Saskatchewan curlers will see one major change that will impact all curlers and clubs starting in the Fall of 2014. At the April 26th annual meeting, curling club delegates voted strongly in favor to change the long standing club affiliation process and move toward an individual membership method. Delegates approved the CURLSASK proposal that will require all curlers ages 12+ to pay an annual $10 per curler membership fee.
Not surprisingly it was a controversial issue. The topic sparked excellent conversations and exchanges of ideas at the special members’ session set aside for this topic. The discussion resumed again at the formal part of the AGM. After lots of back and forth concerning administrative concerns, worries over losing players and the future development plans for CURLSASK, clubs voted convincingly in favor of the new member rate structure.
Historically, clubs and by default, curlers affiliated with CURLSASK based on a formula of how many sheets of ice were in a club and the size of the community. While administratively simple to take care of, it was a flawed system in that curlers were paying a varied rate of $2-$14 per curler to affiliate based on their location. The fee was treated as a club expense and many of the 20,000+ member curlers never really ever knew that they belonged to CURLSASK. The new system will eliminate the affiliation expense for the club and in exchange the clubs will collect $10 fee from their curlers. Clubs will forward the funds and subsequent membership list(s) to CURLSASK to gain affiliated status.
CURLSASK is an organization that is committed to developing and promoting the sport for all curlers in the province. A long held perception is that the organization focuses primarily on the competition aspects of the sport. Certainly developing national and international caliber athletes is important for fans, media coverage and sponsor involvement. Providing results and facilitating webcasts & cable TV coverage for Saskatchewan Tour and Playdown events are very important undertakings. However, the longer term future success of the sport is dependent upon getting more youth involved at earlier ages, providing skills programs for all ages and levels of curling, introducing the sport to newcomers to the province and continuing to offer clubs opportunities to apply for grants, host events, clinics and CURLSASK programs.
To achieve these goals CURLSASK is targeting resources toward creating more programs, coaches, ice techs and instructors. Improving communication with clubs and promoting club events is also another important initiative that is now possible with the new CURLSASK website and social media tools.
Details on the administrative process will be forthcoming later this summer. In the meantime, clubs are encouraged to contact any of the Board of Directors or Staff Members with comments and questions. We are available all summer to discuss.