It is with considerable regret that we, Murrayfield Curling Ltd, after consultation with Edinburgh Curling Club, have made the decision to suspend curling at Murrayfield until the end of December.
This decision became inevitable after full consideration of the details emanating from the Scottish Government’s announcement on Thursday 29th October.
For some weeks, we have been awaiting the outcome of lobbying of the Scottish Government by Scottish Curling with the assistance of SIRA (Scottish Ice Rink Association) to classify us as an indoor individual exercise activity, given the extensive efforts that we, along with all curling rinks in Scotland, have introduced to create as safe an environment as that required for individual adult exercise in gyms. To date we have not been successful and as result of the requirements of the Government’s Tier 3 conditions we as a sport are limited to group exercise for under 18s only. It is unfortunate for those members below the age of 18 that they are denied access, because self evidently the economics of running an ice rink for that age group only, are not sustainable.
Despite the hope that Edinburgh City, at the date of the next review on 9th November, may be reclassified as a Tier 2 local authority, which would remove the above over 18s restriction, there is no guarantee of that being the outcome. In any event, when taken along with the fact that travel from other local authority areas that we draw our membership from, with a higher Tier status, would not be allowed, it becomes enormously uncertain how many of our members would actually be able to curl. Waiting to see if matters would improve whilst continuing to incur costly levels of expenditure to maintain the ice is not a viable option and so we felt we had no option but to take the above decision.
Over the coming weeks, we will be evaluating the evolving situation with the possibility to start curling in January 2021 and we will advise you of our plans nearer that date. Those plans will be influenced by the willingness of Clubs to attempt to reschedule games already lost (and to be lost between now and December) and our ability to find ice times to match demand. We will be in touch with club secretaries over the coming days to discuss how they wish to proceed.
Norman Watt, Chairman, Murrayfield Curling Limited
John Hogarth, President, Edinburgh Curling Club