Thursday, 15 March 2018 08:52

Swift Current Curling Club hosting U18 provincial championship starts March 22

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Moose Jaw's Team Behm will represent the South West region in the men's division at the U18 provincial championship. They qualified on March 4 in Assiniboia. From left to right, Skip Brett Behm, Third Dominic Neufeld, Second Theo Lautsch, Lead Cordell Struble, and Coach Dale Neufeld. Moose Jaw's Team Behm will represent the South West region in the men's division at the U18 provincial championship. They qualified on March 4 in Assiniboia. From left to right, Skip Brett Behm, Third Dominic Neufeld, Second Theo Lautsch, Lead Cordell Struble, and Coach Dale Neufeld. Contributed

The Swift Current Curling Club is hosting the top young curlers in the province from March 22-25, when the under 18 men's, women's and open provincial championship takes place in the city.

 

There will be 22 teams on the ice during the 2018 Ramada Hotels U18 provincial championship. Host Committee Chairperson Karen Biese said the curling club is looking forward to welcome the curlers to the city for the event.
“We’re really excited to have the kids and 22 teams is a lot of curling,” she mentioned. “The men and the women have time clocks and score keepers on the ice. So it’s a big deal for them.”
It will be a good opportunity for curling fans to see what the future of curling in Saskatchewan looks like.
“Watch some of the best junior curling in Saskatchewan,” she said. “These are young people that are dedicated to their sport, just like any other sport, and they’re great at it.”
Region qualifiers took place to determine the teams that will compete at the provincial championship. The teams in the men's and women's divisions will play an eight-team triple knockout format to determine the provincial U18 champions, who will represent Saskatchewan in the national championship at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, from April 9-14.
Six teams qualified for the open division and they will play in a round robin format to determine who will become the provincial open champion.
“The open is still competitive, but it’s mixed,” Biese explained. “There has to be at least one person of the other gender on the team. So they play mixed and they're competitive, but there is no Canadian championships for that group.”
In the men's division the Brett Behm rink from Moose Jaw will represent the South West region. Swift Current curler Theo Lautsch plays second for Team Behm. The other members of this team are Dominic Neufeld and Cordell Struble.
The South West region will be presented by the Moose Jaw team of Skylar Ackerman in the women's division. Her team members are Madison Johnson, Chantel Hoag and Samantha Mclaren. In the open division the South West team is also from Moose Jaw. Skip Niki Stark will play with Ana Cornea, Ethan Gross, and Sydney Wells on her team.
It requires a lot of preparation to host such a championship event with opening ceremonies, a luncheon for the players and two team meetings.
“So there’s a lot of volunteers needed,” Biese said. “If all six sheets are going with men and women, we’ll have six people running clocks and we’ll have six people doing the scoring, and then we will have two people upstairs that, as soon as the score is put up, they’ll put it on the computer upstairs and it goes live.”
Curling fans who want to attend the championship can get a pass for the entire event or otherwise get a day pass or a draw pass.
“There will be passes available at the door,” she noted. “The event pass is $25, the day passes are $10 and a draw pass is $5. There will be opening ceremonies on the ice Thursday night. It will have a piper and some dignitaries.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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