The Altona Curling Club will be a busy place during the Christmas break.
The Club will host CurlManitoba's Asham U18 Boys and Girls Provincial Championships from December 27th-31st under the guidance of Organizing Committee co-chairs Keith Stoesz and Quinn Hildebrand.
"We're super excited to show off our facility and give our junior curlers a chance to play at home," said Hildebrand. "We want them to be able to have their home fans in the crowd and from a club standpoint we're just excited to give them that opportunity."
Stoesz noted the U18's will be an easier event to host compared to the 2018 Provincial Junior Championships that featured 32 teams and Sunflower Gardens Arena in the Millennium Exhibition Centre was also transformed into four sheets of curling ice.
"There are fewer volunteers. You don't need timers and you only need four sheets so it's in the club. It's still something where we can bring people into the community and really show off our facility."
Even though the organizing committee needs fewer volunteers for the U18's, Hildebrand says they are a little bit concerned about the timing of the event but knows the community always steps up and rises to the occasion.
"We know it's a busy time of year following Christmas and just before New Years. We were able to do this event in the same time line with the U21's and I know we will step up and do it again."
The Altona Curling Club has hosted the 2004 Provincial Masters Women's Championship; the 2007 Provincial Senior Women's Championship; the 2011 Provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the 2014 Provincial Mixed Curling Championship; the 2015 Provincial Senior Men's Championship; the 2018 Provincial Junior Men's & Junior Women's Championships and soon the 2023 Provincial U18 Championships will be added to the list.
"I think it shows that CurlManitoba trusts us and we're going to run a world class event," Stoesz said. "It shows the commitment our volunteers have. Our community steps up to answer the bell when we need people. We love to show off our facility. That's why we built this facility 20 years ago so that we could have a place to bring people into the community and really show them what we can do in southern Manitoba."
The entry deadline for teams to register for the Asham U18 Boys and Girls Provincial Championships is December 1st.
The winners and finalists on New Year's Eve will qualify for the 2023 Canadian U18 Championships February 6th-11th in Timmins, Ontario.