One of the biggest junior curling tournaments in Canada is making its way to the RMWB.
On Tuesday, Curling Canada announced the 2021 New Holland Canadian Junior Championships will be coming to Fort McMurray for the second time since 2013.
The tournament is a chance to see some of the brightest future stars of the sport all under one roof.
Speaking to reporters, Curling Canada Director of Communications Al Cameron says after a successful 2013 tournament, they knew they had to return.
“At this age level, it’s the biggest event for U-21 Curlers. I was here in 2013 and it was really exciting. The city really got behind it so, when the local group approached us and said they’d like to host again, it wasn’t that hard of a decision.”
Mayor Don Scott was in attendance for the announcement and took time to speak about the economic impact this tournament will have.
He says it’s always great news to be able to host tournaments of this magnitude.
“It’s going to be a great economic opportunity and a great chance for young people to see curling and to get involved. It’s just fantastic when we win these tournaments. We are grateful as Mayor and Council to all those who put this together and made this happen.”
Cameron echoes that sentiment, saying there is a tremendous impact on several levels.
“Dozens of teams, families, coaches, officials from Curling Canada, TV production people, they are all coming up here. They will all need hotel rooms; they all need to eat. That’s a lot of economic activity for the region and it’s always a big driver for those who want to host this championship.”
It’s the sixth time the event has been played in Alberta.
From a local perspective, President of the Oil Sands Curling Club Tyler Spitzer says getting the event again is a testament to the strength of our curling community.
“Our junior program has gotten bigger ever since 2013. It grows every year, so, that’s one reason to bring these young curlers up here that are the country’s best of the best. It really helps grows the sport in Fort McMurray at the grass-roots level.”
Alberta has won a leading 16 junior men’s titles and 10 junior women’s titles.
The tournament is set for March 15-23, in 2021, at the Suncor Community Leisure Centre.
-With files from Steph Seidel.