Swept away - Fort McMurray Today

Posted on 10/21/2011
Curling fans, get ready to rock the house at MacDonald Island Park. The 2013 Canadian Junior Curling Championships are coming to Fort McMurray.

Councillor and chair of the host committee Donald Scott made the announcement at MacDonald Island Park at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The event featuring 24 men's and women's teams from across the country will take place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10 with the winners going on to the 2013 World Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia.

"It's going to bring a lot of people to our region that are going to go away as ambassadors and I think it's going to be an opportunity to showcase our region," said Scott.

"We're going to have a lot of people coming to the community with their families; they're going to see that Fort McMurray is a great place, that we can host world-class events and then we're going to be sending those people back to their own communities so they can take the good-news story of Fort McMurray with them."

The CJCC was held earlier this year in Calgary and officials with the Canadian Curling Association made a side trip to Fort McMurray to view the facilities of MacIsland.

"We put together a great package; we were told that we did," said Scott. "I think we outshone the other communities as far as our bid package."

The bid committee was formed through a partnership with MacIsland and the Oilsands Curling Club. Plus, the package was enhanced with letters of support from Mayor Melissa Blake, MLA Guy Boutilier and MP Brian Jean.

The Oilsands Curling Club will host some of the draws with at least one of the CNRL Arenas at MacIsland being converted into a curling rink for the event. The 2013 CJCC will be nationally televised on TSN.

Some of most notable curlers in the country have participated in the junior championships, including 2010 Olympic gold medalists Kevin Martin and John Morris, 2006 gold medalist Brad Gushue and 2008 world champion Jennifer Jones.

Tyler Spitzer, president of the Oilsands Curling Club, said he thinks hosting a national event like the CJCC will help promote curling in the region.

"If you're bringing representation from every province and territory across Canada, and families that go with it and coverage that goes with it, there is no way you can't get excited about that and what it's going to do for the sport in our community," said Spitzer.

"It's absolutely going to grow it and that's what we want ยท promote the sport and grow the sport."

Spitzer also added that he expects that junior curling will receive an enrolment boost as the CJCC approaches, which is particularly valuable for the Oilsands Curling Club who have been trying to revive competitive junior curling in the region.

A delegation from the host committee will attend the 2012 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors set to take place in Napanee, Ont. in February.

"A delegation will go and be determining what we can learn from that experience and bringing it to our community," said Scott.
Fort McMurray will become the fifth city in Alberta to have hosted the CJCC, with Edmonton, Leduc, Calgary and Red Deer all serving as hosting cities in the past.


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