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Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:11

Swift Current passes on Road to the Roar

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Road to the Roar will be bypassing Swift Current.

Following the Swift Current Curling Club’s annual general meeting at the Elmwood Golf Course May 9, the club’s executive decided it wouldn’t submit a bid to host the 2013 Canadian Olympic pre-trial event.

“We were intending to bid,” said Clayton Wicks, the club’s vice-president. “The amount of time we had to try to prepare the bid, the amount of changes the bid has compared to the Women's Worlds — we were like bidding on two completely separate entities — and right now our curling membership is down and our revenues are down (are why we decided not to submit a bid).

“We just feel we have to start marketing the club and we didn't feel we had enough knowledge or resources of that event to try to put it on.”

The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) approached the Swift Current Curling Club in March about submitting a bid to host the Road to the Roar. The event features 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams battling for the final two spots in the Canadian Olympic qualifying event, the Roar of the Rings.

In order to host this event, however, the CCA required a $375,000 commitment from the curling club, the municipal government and the provincial government. The curling club would be on tap for $75,000 of that, meaning it would need $150,000 from both the City and provincial government.

Wicks, who hadn’t negotiated with either government, wasn’t convinced the club would get that much money from either body and he felt he didn't have time to negotiate as the deadline to bid for the event is May 13.

Members of the curling club who attended the AGM also raised concerns that the club would need to raise at least $250,000 from grants and sponsorships just to have a chance to break even from the Road to the Roar. Members believed that would be difficult to attain as the curling club would not have CCA representatives to help it raise the money like it did during the women’s world championships in 2010.

The Swift Current Curling Club would also be responsible for ticket sales and the box office.

Other members were concerned with how the Road to the Roar, which will be held Nov. 6-10, 2013, would upset the minor hockey teams as well as the curling club’s leagues who wanted to use the respective ice surfaces.

Some members were also concerned the event wouldn’t draw as many people who weren’t’ interested in curling as the women’s worlds did.

Since there weren’t enough members at the meeting to reach the club’s quorum of 25, the executive was forced to decide whether to bid for the event.

Although 97 per cent of people who responded to the curling club’s survey were in support of the organization hosting the Olympic pre-trial event, Wicks and the executive decided to listen to the club’s members who attended the AGM.

“Without question I was disappointed in our turnout,” said Wicks. “If there was interest in our club to host something like that we would have had more people here.

“I just don't think our members were interested enough in it and those who were interested enough to be here were concerned, and we have a responsibility to our members.”

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