January 25, 2021

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Jamie Koe says no to curling playdowns, is not going to attend Brier

There is not going to be a battle of the Koe brothers at this yr’s Brier within the Calgary curling bubble.

Longtime Northwest Territories roller Jamie Koe, brother of Kevin Koe and Kerry Galusha, tells CBC Sports activities his workforce is withdrawing from their territorial playdowns attributable to considerations over dealing with suspension ought to they withdraw after committing to play within the occasion. 

“It’s with honest remorse that I want to inform the Northwest Territories Curling Affiliation (NWTCA) that my males’s curling workforce is formally withdrawing from the proposed NWT males’s curling championships tentatively scheduled for the tip of January 2021 (which is curling topic to approval by the NWT Well being Officers)” Koe wrote in a letter. 

The NWTCA has given groups till Jan. 12 to state their intention to play or withdraw — Koe says the territorial curling affiliation has mentioned that if his workforce have been to withdraw after that Jan. 12 date, they’d be sanctioned or suspended for a yr.

The boys’s three-team occasion is scheduled for Jan. 29. The occasion has not but been authorized by well being officers in N.W.T. 

“Sadly the potential sanctioning poses an excessive amount of danger to our workforce, doubtlessly stopping us from competing in future NWTCA occasions equivalent to combined, combined doubles or Brier playdowns,” Koe wrote to the affiliation.

“We really feel that the withdrawal of groups from these playdowns in an effort to keep away from sanctioning is limiting needed competitors on the territorial stage, the place COVID-19 is presently below management. Nonetheless the security of all gamers, officers and volunteers have to be paramount to any choice to compete.”

WATCH | Heroux, Jones breakdown Calgary curling bubble:

Devin Heroux is joined by six-time Scotties medallist Colleen Jones to debate the announcement of the Calgary curling bubble. 5:34

Brier mainstay

Koe has not missed a Brier since 2009 and has competed within the males’s nationwide championship 14 instances. In 2012, he led his workforce to the playoffs making his the primary workforce from Canada’s north to advance to the Brier playoffs. 

“We have been excited to compete and signify our sponsors in N.W.T. the place COVID-19 is presently and can hopefully be, below management,” Koe wrote. 

“The potential for not having the ability to compete not solely this season, but additionally the 2021-22 season could be devastating for us, who’ve represented N.W.T. with satisfaction at quite a few championships previously and are hopeful to signify N.W.T. once more.”

Considerations from curlers have been mounting as associations proceed to cancel playdowns and typically are deciding on final yr’s provincial and territorial champions.

To this point, just one jurisdiction in Canada has held an occasion — Nunavut performed a males’s two-team best-of-five occasion in Iqaluit this previous week.

Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, B.C., and N.S. have all cancelled their occasions. P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador in addition to New Brunswick are nonetheless hopeful they will maintain provincials on the finish of the month. 

There are six main curling occasions deliberate for the Calgary curling bubble beginning with the Scotties on Feb. 20. That may then lead into the lads’s nationwide championship starting of March 5.

Following these two occasions, the combined doubles championship will happen all resulting in the lads’s world curling championship, set to start in early April.

The ultimate two occasions held contained in the bubble embody two Grand Slam of Curling bonspiels.