The Portage Curling Club is being injected with some youth this week. The U21 Junior Provincial Curling Championships kick off tonight in Portage. The manager of the curling club, Rae Trimble-Olson, says it'll be great to bring high-level curling back to the community.

"We're excited because the last two events were COVID cancelled, after a lot of work got put into them. So, we're hoping this goes ahead smoothly," Trimble-Olson explains. "It'll be nice to have a relatively normal event."

The 2022 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials, as well as the 4 Prairie Gold 2020 Curling Championships, were set to take place in Portage but had to be halted due to the pandemic. 

With COVID-19 on the back burner, Trimble-Olson says this should be a treat for the curling fans around town.

"A lot of these teams will move up, in the next year or two, to Viterra and the Scotties level. I imagine, if you look at some of the men's and women's teams in Manitoba, most of them were junior champions also. So, we hope to see some good curling."

The club manager notes there are ten men's teams involved and eleven women's squads. The action begins this evening with three draws a day until Saturday, when the championship takes place. 

Local squad, Team Olafson, will take the ice at this major tournament. Trimble-Olson says it's cool to have watched these kids' progression.

"Some of those kids started with our Little Rockers program, have done junior high, and are currently in the high school program, as well. Team Olafson has also been curling with our Monday night Men's League for the past three or four years. The Monday men have been good at helping them learn the game and strategies."

The opening draw for the U21 Junior Provincial Curling Championships goes down tonight at 7:30. For the list of draws and ticket prices, click here.