Patrick Prade and Layna Pohlod from Delta move down the rink at the BC Mixed Doubles Championship in early March. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Mixed doubles, senior curling championships in Kelowna cancelled due to COVID-19

The two World Curling Championships were scheduled for mid-April

Two World Curling Championship events of the 2019-20 season scheduled for Kelowna this spring have been cancelled because of coronavirus concerns.

On March 14, after a surge of cancellations and suspensions to various sports, concerts and other events, the World Curling Federation (WCF) made the choice to cancel the World Mixed Doubles and Senior Curling Championships that were set to bring more than 400 athletes and supporters to Kelowna.

“The local organizing committee recognizes that hosting successful events cannot take place without significant support,” said event co-chair Jan Martens.

“It’s only with the assistance of our sponsors, our partners – City of Kelowna, Tourism Kelowna, the Province of B.C. and our numerous volunteers that we are able to meet the challenge. We want to sincerely thank everyone that worked so hard and partnered with us on this journey.”

READ MORE: Only one case of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

READ MORE: ‘Hope that event will continue’: Canadian Hockey League addresses Memorial Cup in Kelowna

Earlier this week, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommended restrictions on out-of-country travel and suggested cancelling events of more than 250 people.

The mixed doubles event, set to be hosted at the Kelowna Curling Club, was intended to be an Olympic qualifier and the WCF said that it will now discuss changes on the implications going forward.

“It’s with great regret and disappointment that it has not been possible to run all of our flagship World Curling Championships in 2020,” said WCF president Kate Caithness.

“Ultimately our first priority is always the health and well-being of our athletes, officials, fans and staff.”

Earlier this week, the World Women’s Curling Championships in Prince George was cancelled.

The WCF said there will be a full refund for all purchased tickets.

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