On Friday it was announced that an assortment of Saskatchewan’s competitive curlers have joined forces off the ice to create the Sask Curling Tour (SCT), an athlete-led series of high-performance curling events for men’s, women’s and mixed doubles competitors.
The SCT amalgamates three previously separate volunteer organizations that served each division.
“The formation of the Sask Curling Tour is positive news for our province’s curling athletes,” Steve Laycock, 10-time Tim Horton’s Brier competitor and SCT committee member said in a release.
“In addition to continuing the strong tradition of men’s and women’s competition in Saskatchewan, we’re especially excited by the opportunity this tour provides to grow mixed doubles curling in the province.”
Mixed doubles is a comparatively newer form of curling that involves 2-person teams consisting of one male and one female. It was introduced as an Olympic event in PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018, where Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris captured gold, and has been growing in popularity ever since.
Due to scheduling priorities previously ascribed to 4-person men’s and women’s curling events, Saskatchewan’s mixed doubles events have been sporadic throughout previous years. The amalgamated SCT committee designed a competition schedule that provides more mixed doubles events with consistent competition throughout the season.
The amalgamated tour seeks to deliver high performance conditions to prepare Saskatchewan athletes to compete at national and international levels, but in a local setting.
“The majority of Saskatchewan’s curlers are amateur athletes who balance their passion for curling with their professional, educational and family priorities,” Christie Gamble, SCT President said.
“The SCT seeks to deliver high performance competition while minimizing some of the financial and time constraints typically associated with out-of-province events, enabling greater inclusivity and accessibility to our athletes.”
“CURLSASK is delighted by the formation of the Sask Curling Tour. We applaud the efforts of these athlete volunteers to deliver more competitions that help grow our sport and provide revenue-generating opportunities to locally-operated curling clubs, many of which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.”
At this time the tour is actively seeking corporate partners to help deliver the committee’s vision. Interested organizations may visit saskcurlingtour.ca for more information.