Curling back on in Penticton

Curling back on in Penticton

Local curling club talks COVID and bonspiels

With COVID-19 safe protocols in place, curling is back on at the Penticton Curling Club.

Members are glad to be back, said Chris Jones, Penticton Curling Club manager and ice technician.

“They just want to get back out there,” said Jones.

Penticton Curling Club’s 2020-21 season got underway Oct. 5 and membership is holding steady but bonspiels are still an unknown, said Jones.

“Our membership is strong. What we lost in people who were too concerned about COVID – we gained in new memberships,” he said.

On the ice, the PCC will be following Curl BC protocols with players socially distancing when they are done their shot.

“We are also using four players with only one sweeper,” Jones said.

COVID-19 has created a lot more work for the club staff.

They are doing temperature checks at the door as well as everyone has to sign in with their contact information, he said. “It’s a lot more work on our end but what we are hearing from players is they are so glad to be back curling, doing what they love.”

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One thing that is hurting the local club is the limited seating for the upstairs lounge.

The upstairs lounge has a seating capacity of 188. They’ve decided to only allow for 70 seats to be safe.

“That’s not even 50 per cent capacity. Our bar sales are really going to be impacted this year,” he said.

Another thing COVID has impacted is bonspiels.

“We scheduled our bonspiels last year before the pandemic so we have upcoming bonspiels that we have to cancel,” said Jones. “We aren’t sure yet what we can go ahead with or not. We have a seniors mens’ spiel in January that we aren’t sure about yet.”

The Penticton Curling Club hosts one of the biggest classics that is ranked #1 for prizes and usually draws top teams from all around. The Ashley Homestore Curling Classic 2019 was a huge success that drew top teams.

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If anything like that were to happen this year, it would be without fans, Jones said.

They are running four leagues, evenings and daytime. They also have a learn to curl clinic on Oct. 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. for anyone wanting to try out the sport.

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