Letter: Decision to deny curling club grant short sighted

Sports tourism in general is considered to be a huge economic generator

Decision to deny curling club grant short sighted

I am stunned that Duncan city council did not grant the Duncan Curling Club the measly $10K grant they requested to help defray the cost of the repair of their ice machine after the catastrophic loss of revenues over the years of the pandemic. It is not as if there isn’t money left in the grant fund.

Coun. Tom Duncan even stated, “I imagine very few people use it…I can’t see how it would benefit the city…” Good Lord. Are you kidding me? The Glen Harper Curling Centre, or the Duncan Curling Club, is a going concern and has been since 1952. Named after a man who spent his life devoted to the sport of curling and to his community as a whole, this club brings huge economic benefit to the Cowichan Valley.

Similar to the Parksville Curling Club, it is estimated that it brings in hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in economic spin offs when people come from all over to attend special events and bonspiels. Visiting participants stay in local hotels, eat at restaurants and also shop in local stores. That would mean shopping in Duncan, eating in Duncan, staying in Duncan. Which equals supporting local Duncan business.

In 2017, the CVRD did a report on tournament incentives and the economic development benefits of sporting events. The report was conclusive in that the benefits were huge compared to the small amount the CVRD invests in sporting incentives. The facilities are built and 99 per cent of the work is volunteer. What have we got to lose? Nanaimo’s sporting economic impact, for instance, was calculated to be up to over $4 million yearly. Sports tourism in general is considered to be a huge economic generator.

It seems to me that the decision of council was short sighted, based on personal “feelings” and no fact finding whatsoever. Do your homework, Duncan.

Sharon Jackson