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Saskatoon city council to look at helping curling clubs

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WATCH: Public health guidelines have brought many activities to a halt, raising the spectre of lost income for many clubs and teams – Jan 24, 2021

Saskatoon’s city council could examine how the city can help local curling clubs during the coronavirus pandemic.

A motion, proposed by Ward 4 Coun. Troy Davies, charges the city’s administration with meeting with “Saskatoon curling organizations to discuss potential policy options to ensure the long term financial and operating sustainability.”

Council is scheduled to discuss the proposal, which only commits the city to investigate the issue and commits no money or action to the project, during Monday’s city council meeting.

Read more: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan sports organizations turn to fundraising amid current restrictions

Dean Kleiter, the Sutherland Curling Club president, said he’s looking for any help.

He said the rink would normally be busy on a Sunday morning. But he was the only person there when Global News arrived for the interview.

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In a series of increasingly stringent public health guidelines implemented late last year, the provincial government shut down most sports in order to halt the alarming spread of COVID-19.

A few days later, Kleiter said, the Sutherland club leadership decided to remove the ice from its rink.

“We’re looking at ways we’re going to cut costs for the rest of the season, as well as needing to reimburse some fees to our members,” he said.

Read more: COVID-19 restrictions extended in Saskatchewan until Jan. 29

He estimated roughly 60 members, or 10 per cent of its membership, have left the club since the pandemic started.

The provincial government is scheduled to announce whether it will extend or lift the current restrictions at the end of the month, but Kleiter isn’t optimistic that the rink will be able to reopen.

“Depending on what happens on [January] 29th,” he said, “with the next round of announcements, we will probably shut down for the season and we’ll start planning towards next season.”

He said he hoped city council adopted the proposal, and eventually votes to help local rinks, so that the Sutherland club can break even on the year.

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“We just hope that the city will support everything we’re doing to make sure that we can continue for a long time.”

Davies was unavailable to provide a comment.