COALDALE - The best senior curlers from around Alberta and Northeast British Columbia will hit the ice in Coaldale at the Granite Curling Club for the 2018 Provincial Curling Championship next week.
Opening ceremonies will kick things off on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. with play set to get underway on Feb. 14.
Coaldale Councillor, and Chair of the Host Committee, Roger Hohm says preparations are coming along really good.
"We are still looking for a couple of volunteers though. We need a couple of people to do some timing, and of course bar duty and stuff like that, but otherwise I think we're ready to go," Hohm said.
Eight men's and women's teams will compete for the provincial title over the course of the six-day-long event.
The semi-finals are set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, unless a tiebreaker is needed, in which case they would take place on Sunday, Feb. 18. The finals are penciled in for Sunday at 10 a.m., unless a tie breaker is needed.
Hohm says they've hosted a number of these events over the past few years, and thanks to the good job done by volunteers, they keep getting more opportunities.
"I think that's the key to why Coaldale and Lethbridge are getting so many of these provincial events," he continued. "Lethbridge just had the provincial junior championships in December 2017, on top of a number of Canadian and World events in the last little, while Coaldale has had the provincial juveniles and provincial mixed."
Hohm added they also hosted the Canadian Masters in 2014.
"We've got a real strong volunteer base in our area, and I think that's getting recognized across the province and even the country to say send events here," Hohm stated.
With so many Coaldale volunteers having helped out in these events, Hohm believes its made them even more prepared for this week's event.
"I think it does help, but of course you've always got a little bit of a concern about volunteer burnout because we tend to host these events quite often," Hohm said, adding he still thinks it's going to go off without a hitch.
Another benefit of bringing in these provincial championships is they amount to more than just curling.
"We've got 16 teams from across Alberta and Northeast British Columbia coming, eight women's and eight men's teams," Hohm continued. "We hope the spin off of competitors taking up hotel rooms, and members of those teams taking in some of the other things that Coaldale and Lethbridge have to offer, is a positive for us."
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