The National Wheelchair Curling Championships for 2022 and 2023 were awarded to the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre by Curling Canada.

While the nationals were scheduled for here this year, they were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Organizing committee chair Moose Gibson was happy to see them coming back to Moose Jaw.

“Curl Canada reached out to us and asked us if we’d like 2022, and then they came back and asked us (if we wanted) 2023 as well, and the board was all in favour of accepting their offer, so here we are.”

Curl Sask has been supportive of Moose Jaw as a host for big curling events like this.

“This championship will mark the second and third time respectively that the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship has been hosted in Saskatchewan and we are confident in the ability of host chairman Moose Gibson and his team; we know it will be a wonderful showcase for Canada’s best wheelchair curling teams," said Ashley Howard, executive director of Curl Sask in a media release.

Gibson, meanwhile, said it’s a piece of good news in a year where there hasn’t been much since March.

“This is sort of the first ray of hope for things turning around,” said Gibson. “I think it’s great for the city and I think it’s great for the curlers of Moose Jaw to be exposed to all these great athletes two years in a row throwing the rocks.”

Organizers will be putting in a lot of hours between now and the time the rocks are rolling. But he said it’s also about renewing friendships. But it’s also a great showcase for the local curling centre.

“We’ve had the national team come and have training sessions in the curling centre, so a lot of the nationally-ranked curlers are aware of what we have to offer,” Gibson said. “The seating on the second level is going to be nice. It’s going to be great exposure to Moose Jaw and area to the wheelchair curling sport. Regina hosted the Canadian championships in 2016, which Saskatchewan won. But it’s going to be a great opportunity for a lot of people to come to Moose Jaw for the first time.”

Curl Canada said that representatives from all 14 Member Associations are eligible to compete in Moose Jaw. The teams are separated into two pools of seven and compete in a six-game round-robin. The top team in each pool advances directly to the semifinals and the remaining teams crossover to play a qualification game. Winners of the semifinals games advance to the gold-medal game and the losers compete in the bronze-medal game.

The 2022 version of the nationals will be Feb. 21-to 26.

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