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Unity curlers rocked by sudden house closure

High school curlers in Unity have had to adapt to varying arenas to prepare for Sask. High School Athletics Association district and regional playdowns.

UNITY — Curlers in Unity were rocked with news their season would be taken out when the club was forced to close due to a recently discovered structural issue.

An earlier January announcement was hopeful the closure would be temporary, however, Jan. 30, the Unity Curling Club announced their season was finished and made arrangements for approximately 130 curlers to pick up their equipment.

Structural concern in Unity puts curling season in jeopardy. -

For high school curlers, it became a mad scramble for a place to practise and play in preparation SHSAA district and regional events.

Coach Kyla Snell says, “Curling has been on hold since Jan. 12. We are fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing communities who have invited our teams to play or practise in their rinks.”

Snell says the UCHS curling teams, consisting of two senior teams and two and a half junior squads, will travel to North Battleford for games Wednesday; Macklin for games Monday, Wilkie for practice Thursday and hope to compete in Kindersley at a funspiel Feb 11 to get curlers ready for districts the following week.

“It has been a real challenge to organize, but we are doing our part and I have great parental support.”

Senior SHSAA districts will be held in Spiritwood Feb. 14-15 that will include a boys’ team made up of Keaton Knorr, Leo Heitt, Mateo Rutley and Ethan Klinger. The girls’ team for the same event will include a veteran team made up of Kaybree Spendelow, Jacelyn Delhommeau, Kennadi Bretzer, and Ashley Loadman. “

The juniors will compete at Battle West Districts Feb. 28 and March 1 with teams still being finalized.

The second half of curling season is the busiest for UCC and this setback is a substantial one as it affected not only weekly leagues and the junior program but also seven bonspiels that were lined up to round out the season.

Club President, Glenn Heitt, said they were just starting to regain some ground lost over the several years of pandemic prescribed restrictions and setbacks, so the timing couldn’t have been worse.

Heitt said, “A beam needs to be repaired and we are hopeful it will be done for fall with early estimates of costs being upwards of $200,000. A temporary fix was going to cost too much money and the project is too big to do right now. We surely did not expect what was coming.”

Heitt said the club is appreciative to both Wilkie Curling Club and Twin Rivers Curling Club out of the Battlefords reaching out with offers of help as well as extending offers for curlers still wanting or needing ice time.