information can be found under the COVID-19 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the club’s website.

READ MORE: Vernon Curling Club hosts B.C. stick curling finals

READ MORE: Former junior winners take home Vernon Prestige Classic titles

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