City wants Roseland board to revisit its decision to cancel the curling season

·3 min read

Curler Andrew Kuntz is "thrilled" to hear that the City of Windsor has asked Roseland Golf and Curling Club to reconsider its decision to cancel this year's curling season.

Kuntz, who has been curling for three decades and has spent 15 years on the ice at Roseland, was one of 65 curlers who stood outside the facility on Oct. 3 to protest the club's decision to cancel the season over safety concerns related to the pandemic. But following council's decision Monday, Kuntz said he and his fellow curlers are feeling "really optimistic" they'll be curling come November.

"After our rally and after we had tried to contact the board members just to let them know what curling meant to us, it was starting to slow down the momentum we had, so this reinvigorates us, having this new momentum," Kuntz said.

He added that a lot of them were looking at alternative ways to fill their winter, with everything from taking up a new sport to driving the distance to other curling clubs.

Following the rally, Roseland Club's chair Fred Francis, who is also the city councillor for Ward 1, said it was unlikely the decision would change.

But on Monday, Ward 10 Counc. Jim Morrison's motion for the city to ask the club's board to reconsider its earlier decision passed with six in favour and five against.

Francis was one of the councillors who voted against. He sits on the five-person board of the curling club along with councillors Gary Kashak and Kieran Mckenzie who both voted in favour of asking the board to reconsider.

"Outside of just safety measures there are additional items to consider," Francis told council. "Cost, revenue, how many people are going to play, how many people aren't going to play, so obviously Roseland is like any other small business and every small business in the city right now is affected by COVID-related measures and Roseland's no different."

Francis said it would be better if council asked for a report from the board so councillors can be more aware of what went into making the decision to cancel the season.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

But Morrison thought otherwise.

"Sometimes there is a need to revisit the decision, there is a lot of new information available now that may not have been available then," Morrison told council. "Curling will look different this winter and Curling Canada has laid out guidelines to follow. There has been strong support for curling both with curlers and with the general public."

Back in July, Curling Canada released a 29-page return-to-play document for all clubs across the country. Many modifications were made to the game, from new sweeping rules to on-ice player positioning, all in an effort to ensure player safety while allowing the game to continue — if clubs desired — in the midst of the pandemic.

Since the Roseland facility is city-owned, Kuntz said he doesn't think the curling board will keep the season cancelled.

For the board to give the go-ahead though, Kuntz thinks they'll need to implement certain safety protocols, such as:

  • Wearing masks.

  • Social distancing on the ice.

  • Maintenance and monitoring of equipment.

  • Cleaning protocols.

The board will revisit the decision on its Oct. 30 meeting.

The season would have started at the end of October and last until March.