BY JOE PAVIA
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BY JOE PAVIA
Alberta skip Randy Ferbey laughs during the 2005 Brier at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Sunday March 6, 2005. Curling was a more social sport back then, Ferbey says. Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
Four-time world champion Randy Ferbey considers himself “the last of a dying breed” of curler.
The kind that would “go curl your game then go sit and visit with people and have a bunch of beers and stay up till midnight.”
“Teams don’t do that no more,” he said.
Elite curlers — those competing for an Olympic berth, for example — train more seriously nowadays as the sport becomes less social and more competitive.
“It’s not like it used to be. It was a much more social sport. It was a lot more fun to curl both on and off the ice,” said Ferbey.
Ferbey was in town this week to promote the Everest-Ferbey Pro Am that will take place in Digby, N.S., in April.
Ottawa is where he won one of his six Canadian championships, in 2001. The game has changed a lot since then, he said.
“(Teams) are spending their time in the gym which is good. I kind of get it,” he said. “I don’t begrudge them any bad things.”
He said he had the same conversation recently with another legend, Al Hackner.
“It’s not the way I would have done things back then,” he said.
Ferbey also got a look at how the directional broom controversy is affecting teams when he stopped in Oshawa on Sunday for the Slam.
“They are divided and I have never seen this ever before. Teams were friends and went out and had a drink together. That’s not happening no more. Everybody is calling these guys cheaters and these guys cheaters. And they use those brooms and we use these brooms but they’re doing the wrong thing and we are doing the right thing,” he said.
“It’s not good. It totally divided the teams. The CCA has to come in and take steps to correct this problem right now.”
He went on to say, “After talking to a few players, apparently it’s almost like you never miss. That’s not the way the game is meant to be played. When I played, you were wide you didn’t sweep. When you were narrow, you swept. When you were light you swept. When you were heavy you didn’t. And now you sweep to make them step. You sweep to make them curl. It’s not good for our game quite frankly.”
Because of the Brad Gushue incident, Ferbey is asked about helmet use. But he has a different take on their use. “Well we don’t need them, but we might need them cause there’s going to be fisticuffs out there.”
Ferbey thinks the junior ranks have also changed.
“They’re travelling with coaches and physiotherapists and psychology coaches. It kind of gotten ridiculous, you know.”
Ferbey wonders if the emphasis is right.
“Only one team is going to go the Olympics. I know it’s a great honour. You have to put things in perspective. You’re not going to have fun for four years because you might get a chance to represent Canada? Who is to say that because you socialize and have a bit of fun now it’s going to hurt your chances down the road? Which I don’t totally get. They are doing what they think they have to do I guess.”
Meanwhile, Ferbey will continue to champion the more relaxed Everest-Ferbey Pro Am. In its second year, it is aimed at seniors, whom Ferbey thinks are the backbone of many curling clubs. Players register to participate then take part in various competitions in their area. In March a draw is made to pick the seniors who will curl against Ferbey and guests.
Ferbey still curls in Edmonton in a Thursday men’s league and a Friday mixed league. Former teammate Dave Nedohin curls at the same club but in a Tuesday men’s league.
“I think he’s trying to avoid me,” Ferbey said. “He doesn’t want to go head to head against me.”
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BY JOE PAVIA
Nova Scotia skip Mary-Anne Arsenault. (Postmedia Network Files)
Five-time world champion Mary-Anne Arsenault says she’s “done” with curling if controversial new sweeping techniques are allowed to continue.
The Nova Scotia skip was annoyed after her experience at the Royal Lepage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic in Kemptville last weekend. Her displeasure about the use of “directional material” on broom pads and certain sweeping techniques caused her, as she put it, to rant to Curling Canada and others after the spiel.
Her team lost an A-side qualifier to a team that used the pads in question but did not turn the fabric inside out, as many teams have done. This is a stopgap measure until the World Curling Federation issues a ruling about the pads in question. Both the WCF and Curling Canada, who both have national and international tournaments occurring now, dictated that the Ice Pad material have to be used inside out. There has yet to be a universal ruling.
“If they were wide on a peel, the skip would yell, ‘Really has to curl’ and voila; a miss becomes a make,” Arsenault said.
“They switched brushes depending on whether it was a hit, draw, in-turn or outturn, using different pad coverings for different shots. The manipulation was very deliberate and well planned.”
The pads in question are not illegal. While there is a “gentlemen’s agreement” to turn the fabric inside out, no one is forced to nor can spiel organizers mandate it.
But Arsenault is fed up.
“In my humble opinion, if we all play with the integrity of the game as we know it at heart, it’ll be all good,” she said. “If the new paradigm includes these brushing techniques, I’m done.”
Indeed, the fabric of curling may be torn asunder if this issue is not put to bed. Some have gone so far as to suggest the brushing technique is akin to cheating.
According to reports from the Grand Slam in Nova Scotia last month, some women’s teams were reduced to tears from taunts by other players about their choice of brooms.
Arsenault likened it to “taking a knife to a gun fight. Anybody playing fairly has no chance against these directional fabrics when used in this manner. I truly hope that there will soon be definitive rules put in place regarding brushing. Without such rules our game is going to the dogs.”
Spiel organizers are also getting frustrated. At least one — who spoke to the Sun on the condition of anonymity — threatened to cancel his event if the issue doesn’t get resolved.
Back on the ice, meanwhile, the three A-side qualifiers in Kemptville ended up in the final. Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni lost a close one to Mississauga’s Jacqueline Harrison 8-6. Both teams use the Hardline brooms in question. Harrison, who did not turn the pads inside out, won $5,500 while the Swiss, who did turn them inside out, banked $3,000. Local squads did well. Rhonda Varnes and Jenn Hanna made the semis while Lauren Horton, Lauren Mann and Cassandra Lewin earned quarterfinal money.
Gatineau’s Jean-Michel Menard earned a berth in the Quebec men’s provincials Sunday by winning the Finale du circuit. He defeated Guy Hemmings 4-3.
FERBEY FOR SENIORS
Four time world champion Randy Ferbey will be in Ottawa Nov. 17 promoting the Everest-Ferbey National Pro Am, a tournament designed for club level senior curlers who qualify for the national through regional tournaments. He’ll be at the Ottawa beginning at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome.
A group of Scottish women who are curling their way through parts of Canada are in town this week. They are in Ottawa Nove. 12 and 13 at the RA and the Ottawa, respectively.
Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling begins tomorrow with the National in Oshawa. Sportsnet game coverage starts Thursday at 9 a.m.
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BY JOE PAVIA
Swiss skip Silvana Tirinzoni. (Postmedia Network Files)
They are the team to beat.
The Royal Lepage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic Nov. 5-8 in Kemptville features Team Silvana Tirinzoni, the Swiss squad that won the inaugural Tour Challenge in Newfoundland in September. That win plus their three playoff finishes this season have them sitting second behind Team Homan on the money list with just over $43,000 won.
They don’t get much of a break from curling. The team members all have morning part-time jobs then practise and work out in the afternoon and evening. “We really don’t have an off-season since we have ice in the summer from the beginning of June,” said Tirinzoni, a 36-year-old business development officer.
The team consists of third Manuela Siegrist, 25 (an economics student), second Esther Neuenschwander, 32, an accountant and another accountant lead Marlene Albrecht, 27.
They spend eight weeks in Canada.
“To be away from your family and friends all the time is not easy,” said Tirinzoni. “It’s a special life to spend so much time in hotel rooms and living out of a suitcase. But we love what we do. Canada has become our second home.”
This is all expensive. A quarter of their expenses come from the Swiss Curling Association. “The rest we have to come up by ourselves. There is always pressure to do well on events and win some money.”
They just came from the Masters in Nova Scotia where they earned $7,500 and next head to the National in Oshawa.
The Swiss will be facing lots of Sister Acts.
The tournament features a host of sisters either on the same team or potentially competing against one another. The Hanna sisters, Jenn and Stephanie, the 2007 event winners, bring their new team. The Toronto squad of Megan Balsdon features Jessica and Stephanie Corrado.
There are sister civil wars a brewing with two young skips — Celeste and Nicole Butler-Rohland. The other possibility is the Gannon sisters — Melissa and Kim on Team Varnes and Team Horton, respectively.
Tirinzoni will be tested by a number of teams including Lauren Horton’s rink that is fresh off their $4,000 win at the Broker Link OVCA Junior Superspiel. Mary-Anne Arsenault won $7,500 at the Masters. Marie-France Larouche is also in the hunt as is Lauren Mann with her Quebec Scotties squad. The defending champion, Cathy Auld, is returning.
This marks the 10th anniversary of the 24-team event, with action starting Thursday morning at 9:15. The finals are Sunday at 3:30 at the North Grenville Curling Club. Go to www.classic.ovca.com for info.
Lauren Horton, Kim Gannon, Lindsay Bell and Jessica Armstrong defeated Quebec’s Genevieve Laurier to capture their second consecutive Broker Link Junior Superspiel. On the men’s side, Scotland’s Bruce Mouat defeated Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone 7-4.
The World Curling Federation issued a statement recently indicating it would announce a decision regarding directional fabric broom heads by Nov. 8. Curling Canada has issued a statement to all the teams participating in the Canadian Mixed that they “must be able to “see” the “fabric weave” in any brush head fabric that will come into contact with the ice.” Curling Canada goes on to say this is an interim decision only applicable to the Mixed. The WFC’s pending broom head decision coincides with the opening day of the mixed in Toronto. Team Ontario is from Ottawa and consists of skip Mike McLean, Brit O’Neil, Andrew Denny-Petch and Karen Sagle.
The Pembroke Curling Centre is staging their Fall Spiel Nov. 20 to 22 with $5,000 in cash prizes. Contact Carl Zieroth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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BY JOE PAVIA
For Bruce Mouat, it was a bonspiel he’ll never forget.
After losing its first game at the Challenge Chateau Cartier in Buckingham, Que., the young Scottish rink surprised the field rattling off six straight victories to earn a spot in the semi-finals.
Mouat’s rink defeated teams from Denmark, Switzerland, China and seemed to have Ontario rink John Epping’s number by defeating him in both a B-side qualifier as well as the quarterfinals.
The Scottish rink finally lost 6-3 in the semis against Brad Gushue (Newfoundland rink), who went on to win the event.
Mouat’s rink travelled to Canada to gain experience by playing in Gatineau as well as the Broker Link OVCA Junior Superspiel. “We wanted to gain experience playing top class teams like John Epping and Brad Gushue. Lucky, we got to play them both. It was cool even to be on the same sheet,” said Mouat, 21, who captured the bronze medal in last year’s World Juniors.
The Scottish skip is currently studying festival and event management at Napier University in Edinburgh.
Unlike most young curlers the sport didn’t run in his family. After seeing Scotland’s Rhona Martin win gold at the 2002 Olympics, his father encouraged him to try the sport.
“I loved it from the get go. I started when I was seven and loved it ever since I stepped on the ice.”
His team is scattered amongst three cities making team dynamics tough. “We try to get together as much as possible. So we have a team training session every Wednesday.” They play every weekend, go to the gym twice a week and each practices on their own. British curling funds them while the Scottish Sports Association provides personal training and strength and conditioning coaches.
“They are funding us to come over here and compete at a high level … to hopefully grow the sport and expand it by providing good performances in the worlds and the Olympics.”
When asked which curler Mouat most admired growing up, he said Jeff Stoughton. “I thought he was awesome. I used to watch shots of his on YouTube.”
His other hero was David Murdoch. “Hopefully I can have people look up to me if I ever get that far.”
The Challenge results saw the quarterfinal runners-up as Guy Hemmings, Epping, Jia Liang Zang and Shawn Adams. Gushue went on to win the spiel by defeating Sarnia’s Mark Bice 6-1 (Bice defeated Adam Casey from P.E.I. in the other semi).
In the Open section Buckingham’s Roger Bertrand defended his title against Steven Munroe.
As for the Superspiel, the Scottish men hope to qualify.
“I know there are definitely strong competitors. We are not underestimating any of the Canadian teams.”
Mouat will be facing a formidable men’s field headed by Braden Calvert, the defending world champion from Manitoba.
American Korey Dropkin is back to defend his title. Another ’Tobin is here, Matt Dunstone, who has a world junior bronze medal. Add to that mix six provincial championship squads as well as Tyler Tardi from B.C. with his Canada Youth Olympics team and the weekend has the recipe for some great curling.
The women’s field features defending champ Lauren Horton of Almonte as well as three provincial titleholders and the U.S. standard bearer Cory Christensen.
Tournament action will take place at six clubs with the championships set for Sunday at 4 p.m. at Carleton Heights. Go to www.superspiel.ca for more info.
The Masters of Curling begins today from Truro, N.S. Sportsnet coverage starts on Thursday morning. Ottawa’s Team Homan is competing in it.
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Sportsnet Broadcast Schedule
*Note – As a part of a sublicensing agreement, CBC will broadcast the Men’s Quarter-Finals and Final. All Sportsnet broadcasts also available for streaming via Sportsnet.ca/live the Sportsnet App, and Rogers Anyplace TV™. Broadcast schedule subject to change.
Thursday, Oct. 29
· Round Robin, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
· Round Robin, 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
· Round Robin, 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
Friday, Oct. 30
· Round Robin, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
· Round Robin, 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
Saturday, Oct. 31
· Men’s Quarter-Finals, Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT (CBC)
· Women’s Quarter-Finals, 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
Sunday, Nov. 1
· Men’s and Women’s Semifinals, 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
· Men’s Final, Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT (CBC)
· Women’s Final, 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
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BY JOE PAVIA
Skip Sven Michel of Switzerland throws a rock during the fifth draw of the Syncrude Elite 10 Grand Slam of Curling event in Fort McMurray Alta. on Friday March 20, 2015. Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today/QMI Agency
“It’s a great spiel in a great place.”
So says Sven Michel, the Swiss skip who is returning to the Challenge Chateau Cartier de Gatineau. His rink is one of the elite teams competing in the $55,000 prize purse World Curling Tour this week at the Centre sportif Robert-Rochon.
There are a number of European teams in the area anxious to battle for big bucks. Niklas Edin from Sweden is one although the squad could be termed as a local team since they have been living in Ottawa all season. (They leave in November). That team is joined by Scotland’s David Murdoch and Rasmus Stierne from Denmark. Add two Chinese rinks and a young Bruce Mouat team from Scotland and you have lots for Canada’s elite rinks to tackle.
The elite homegrown rinks are the surging Brad Gushue, Team Canada — Pat Simmons with John Morris — Adam Casey from PEI and Shawn Adams from Nova Scotia with Ottawa athlete Craig Savill.
Spiel organizers do a fine job of keeping the athletes happy. For instance out of town players who stay with their hotel partner (Double Tree by Hilton) not only get a good rate but receive money towards a car rental. Another aspect of the event curlers like is the venue. “Arena ice is a big one, one of two spiels on the WCT that is held on arena ice. Players love our ice conditions.” said Rick Fagay, one of the organizers. “This is also a great warm up for the Masters Slam in Truro, Nava Scotia the weekend after.”
The tournament features the 32-team elite division and an open section. The elite section plays all their games at the arena beginning at 8:30 tomorrow morning. The open division begins Wednesday at 8 p.m., at the arena and in the Buckingham curling club.
To see some of the best curling in the National Capital Region this season go to the Centre. The admission is $5 per day and a $15 event pass is available.
There is plenty of controversy over so-called directional fabric brooms and really no solution in site. Maybe it is time for an independent organization to test all pads and see what one is the problem — if any. With accusations flying back and forth between Balance Plus and Hardline Curling and with no independent verification of allegations, this could go on a long time.
The Broker Link Junior Superspiel qualifier was held in Almonte on the weekend. Those teams advancing to the Oct. 30-Nov. 1 spiel are: Emma Wallingford, Doug Kee, Marie-Elaine Little, Peter Stranberg, Sierra Sutherland and Ryan Hahn.
You can now purchase mini ticket packs that cover both the opening and closing weekends at TD Place. Individual tickets for select round-robin draws go on sale Nov. 19 while playoff single draw tickets will be available on Jan. 7.
Local curlers Cheryl McBain and Layne Noble were inducted into the Governor Generals Curling Club last weekend”¦. Registration is now open for the OVCA Mixed Bonspiel Jan. 14-17. Returning teams are guaranteed a spot until Dec. 1. This year’s theme is “East Coast Kitchen Party.”
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by Joe Pavia
The organizers of the Challenge Chateau Cartier de Gatineau have a stellar cast of characters who will be fighting for their share of the $55,500 prize purse plus world ranking points. Among those attending are Brad Gushue, Scotland’s David Murdoch, Niklas Edin from Sweden, Pat Simmons and Jean-Michel Menard.
All in all the 32 elite division teams come from 7 provinces as well as Switzerland, Sweden, Scotland, the USA, Denmark and China. These elite rinks start sharp at 8:30 a.m. October 22. All these games as well as the October 25 at 3:30 p.m. championship games will be played at the Centre sportif Robert-Rochon.
The open division begins on October 21 at 8:00 p.m. with their matches at both the Centre and the Buckingham Curling Club. The open finals are at the same time as the elite final on October 25.
To see some of the best curling to take place in the National Capital Region this season go to the Centre. Admission is $5 per day and there is a $15 all event pass available at the door. Visit www.challengechateaucartier.com
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BY DANIEL AUSTIN, CALGARY SUN
At the end of the day, Rachel Homan’s curling season will likely be judged by how she and her team perform at a select number of big events.
The Scotties looms largest, obviously, but the Canada Cup and Grand Slam events will likely be the biggest barometers of the team’s success.
A little more than a month into the season, though, and Homan & Co. have already put together a run that would have most teams beaming when the snow starts melting next spring.
Saying they’re the hottest team on the tour doesn’t do them justice. The Ottawa-based foursome — which includes third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle — has already won two events and sits atop the WCT women’s money list with $42,254 in earnings.
That number would have been enough for Homan’s crew to finish fifth on the money list at the <italics> end <italics> of the 2014-15 season.
But with the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Classic set to kick off Friday morning at the Calgary Curling Club, no one around the Homan camp is resting on her laurels.
“I think this sport is always a game you’re constantly working at and (trying to) improve yourself,” said Homan, 26. “Everyone else is trying to do the same. The minute you think you’re No. 1, people are going to pass you.”
That’s the attitude that’s seen Homan’s team establish itself as one of the top women’s teams in the world over the past couple of curling seasons. They won the Scotties in both ’13 and ‘14 and went on to finish with a bronze at their first world championships and a silver at their second.
But with Olympic champion Jennifer Jones still at her peak and Valerie Sweeting’s Edmonton-based team emerging, Homan’s rink spent the summer hard at work both on and off the ice trying to gain whatever edge they can find heading into the season.
“The off-season is a lot of dry-land training, getting stronger in the gym and taking care of injuries and anything that’s happened during curling season,” Courtney said. “We’ve played three events and we’ve had a start that we’re happy with and a lot of good things are happening on the ice process-wise, but there’s a lot to improve on and it’s still early.”
This weekend’s bonspiel in Calgary will present another big test. Both Jones and Sweeting are in town for the event, as well as perennial contender Shannon Kleibrink and Stefanie Lawton. Homan opens the event Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. against Edmonton-based Jessie Kaufman.
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By Kevin Anderson, The Northern Times
The Kapuskasing Curling Club is facing financial hardship and desperately needs to increase membership by 20-30 members, or face the potential closing of the club.
This according to club executive member John Arnold, who recently spoke with The Times.
“We need to ensure the long-term stability of the club,” he said. “If we don’t get a bit higher membership than we have now, we may have to shut the club down. The situation is urgent.”
The club has been operating at a deficit for the last two years and coffers are running low.
“We’re getting close to insolvency,” said Arnold. “Hydro costs have gone up, maintenance costs are substantial and sagging membership is really hurting us.”
Arnold said historically, older members had been the backbone of the club, but with so many people choosing to winter in warmer climates (the club is even trying to create packages for those folks, who can’t commit to a full season), new members are needed.
“Look, we know curling isn’t for everybody, but we also know there are a lot of people, who have considered joining the club but for one reason or another have procrastinated in doing so,” said Arnold. “Well, if they’ve ever thought about it, now is the time.”
The Kapuskasing Curling Club has a long, rich history in the Model Town, having operated for 86 years since its establishment in 1929.
“I’ve been playing on and off, mostly on, since the early 1960s,” commented Arnold. “Curling has a very storied history in Northern Ontario and it would be a shame to see our club go because of a couple of off years”.
Arnold said curling is a sport unlike many others, combines athletics with social aspects, and is playable by people of all ages.
“We have our youngest members in our ‘Little Rocks’ group, right on up to seniors, who while the may not be able to get down in the hack and throw rocks anymore, can use one of the aids we have so that they can still participate,” he explained. “Anybody can play it. It doesn’t have to be a super physical sport and it’s not an expensive sport to play relative to a lot of others. It’s about having fun and getting together with friends”.
Registration for this curling season will be held on Oct. 18-23 at the Kapuskasing Curling Club. Regular league play is slated to being Oct. 25-30.
Furthermore, David Guay will be offering a clinic for prospective curlers at a cost of $50. Those interested can sign up for the clinic on registration day.
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TRAIN THE TRAINER!
Adult Learn to Curl
Even the best can use some instructing now and then…
The OVCA “Train the Trainer” session will assist your
Club’s ‘Learn to Curl’ coordinator to teach effectively
using the latest methods based on the Adult Learn to
When: Sunday, September 27th, 9 am
Where: Ottawa Curling Club
Register at: www.ottawvalleycurling.ca
Cost: $55 per person Registration Deadline is September 22nd.
Limited to two (2) coaches from each club until September 20th.
Registration fee includes course materials, morning coffee, lunch & instructor name tag.
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Vic Rauter’s Picks
2016 Brier Champion – Brad Gushue (St. John’s, NL)
I think it’s going to be a magical year for Brad Gushue. He will win the Brier and then go back next year as Team Canada when St John’s is named as Brier host in 2017.
2016 Scotties Champion – Val Sweeting (Edmonton, AB)
Val Sweeting will finally take the big step after losing last year in the final to Jennifer Jones. A full year with Lori Olson-Johns as her third will be big for this rink.
Men’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Brad Gushue (St. John’s, NL)
Team Gushue is always up early money and will play a lot again this season. My only question is whether he burns himself out, hurting his Brier chances.
Women’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Chelsea Carey (Edmonton, AB)
Throw stones and Carey On. Chelsea Carey, now skipping the team previously led by of Heather Nedohin, brings more bite to the team. She could give Sweeting a good run in Alberta.
Dream Mixed Doubles Pairing – John Morris and Joanne Courtney
Morris loves it and has the ability to throw up-weight while Courtney (Rachel Homan’s second) is arguably the best brusher in the women’s game right now. Also, Cathy Gauthier and Russ Howard. They would simply win because the other team would die laughing.
Cheryl Bernard’s Picks
2016 Brier Champion – Kevin Koe (Calgary, AB)
As a second year team I think they will have worked out a lot of the kinks that all new teams have. They have all the talent, just needed a year to find common ground with regards to style of play and timing. Not an easy route out of Alberta, but if they make it, I pick them at the Brier.
2016 Scotties Champion – Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg, MB)
You can’t argue with her track record at the Scotties. She has won it five times in the past 10 years and the years she didn’t win, she was in the playoffs. And the other important element is that she is guaranteed to be at the Scotties as Team Canada from last year.
Men’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Mike McEwen (Winnipeg, MB)
McEwen was the overall money winner in the 2014-15 season, making $172,500. They have been the No. 1 money winner four out of the past five years. You can’t argue with that type of consistency or talent.
Women’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Rachel Homan (Ottawa, ON)
Homan was the overall money winner last year with a total of $91,000 in winnings and now a second year under their belt with Joanne Courtney as their second will give this team the benefit of knowledge and experience as a unit.
Dream Mixed Doubles Pairing – Val Sweeting and Marc Kennedy
He can do it all and she is a clutch skip that can draw. They’re a perfect pair to win Canada another medal in curling.
Russ Howard’s Picks
2016 Brier Champion – Mike McEwen (Winnipeg, MB)
Finally, it is going to be Mike’s year. The new father will finally win Manitoba and the flood gates will open and he will win the Canadian Championship on his first try. They are the best all round team in the world right now.
2016 Scotties Champion – Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg, MB)
Now that Dawn McEwen has had the baby, the team will round into form for the Canadian Championship and defend their title. Amazingly enough, this team is still motivated, looking for a world championship.
Men’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Mike McEwen (Winnipeg, MB)
Team McEwen has been the top money winner two years in a row. There is no reason to believe they won’t repeat as they are extremely consistent at all four positions.
Women’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Rachel Homan (Ottawa, ON)
She is very motivated after last year’s disappointing Scotties. Emma Miskew has changed careers to dedicate more time to training which should only help this young team.
Dream Mixed Doubles Pairing – John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes
In mixed doubles you need a skip that can brush – John fits that bill. He’s a great team player, gets along with anyone and is not afraid to make the big shot. Kaitlyn is very similar. She has a great attitude as a team player, has all the shots and like John, the sweeping judgement is key for all the finesse shots required in mixed doubles.
Bob Weeks’ Picks
2016 Brier Champion – Mike McEwen (Winnipeg, MB)
This is finally the year that the team not only reaches the Brier but goes on to win it. They’re just too good and too hungry.
2016 Scotties Champion – Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg, MB)
Being Team Canada gives them a leg up on the field and when this team gets the Maple Leaf on its back, there’s no team better in the game.
Men’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, ON)
These guys will be rolling again this year after a solid WCT season a year ago and looking to improve on the $100,000 they won in 2014-15.
Women’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Rachel Homan (Ottawa, ON)
There are no better money players in the game today than the four on this squad. They are truly pros.
Dream Mixed Doubles Pairing – Marc Kennedy and Emma Miskew
Two of the best thirds in the game would be an awesome combination and a favourite for gold.
Cathy Gauthier’s Pick
2016 Brier Champion – Mike McEwen (Winnipeg, MB)
Mike and his team consistently perform well on the money tour and has been one of the best three for several years – just cannot get out of Manitoba. The arrival of the new baby will provide the all-important perspective (or sleep deprivation) needed to break through.
2016 Scotties Champion – Val Sweeting (Edmonton, AB)
She is consistently a Cool Hand Luke throwing the last rock. Getting as close as she did last year has shown her what they need to do as a team to take it that one notch higher. Team Sweeting will be one of the hardest working teams this year.
Men’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Mike McEwen (Winnipeg, MB)
They have figured out how to win at the highest of levels and this year should be no different. Team McEwen are being driven by the Olympic potential and there will be no change in focus in this season.
Women’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg, MB)
Jennifer will be close at the Scotties – she always is. The Scotties is one week but the season is a long one. Their incredible strengths throughout the lineup will generate a lot of high finishes and when Dawn rejoins the team when she is ready, look for an even bigger surge on the cash circuit.
Dream Mixed Doubles Pairing – Charley Thomas and Kalynn Park
There will be a big surge to mixed doubles now that it is an Olympic sport, but these two have worked hard at it and are very strong. I watched them in Sochi at the World Mixed Doubles in April of this year and was impressed on many levels. They are incredibly fit and have been great students of the European Mixed Doubles game in anticipation of the announcement of Olympic status.
TSN Curling Guru Bryan Mudryk’s Picks
2016 Brier Champion – Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, ON)
After last year’s disappointment in Calgary, Ryan Fry vowed to work even harder this season. He’s changed tactics and it’s paying off. Fry will actually drop his chin another inch closer to the ice this season ensuring chin burn and no broom missed. With the Brier returning to his home city of Ottawa, John Morris will win the Patch. Relegation or not, Jamie Koe will finish a close second.
2016 Scotties Champion – Stefanie Lawton (Saskatoon, SK)
Why not? She’s a lovely young lady and I bet none of my colleagues select her. Also, Saskatchewan will get a major event again eventually and this pick ensures me no line and no cover at the Patch. Rachel Homan wins best kitchen (Pinty’s) and Val Sweeting’s squad with best performance at a charity golf tournament this year. (It might have been mine, but never let facts ruin a good prediction).
Men’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Marc Kennedy (Calgary, AB)
During an event in Northern Manitoba, Marc will be scouted by a top European speedo model company and make $1.4 million alone this year. Vogue Magazine also has him in the running to be Mr. July in the “2016 Dreamboats of Curling.”
Women’s World Curling Tour Money Winner – Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg, MB)
Former World Champion. Olympic Gold. Scotties Champion. Married Lainger. The hits will keep on coming.
Dream Mixed Doubles Pairing – Kate Upton and Taylor Swift
We can all dream. Get them a broom.
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Annual FALL ROCK$ Novice
RCN (Navy) Curling Club
Sept 26th and 27th 2015
OVCA Colts Event #1
5 years and under – Open format
Any combination of male/female players
$ 260 entry fee
Maximum of 24 teams
3 games guaranteed
Additional Prizes to be won!
Finals on Sunday with lunch available for
Hosted by the RCN Evening Ladies Division in association with the OVCA Colts League
For information on rules, eligibility and to register visit http://www.coltscurling.ca/
or contact Denis Carter
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September 30th – October 3rd
ENTRY FEE: $320 per team
• First sixteen team entries accepted
• Four games guaranteed and cash prizes
• Snacks on Wednesday & Thursday night and Friday afternoon
• Meals for Friday night, Saturday lunch & dinner
• Tap Takeover featuring local breweries w/ Cask Beer Saturday
• Live music Friday night
• First two games options:
A) Game 1: Wed night Game 2: Thu night
B) Game 1: Wed night Game 2: Fri night
C) Game 1: Thu night Game 2: Fri night
D) Game 1: Fri 2:30pm Game 2: Fri night
Inquiries please contact email@example.com
Register and pay online at www.cityviewcurling.ca
Brian J. Kelly Matt Shillington Dan McGlinchey,
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Courtesy of the Cornwall Seaway News
© Adam Brazeau
Shorty Jenkins Classic chair Gord McCrady announced this week in Brockville the annual bonspiel that brings in names like Glenn Howard, Jeff Stoughton, and Brad Gushue will not be hosted at the Brockville Country Club because of a broken compressor.
The event, running Sept. 17 to 20, will instead be played at the Cornwall Curling Centre instead of Brockville, where it has found at home for the last 18 years.
“It’s an honour for us to even be considered,” said John Dilabio, a fixture at the Cornwall club. “They could have easily said they were going to go the other way and go to Kingston. But they needed a six-sheeter, and we have a six-sheeter.”
The six-sheet Cornwall club was built years ago to host just such an event, and Dilabio said local officials couldn’t be happier.
“There’s very few clubs that can say they have hosted a World Curling Tour event. So it’s huge,” he said.
Officials estimate the four-day bonspiel will result in as much as $500,000 in economic spinoffs for Cornwall.
And there’s also hope that the event could return to Cornwall in the future. The Brockville Recorder and Times reported this week that there is no guarantee the event will be hosted again in that city.
The newspaper added over the years the tournament has attracted Olympians and world-renowned competitors with the likes of Brad Jacobs and Rachel Homan, who can all call themselves Shorty Jenkins champions as well.
Dilabio said teams from Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain and here in North America will descend on Cornwall for the event.
Tickets will be made available to spectators who want to enjoy the bonspiel in person.
“Tickets will be sold at the door. But you will also be able to buy a pass for the weekend,” he said.
More information is expected to be released in the days ahead as local organizers get ramped up to host bonspiel.
Dilabio said CCC board members officially approved the decision to host the event at a meeting Tuesday night.
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CURLING: Broken compressor sends popular annual curling event down the highway to Cornwall this year
By Jonathon Brodie Brockville Recorder and Times
Sault St. Marie’s Brad Jacobs won’t be be able to seek his third straight AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic curling title in Brockville as the event has been moved to Cornwall because of ice making equipment issues at the Brockville Country Club. Former Shorty Jenkins champion Rachel Homan is to the left. (RECORDER AND TIMES FILE PHOTO)
After 18 years of some of the world’s best curlers coming to Brockville to compete in the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic, there is no certainty it will ever return home to where it all started.
Shorty Jenkins Classic chair Gord McCrady announced Tuesday the annual big-time bonspiel will not be hosted at the Brockville Country Club (BCC) because of a broken compressor at the facility. The event will instead be moving to Cornwall.
The event was expected to take place from September 17 to 20 at BCC and McCrady said he was notified about the broken compressor, which is about 50 years old, last Wednesday.
The estimated cost is $25,000 to $30,000 to replace the compressor.
McCrady said he would like to have the Shorty Jenkins tourney return to Brockville in 2016, but the decision is up to BCC. With the focus being on getting this year’s event running, there has been no talk about next year, he added.
Glenn Singleton, BCC general manager, said there was a plan in place to change the compressor after this year. The club is now looking to have the compressor replaced sooner, so the facility can still have a curling season. The ice wouldn’t be ready for Sept. 17, however, and it takes about two weeks for curling ice to be put into BCC.
Singleton said he would like to see the event return to the club.
“There are no concerns here (that the Shorty Jenkins Classics wouldn’t return to BCC), I hope that would happen,” Singleton said. “However, I haven’t been privy to any of the meetings with Cornwall, so I don’t know what has been discussed there about that. I would hope we would get it back again, for sure.”
The loss of the Shorty Jenkins Classic – at least for this year – might be a tough one for Brockville economically.
McCrady wasn’t sure how much money the tournament has generated for the community over the years, but he was sure more than 200 nights are booked at hotels each year when the event comes to town.
Last year the Shorty Jenkins Classic won the Chamber of Commerce tourism award. Staff at the Brockville Tourism office referred all questions about the Shorty Jenkins Classic to McCrady.
“Many of us who have been involved for 18 years feel sad for the City of Brockville, the hotels and the restaurants as well,” McCrady said. “It leaves a huge hole for them over four days. It wasn’t a very good week last week, I’ll say that.”
Over the years the tournament has attracted Olympians and world-renowned competitors with the likes of Brad Jacobs, Glenn Howard and Rachel Homan, who can all call themselves Shorty Jenkins champions as well.
Going forward, McCrady hangs onto a quote from Shorty Jenkins himself, “You do whatever is best for the curlers and don’t worry about anything else.”
“That’s what I’m doing now,” McCrady said. “I’m doing what’s best for the curlers by making sure this event runs in Cornwall.”
McCrady spoke with representatives from the World Curling Tour last week and they told him the loss of the Shorty Jenkins Classic on the schedule would be missed because of its popularity amongst the curlers.
The event also earns points this year for competitors that go towards the Olympic trials.
The board of directors at the Cornwall Curling Club (CCC) were expected to meet Tuesday night to approve the move of the Shorty Jenkins Classic to Cornwall.
McCrady said he has twice spoken with CCC committee members, “who are pretty excited about the possibility of the Shorty coming to Cornwall.”
There is a lot to get done if the event does move down the road to Cornwall on the logistics side of things, like the reprinting of posters and programs and finding new local sponsors.
“It’s not going to be an easy feat, let’s put it that way,” McCrady said. “It’s about an eight month preparation and planning to make it happen and we’re trying to do it in three weeks.”
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Courtesy of the China News
Beijing, together with the city of Zhangjiakou, will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Recently announced, the games are expected to foster a better understanding and appreciation of winter sports, especially among the nation’s youth, while also developing the popularity of these somewhat peripheral sports.
According to Sun Xuecai, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Sports Bureau, Beijing is preparing to establish professional figure skating, ice hockey and curling teams. The three teams will participate in the upcoming 13th National Winter Games in Xinjiang. When conditions are more favorable, short-track speed skating, speed skating and skiing teams will also be organized.
Thanks to the Winter Olympics, a group of winter events clubs and sports teams will also be formed gradually. The Winter Sports Management Center is being planned by the Beijing government.
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Sport to debut as medal discipline at 2018 Olympics
The Canadian Press
Former skip Jeff Stoughton was named Curling Canada’s mixed doubles program manager on Tuesday.
The three-time Tim Hortons Brier champion and two-time world champ will oversee several aspects of the program leading up to the sport’s debut as a medal discipline at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity and I truly appreciate Curling Canada’s support as we ramp up our chase for the mixed doubles gold medal in South Korea,” said Stoughton. “It’s an exciting way to play the game, and I know our country’s top players are eager to get involved and I want to be able to help in any way I can.”
Traditional curling involves teams of four players while mixed doubles teams have one male and one female. Mixed doubles teams also throw six stones in each end instead of eight.
‘Jeff has already been doing some terrific work behind the scenes to help build mixed doubles curling in Canada, and the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Classic is an example of that.’- Curling Canada high-performance director Gerry Peckham on Stoughton
Stoughton, who retired at the end of last season, started working with coaches and players earlier this summer in Edmonton.
He’ll also be involved in the Oct. 20-21 Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Classic in Portage la Prairie, Man., an inaugural competition sandwiched between traditional men’s and women’s events at the Portage Curling Club. It’s possible that many of Canada’s top players will participate in the mixed doubles as well.
“Jeff has already been doing some terrific work behind the scenes to help build mixed doubles curling in Canada, and the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Classic is an example of that,” Curling Canada high-performance director Gerry Peckham said in a release.
“Canad Inns and Portage have stepped up and are definitely on the radar for more events leading to how we determine our mixed doubles entry for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and I’m thrilled to have an individual of Jeff’s calibre, with his accompanying competitive background, on board as we pursue gold.”
Stoughton also has been working with Canada’s entries for the upcoming Audi quattro Winter Games New Zealand mixed doubles competition. Reigning national champions Charley Thomas and Kalynn Park of Calgary are entered along with 2014 champions Kim and Wayne Tuck of Strathroy, Ont.
“Kalynn and I had a chance to work with Jeff earlier this summer and truly enjoyed the experience,” said Thomas. “Jeff has an amazing resume, as we all know, and his experience and knowledge of the game will be a huge benefit to our mixed doubles program leading up to the 2018 Winter Olympics.”
The 2016 world mixed doubles championship is scheduled for April 16-23 in Karlstad, Sweden. The location and dates for the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials have not been finalized.
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y Ryan Pyette, The London Free Press
It starts next week.
It will feature, obviously, an international curling tournament, and of course, Canada will be well represented.
Kim Tuck, through her Canada Curling Stone family business in Lobo, recently sent some handles to the Kiwis so they could enjoy some roaring game fun on the other side of the world. She never, in a million years, believed she would be shipping herself, along with husband Wayne, to compete in a curling mixed doubles event there in what’s the middle of our summer.
“We’re going by the seat of our pants,” said Kim, one-half of the stone-chucking Tuck couple, who represent the Ilderton Curling Club. “We’re told to expect temperatures there between zero and 10 degrees (Celsius). It’s the furthest we’ve ever gone to curl and to a place I never expected to visit.”
There will be 12 rinks on hand, including the hosts, Japan, Australia, United States, Czech Republic, Korea and Finland. Curling Canada already had a team entered, but when offered a second berth, invited the 2014 national mixed doubles champs — the Tucks.
They will play at the Maniototo Curling Rink, which prides itself as being the only dedicated indoor curling facility in the southern hemisphere and the first with international and Olympic standard offerings. It’s in the historic central Otago borough of Naseby, which has been holding bonspiels for more years (145) than it has residents (around 100 these days).
Mixed doubles has been a rather obscure wing of the curling world. That could change.
Canada is just starting to wrap its head around throwing a few bucks at it, especially now that it has been accepted as a full-medal sport in the Olympics for 2018 in Pyeongchang, Korea.
“We found out late about this, had a week to fund-raise (over $5,000 for flight and hotel alone) and we relied on our friends, families and local companies to sponsor us (on gofundme.com),” Kim said. “We’re so lucky we had a great response.”
Curling in New Zealand sounds unconventional. But not quite as unique as this two-person version of the game.
In mixed doubles, teams use a six-rock system, rather than eight, and start off with one each already in play. The placement of that rock is determined by who has the hammer.
There is one male and female per team, with one person throwing first and fifth rocks per end, while the other throws the middle three.
It’s bent on being a higher-scoring affair, with the loss of hammer the penalty for a blanked end. It’s quicker, too, with each tilt lasting just over an hour.
And get this — the shooter has to sweep his or her own rock.
“When I first started playing it, I wasn’t a fan,” Kim said. “I was trained in four-person and had always sort of took on that cheerleader role, getting everybody up for the game. I found it (less social), being kind of lonely with no other teammates and you don’t talk as much (to the one you have) because you’re always moving and there isn’t time.
“It’s the same game, but in essence, it’s quite different.”
The Tucks haven’t turned exclusively to this brand. Wayne will play fours with Travis Fanset this fall while Kim is third for Londoner Caitlyn Romain.
But with mixed doubles heading to the big Olympic stage, it’s time to get more serious about it. The Tucks, as one of three teams to win a national title, have a legitimate shot at making the Canadian team.
“For the longest time, two players off the Canadian mixed (fours) team went to worlds to play mixed doubles,” Kim said, “but now that there’s a new point system being developed (leading to a Roar of the Rings style playoff down the road). They’ll start those points now, so this will be an important season to do well.
“We’ll see where mixed doubles is at and where funding goes and then decide whether we start focusing on that discipline alone.”
The long journey starts on the other side of the world, in the country where the movie trilogy “Lord of the Rings” was filmed.
They could end up, one day, at the world’s most famous five-ringed circus — the Olympics.
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WANT TO CURL THIS SUMMER? The Carleton Heights summer curling league is possibly looking to expand the summer league from 24 to a record of 30 teams this year (which is quite incredible in my opinion), but need 2 more teams to get to 30.Call the club for more info. The league begins Tuesday August 25
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Courtesy of the Times Colonist
So this is what one of the most recognizable, successful curlers on the planet does when he retires.
“Nah, I’ve been doing this for years,” said 2010 Olympic, 2008 world and four-time Brier champion Kevin Martin, referring to coaching girls softball. “I love it.”
He sure was enthusiastic about it on Thursday as Martin’s Edmonton Wild Warriors lost a 6-5 squeaker to the Delta Heat 2001 team as part of the 2015 Under-14 Girls Canadian Softball Jamboree, currently being conducted at the Helmcken-Centennial diamonds in View Royal.
The Wild Warriors looked much more relaxed than their opening 0-2 day on Wednesday.
“That was a heck of a game. They were really nervous to start,” said Martin, whose daughter Mykaela is part of the team that rebounded from a 5-0 deficit Thursday to force late heroics from the 4-0 Heat.
The Warriors had a right to be jittery, considering this is the first time Softball Alberta has allowed a team to the Softball Canada event.
Of course, Martin still handles curling colour commentary for Rogers Sportsnet and his involvement in sports remains true as he runs the Kevin Martin Summer Curling Academy at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton. The facility also houses his Kevin’s Rocks-n-Racquets store.
Last year was the final time he ran his prestigious annual junior bonspiel as the longer Grand Slam of Curling season has taken away his time involvement. The bonspiel was the largest event of its kind in the country and ran for 17 years.
Oh yeah, and he’s also one of 14 Canadian owners of the Desert Dunes golf course in Palm Springs where former Edmonton Oilers’ great Grant Fuhr is the director of golf.
“I get down there more now,” he said of spending a handful of weeks south of the border, now that he is retired from competing (in which he also won a whopping 18 Grand Slam titles).
Golf remains a big part of his life, especially when he visits Victoria.
“I’m too darn busy here though with all the ball,” he said. “My golf shoes are in the bag, though, so if I get a chance I might rent some clubs. Don’t tell anyone though.”
– See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/curling-great-kevin-martin-having-a-wild-time-on-the-diamond-1.2023677#sthash.V0tJw1Fq.dpuf
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Courtesy of the China Post
August 3, 2015, 12:02 am TWN
HARBIN, Heilongjiang — When Liu Jinli first heard the soft rumble of curling stones slipping over Chinese ice a decade ago, the sport was virtually unknown in the country.
But a few years later she won world championship gold with China’s national curling team, securing Beijing’s place as a major power in the sport first played in medieval Scotland.
China’s rapid rise up the curling ranks is part of a wider growth in winter sports promoted by the country’s authorities as Beijing pursued its successful bid to host the 2022 Olympics.
China only settled on an official name for curling — “ice kettle” — in 1995, and had no professional teams until 2001.
Taking up the game as a teenager in the northeastern city of Harbin, Liu said the players “used to make our own footwear.”
“At the very beginning, we would buy plastic shopping bags and put them over our shoes before going out on the ice,” she said. “We had about two brooms for every 10 people.”
Now, with the financial backing of China’s General Administration of Sports, the 26-year-old and her teammates train full time throughout the year.
In summer they retreat to the seaside resort of Qinhuangdao, some 270 kilometers (170 miles) from Beijing, to build their strength with a type of tough gymnastics called calisthenics.
“Curling is a gentle sport. It’s changed my life,” said Liu after grimacing her way through an afternoon weightlifting session under the watchful eye of coach Zhang Wei.
“I think the sport has really developed quickly … there has been a great leap,” said Zhang, a former ice hockey player who 20 years ago became the first Chinese curling coach, as he looked on with an icy expression.
‘Five gold flowers’
Games similar to ice hockey were played in China as early as the 17th century, but other winter sports are relatively new to the country.
China won its first Winter Olympic medals in 1992 and has since racked up 12 golds.
Curling got an unlikely start in China in the mid-1990s thanks to Japanese investors seeking to profit from their neighbor’s increasingly open economy.
An official from Japan’s snowy northern island of Hokkaido suggested the two countries “jointly develop the sport of curling in China,” according to the China sports administration website.
In a cold classroom in Harbin in 1995, coach Zhang recalled, Japanese curlers taught China’s first-ever class on the sport’s combination of precise stone throwing and tactical sweeping.
The deeply strategic sport sees athletes “throw,” or slide, heavy, circular granite stones across a long stretch of ice towards a target, with two sweepers wielding brooms rushing along the stone’s path in an attempt to influence its track without touching, or “burning,” the rock.
Icy nations such as Canada and Sweden have long dominated the sport, which secured an official Winter Olympic billing at Nagano in 1998.
But within a few years of the class in Harbin, Chinese teams were competing abroad, and officials “saw that we might be able to get good results in a relatively short time,” Zhang said.
Harbin city funded China’s first professional men’s team in 2001, hiring coaches from Canada to raise standards, but it was the women curlers — nicknamed the “five gold flowers” — who took the country’s first world title.
With the last strike of the 2009 final, captain Wang Bingyu carefully unleashed a perfectly paced and targeted shot that knocked out two Swedish scoring stones, secured gold for China — and triggered a blood-curdling scream of victory from one of her teammates.
The men’s squad scooped a bronze at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and both are currently ranked in the world’s top five.
Zhang said that curling was “very suitable for Asians, as Asians have flexible thinking.” But despite a population of almost 1.4 billion, China is thought to have just a few hundred curlers, almost no grassroots teams, and only three venues.
Government spending was key to the teams’ success, he said, and investment aimed at securing medals is expected to increase in the run-up to 2022.
“All the sports which China is promoting are government-sponsored sports, there is only a very small grassroots sports movement in China,” said Xu Guoqi, a Hong Kong-based professor and author of a book on China’s Olympic movement.
“In major Winter Olympic sports like skiing, China will have trouble because it will take ages to train the best athletes. But for curling, I guess within a few years you can do very well if you train players full time,” he added.
The next generation of Chinese curlers train at the Linxian Curling club in Harbin, where average daily temperatures plunge as low as minus 24 degrees Celsius in January.
“Most of the funding for curling comes from the government. No matter if it’s money for training, competitions, coaches or players, it’s the state which provides a guarantee,” said the school’s head Wang Jingang.
Conditions on their frozen training pitch are basic, with muddy footprints covering the ice, but the two dozen teenage curlers train for six hours a day.
“Curling is like chess on the ice,” said youth captain Zhang Zehong, 17, who said he hopes to “contribute to my motherland’s efforts” as part of the 2022 Olympic team competing on home territory.
“It tests your thinking, and ability to keep calm,” he said as the clunk of colliding stones echoed through the room.
Nearby, a banner next to a large Chinese flag read: “Health for the People, Glory in the Olympics.”
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Courtesy of the PostBuletin.com from Minnesota
MANKATO — Mankato Curling Club president Kim Rheaume doesn’t want to be an alarmist, but she admits this is a critical time in the 112-year history of the organization. Depending on how things play out, the curling club could thrive or it could cease to exist.
“This is definitely a pivotal moment for us,” Rheaume said. “If we can’t raise the funds we need, we won’t have curling in Mankato anymore.”
Curling has a long history in Mankato, dating back to the early 1900s. Until recently the program had about 200 active members who played regularly at the club’s facility — the Caledonia Community Center — nestled between Franklin Rogers Park and the Madison East Center.
How many active members the club has at the moment is debatable because the 2014-15 season was cancelled because of an inability to make ice.
The Caledonia Community Center is owned by the city and leased to the curling club. It has always been the responsibility of the club to maintain the building — including the ice plant.
Can’t make ice
The club’s woes began about three years ago when its three-part, ice-making apparatus began to break down. The club has worked desperately to keep it running, purchasing expensive replacement parts, but last January it became evident it just wasn’t going to work anymore and the curling season had to be canceled. The organization also had to cut short the 2013-14 season.
“It was kind of terrible this last season without curling,” said Russ Weingartz, a club member and former club president. “We curled one night a week down in Mapleton, but it’s not the same. When you don’t have your own ice, you lose a lot of membership, a lot of interest.”
Rheaume said the Band-Aid approach just isn’t sufficient with the ice plant anymore. The facility needs a new ice-making system that costs about $160,000.
Rheaume said club members are tapped out financially, having had to fund the repairs over the last three years. That’s why they’re looking for outside funds to try to keep it going.
“That’s not easy for us to do,” Rheaume said. “It’s a pride thing for us. We’ve been self-sufficient for 112 years, but now we need help.”
The club has approached the city to see if it would be willing to help, but so far, the answer has been no. Rheaume was told the best the city might be able to do is to make it part of the budget, but that could take five to six years and the organization doesn’t have that long.
The club has started a GoFundMe.com web page where it hopes to raise at least $50,000. It’s off to a slow start as the page has raised slightly more than $1,000 over the last five months.
The club recently applied for and has been granted tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization. The plan now is to try to hit some of the bigger businesses in town to see if they would be willing to make a tax-deductible donation.
“We’ve even gone to other curling clubs to see if they could help us out, but they’re all non-profits, too, so they don’t have any extra money they can give us,” Rheaume said. “We’re brainstorming to see if we can come up with other ideas, too.”
The club has also tried to get some insurance money for the ice plant, but Rheaume says the prospects don’t look good. Mankato curling has also applied for some grants but none have come through.
The curling club’s history is a rich one. According to a release on its website, the club has produced state and national champion curlers at both the adult and junior levels.
Its members have competed in Olympic Trials and World Championships and the facility has played host to several national-championship events including the USA Mixed National Championships in 2004, the Olympic Team Trial Challenge Round in 2005 and the USA Club National Championships in 2008, 2011 and 2012.
Those events are all in addition to the casual recreational opportunities the club provides its members throughout the winter months.
“I certainly think it can come back,” Weingartz said, if the necessary purchases and repairs are made. “We have everybody from 5-year-olds to 80-year-olds and people often leave and then come back to it. The biggest thing is we have to guarantee ice, and we haven’t been able to do that the last couple of years.”
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Courtesy ITV News
Former World Champion and Olympic silver medallist David Murdoch is launching a Youth Curling Foundation today in memory of his late father Matt.
The curler, from Lockerbie, says it’s aimed at helping and encouraging more young people to get involved with the sport his family is so passionate about.
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Council approves gymnastics facility in curling centre
The Curling and Crafts Centre will be home to a new gymnastics facility.
In the end, a narrow and hotly debated 4-3 vote will see the city move forward on the plan to lose four sheets of curling ice in favour of a top-notch gymnastics centre.
The initial proposal came before council during its regular June 29 meeting, during which both clubs pleaded their case: the gymnastics club searching for more space for safety and the ability to host competitions, while the curling club believe less ice would be detrimental to the growth of the sport. With not enough information or time to make a decision, council directed administration to bring back a report for the July meeting, detailing the feasibility of a shared space between the gymnastics and curling club, working in consultation with both clubs’ executives and council.
City director of community services Kevin Lucas presented the report to council, beginning by citing to council that their established strategic plan called for all city departments to look for ways to maximize the use of city facilities, identify cost-saving measures, and any opportunities for increasing revenue streams.
“By allowing the gymnastics club into this facility, the City of Wetaskiwin could potentially see a gain in revenue of over $30,000 in 2016 and a reduction in operating expenses of $10,000,” stated Lucas. “Environmentally, this will also reduce our carbon footprint by reducing the number of sheets of ice.”
Lucas said both groups are looking to grow; the gymnastics club has far outgrown its current facility and the curling club has indicated growth in future membership, but could face a complete collapse should only four sheets be offered.
“For the city, it is not every day we have a community group ready to invest $80,000 into a city facility with the anticipation to be a tenant for the duration of the building,” pointed out Lucas.
“Having heard from both groups, both positives and negatives about the project have been voiced. While most recreation in communities is subsidized by the municipality in varying degrees we must be comfortable that all users groups are being treated fairly.
“It is our opinion that the Curling Club could exist and even grow substantially with a four-sheet surface. We also believe, as evidenced by what is done in other communities, that it is possible to host bonspiels on four sheets, although admittedly the draws would have to start earlier and end later.”
Mayor Bill Elliot expressed concern that, should council approve the facility for gymnastics, only three months until the start of the curling season would be unfair to the curling club to reorganize its affairs.
“I don’t think we would do it to minor hockey, the ball players, or figure skaters,” said Elliot. “It’s too late in the year to make this decision and we need to give the curling association a chance to come up with a strategic plan … I think to kick somebody out three months before their season and not give fair warning — I just find that difficult.”
Coun. Patricia MacQuarrie argued that the characterization of kicking someone out of their house was unfair.
“What we’re looking at is providing space for two user groups in the community to have the ability to grow,” she explained. “When we talk about maximizing our facility space, I see this as a step forward in providing facilities to more users in our community.”
Coun. June Boyda pointed out that both city and curling club documents seem to state the curling club would still be feasible with a loss of four sheets, though it may have to heavily modify how it operates.
“I think three months is enough time to rearrange schedules to modify to fit into just four sheets,” said Boyda, adding the club’s anticipated growth might put them at near capacity on four sheets. “To me, we’re wasting city space and taxpayer dollars to fund a group that could fit on four sheets of ice, so I think this move would be of benefit to both groups.”
Coun. Joe Branco frankly stated no matter what decision came out of the vote, council “is screwed.”
“I’m along the same lines as Coun. Boyda,” added Coun. Wayne Neilson. He noted the curling club’s schedule highlighted 22 hours set aside for school curling per week, totalling about 400 hours per season, although the report only shows between 50-70 hours of school time.
“If that information is correct, it’s just sitting there when it could be booked up by schools, sitting there idle,” said Neilson. “I would be in favour of trying to maximize the use of the building and giving both groups a chance to grow their sports.”
Elliot noted the city subsidizes many recreation programs.
“My thought is if we close something down, we’ll never get it back and that’s my biggest worry,” he added. “If we are trying to grow our community… yes we have all these young people in gymnastics, there are 600 of you, but at the same time, curling has been an institution in Wetaskiwin as well.
“To create an ‘us versus them’ or ‘curling versus gymnastics’ was never the intent of what council is trying to do. No matter what we do, half the people in this room won’t be happy with us.”
Council accepted the presentation from Lucas as information and MacQuarrie followed that with a motion to direct administration to remove four sheets of ice from the Wetaskiwin Curling Rink to accommodate the Wetaskiwin Gymnastics Club, who will renovate the Southeast portion of the rink for the Gymnastics Club’s use, to be done at the Gymnastic Club’s expense, and for administration to work together with both user groups to enter into agreements for this purpose.
The motion passed 4-3, with Councillors MacQuarrie, Branco, Boyda, and Wayne Neilson voting in favour. Mayor Elliot, Councillors Tyler Gandam and Bert Horvey voted against.
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Courtesy of Nova News Now>
Barb McKennaPublished on July 21, 2015
LIVERPOOL – It should be celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, but instead, the Liverpool Curling Club may be shutting its doors due to lack of membership.
John Armstong is president of the club. He says the organization’s remaining 30 members are struggling to figure out ways to open this fall, but the prospects are looking bleak.
“We just haven’t got enough members,” says Armstrong. “Last year we had 30 seniors, and the operating costs are $40 thousand a year.”
Armstrong says the club could survive if it had between 60 and 100 members, and possibly a little help from the Region of Queens Municipality.
The remaining members are currently undertaking a membership drive, trying to attract new and former members to the club.
“We have a list of all the old members that belonged they’re all going to get a phone call to find out if they’re interested,” he says. “If they’re not interested, why they are no longer interested, to see if there’s things that we can do to make them interested.”
To make matters worse, he says, the club has been slapped with a $900 electric bill for a twenty-day period when the club wasn’t even operating. Members are now trying to figure out of there is an electricity leak somewhere.
The club is asking the Region of Queens Municipality for help, not for cash, but perhaps forgiving the water bill or taking over the snow plowing in winter.
“We’re already in the process of having and meeting and going before them and trying to decide do you want to be the only community of this size in Nova Scotia that doesn’t have a curling club?”
The club is also hoping for some help from the Emera Centre.
“They have qualified people at the Emera Centre,” he says. “We have to pay a fee now to when you set the ammonia in motion, you have to have a certified licenced person to oversee that procedure for safety purposes, so we’ll ask them for maybe possibly your people could come over.”
Currently, that service is performed – for a fee – by a refrigeration company in Kentville.
The club also has a committee looking into how other curling clubs, like those in Barrington and Digby, manage to stay open.
The club does rent out its premises to groups and organizations, but Armstrong says it’s looking for ideas from the public for more uses for the facility when curling is not in season.
And, he says, people who take up a membership would probably not regret the decision.
“We had six new members this year, all six were retired people who just moved into the area. It’s a place for them to meet people and get acquainted. I think it would be sorely missed,” he says.
“It is a place where not only do you go to go to curl, there are social events on weekends and night times it can be a viable place for both curling and sociable things.”
He says the 30 current members of the club are becoming burnt out, not only with maintaining the building, but with constant volunteer fundraising and trying to attract more members.
The club is hoping to meet with the region soon to ask for some short -term assistance.
Without it, he says, he is not optimistic.
“Without municipal help it doesn’t look good.”
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Courtesy of the Winnipeg Free Press
Canadian curling championships’ experiment with a pre-qualifying round will be short-lived, as Curling Canada announced it will ditch the format after this Olympic quad is done.
The changes, announced on Monday, mean that starting in 2018, Scotties and Brier teams from lower-ranked jurisdictions will no longer have to compete in a pre-tournament battle to make the main draw. That format was introduced only this year at the Scotties, which saw Northern Ontario’s Tracy Horgan move on over the Northwest Territories’s Kerry Galusha and Yukon’s Sarah Koltun; and at the Brier, where Prince Edward Island’s Adam Casey moved past rinks from Nova Scotia and Yukon.
The format was introduced to accommodate expanding to include teams from Northern Ontario for women and Team Canada for men, but it was widely panned by players. At the Scotties, players who competed in the pre-qualifying round expressed frustration at travelling to the tournament only to risk elimination before it had truly begun; and some players from teams already on the main draw asserted they thought the tournament could absorb an expanded draw, or apply other qualifying metrics to prevent the awkward added competition.
In response, Canada Curling agreed to eliminate the format at its annual general meeting, which ended last Friday in Collingwood, Ont. The pre-qualifying round will be retained for 2016 and 2017 “to remain consistent during the Olympic quadrennial,” Curling Canada said in a statement, but will be ditched after the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The new format, which will be fine-tuned in the coming years, will feature champions from all 14 member associations, with a potential of adding other teams.
The national curling association also announced it would eliminate age restrictions on all Brier and Scotties playdowns, to bring curling in line with World Curling Federation and Olympic rules.
Finally, Curling Canada also unveiled a new residency policy. The new policy allows teams to have just one non-resident outside of the jurisdiction they are representing, while the other three players will be subject to stricter proof-of-residency rules. This change too comes after years of rumblings from within the curling community.
“We’re ready to do our part for the integrity of the game,” Mike McEwen said in a statement. “We understand the thought process that went into this decision, and we know it wasn’t an easy decision, but we believe it was the right one and we will do what we can to help Curling Canada and the Member Associations make it work.”
Finally, longtime Winnipeg curling leader Resby Coutts was elected to the Curling Canada board on a four-year term. Curling Canada also announced that Saskatchewan earned the MA Cup, awarded to the member association with the best average finish at each of eight national championships, while Quebec won the Governor’s Cup for best total improvement from the previous season.
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Curling clubs sought 5-year exemption
courtesy CBC Regina
Two Regina curling clubs have been given a two-year break on the municipal portion of their property taxes.
The value of the exemption, which was passed by city council Monday night, was pegged at $27,306 per year and breaks down (per year) to $16,608 for the Tartan club and $10,698 for the Highland.
The Tartan and Highland clubs were seeking a five-year exemption on their full property taxes (municipal, education and library), noting they are non-profit organizations that have seen increases on their assessments.
The partial tax break, for a shorter period of time, was somewhat of a disappointment to some in the curling community.
“I guess it’s bittersweet,” Derek Boes, president of the Highland club, said after the meeting. “It looked like we were going to get the full exemption for the two years and we were pretty close to the finish line on that and we were just getting ready to get get up and clap and then the amendment came on and there was a little bit of a takeaway at the end where we lost a little bit. So maybe a little bit bitter, but so at least now we know and we can move forward.”
According to materials presented to council, the Highland’s property tax bill was about $11,000 in 2012, and is just under $19,000 for 2015 ($10,698 for the municipal portion, $7,177 for education and $1,079 for the library).
The Tartan Curling Club has seen its tax bill go to $30,000 from $10,000 in just three years. In a presentation to council, the club said it has been running a deficit and was asking for a five-year tax break on its curling rink at 1464 Broadway Avenue.
Prior to the Monday night meeting of council, city officials were recommending no tax break.
“We were struggling financially when our annual property tax was $10,000,” a letter from the Tartan to the city said. “The recent increase to $30,000 might just guarantee our demise.”
Alan Bratt is general manager at the Tartan.
“We want to stay part of the community. We don’t want to disappear,” Bratt said Monday prior to the council meeting. “I plan to keep this place going, but it would be a hell of a lot easier if I didn’t have that extra burden that is unfair.”
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Curling Canada is going through quite the change this year with both Greg Stremlaw (CEO) and Warren Hansen ( 42 year employee and events manager) leaving – the former to seek new challenges and the latter to retire.
Folks involved in curling events have plenty of stories about Hansen both positive and negative. Locally here in Ottawa volunteers involved in the 2001 Nokia Brier blame him for causing that Brier to be one of the few in history that lost money. Ottawa curlers had nothing to show for all their efforts.
As a first time Brier volunteer at that time I was in charge of the media bench and helped with the marketing of the event. Full disclosure: I questioned some of the marketing strategies Hansen and his full time marketing people came up with with regards to purchasing television time to advertise the event.
I also saw first hand how the head honcho of the event could at times ride rough shod over his staff ensuring they were supposed to be where they were needed at all times.
In the grand scheme of things however one thing was apparent. Hansen knew what had to be done to make sure the event worked and made money. Indeed the Brier was (and is in many ways) the cash cow for the then CCA. Over and above that he oversaw the collection of sponsorship money that made Canadian curling one of this country’s models to sports governing bodies.
As times change Hansen also was not blind to the fact that Curling Canada’s events suffered from attendance drop offs that were more a sign of the times than poor products.
How his colleagues handle the entire relegation question will determine how goes the event business and the money they generate.
Hansen has already signalled that smaller venues are the way to go and the imminent announcement of the Brier travelling to St. John’s, Newfoundland, will seal that direction.
His hand was also felt in last week’s announcement that mixed doubles will become a medal sport in Korea. He worked that format into the Continental Cup from the beginning because he understood what the folks who run the Olympics were looking for with regards to new sports. Like the format or not it is a medal nevertheless.
From the stand point of a lowly volunteer to someone who has had accreditation to events he ran, Hansen always had time for me and even laughed at my jokes!
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Courtesy of the Toronto Star
Amid grumbling that the format isn’t legit, Canadian executives are thrilled that the two-a-side game will be played at the 2018 Winter Games.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee announced mixed doubles curlingwould join the schedule for the 2018 Winter Games, and the new event figured to boost Canada’s medal count.
After all, of the 10 total gold medals awarded in men’s and women’s curling since 1998,five have gone to Canadian rinks. Putting men and women on the same team would only strengthen Canada’s stranglehold on the event.
Curling experts emphasize that mixed doubles is a related but distinct event, with different rules, lineups and strategies than traditional curling. And while top curlers dabble in mixed doubles, Olympic champs such as Brad Jacobs and Kaitlyn Lawes rarely play it. The world championship in mixed doubles curling has been contested eight times and Canada has medalled just once, beaten out by curling minnows such as Hungary, Spain and New Zealand.
Curling Canada communications director Allen Cameron says that because the sport is new and evolving, it’s difficult to handicap and easy for the IOC to embrace.
“It touches nations that are non-traditional and that was an appeal to the IOC,” Cameron said.
The mixed doubles format was born in 2002 as a TV-friendly element of curling’s Continental Cup. Instead of using four players of the same sex, teams use one man and one woman, and the person throwing the stone also has to help sweep.
While traditional curling matches span 10 ends, mixed doubles teams play eight. And instead of eight stones per end, each team throws five. Two more rocks are put in place at the beginning of each end, ensuring more scoring. Curlers can’t knock a competitor’s rocks from the circle until at least three rocks have been thrown.
“There are a ton of rocks in play,” says Paul Webster, a national coach with Curling Canada. “A lot of big ends. It lends itself to a lot of scoring.”
The result, Cameron says, is a faster-paced game that is to traditional curling what Rugby Sevens is to Rugby Union — the same sport, just sped up and condensed and better suited to attract fans unfamiliar with the sport. While four-a-side curling contests last more than two hours, most mixed-doubles matches wrap up within 90 minutes.
But for some die-hard curling fans, mixed doubles isn’t an exciting complement to the four-a-side game.
It’s a sideshow.
“Mixed Doubles Curling is the equivalent of putting a home run derby in the Olympics,” posted Twitter user @matthew_bremner.
Webster and Cameron both acknowledge traditionalists won’t adopt the mixed doubles game quickly as the IOC has, but they say inclusion in the Olympics will help mixed doubles curling win legitimacy among fans and players. At the mass participation level, they say traditional curling still dominates mixed doubles, and among elite players the four-a-side game still takes precedent.
Toronto Curling Association president Hugh Murphy estimates that among the roughly 15,000 players registered in its member clubs, about 400 play mixed doubles. He says clubs haven’t emphasized the two-a-side game, because traditional curling allows them to accommodate more players at once.
“I wouldn’t say it isn’t popular, but it isn’t as exposed,” Murphy said. “But it’s also on the rise.”
Murphy says mixed doubles leagues and bonspiels are increasingly common locally. And observers agree the prospect of an Olympic medal will inspire top players from traditional curling to attempt the transition to mixed-doubles.
“I’m optimistic our top players are going to embrace this because of the Olympic angle,” Cameron said. “Once people see it in PyeongChang (South , it’s going to take off.”
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courtesy The Sports Blog
Curling is more exciting than soccer!
Curling is more exciting than soccer! Yeah I said it, curling where people push stones on ice is more interesting and fun to watch than soccer is to me. Now of course curling is probably the 2nd most boring sport there is but it is better than soccer.
I will say soccer is excellent exercise for young people and that is its only redeeming factor. I know soccer is a very popular sport especially in foreign countries but to me it’s very boring. I never understood how people could get so mad that they would kill each other over soccer in riots.
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BY NATASCIA LYPNY, REGINA LEADER-POST
REGINA — Two Regina curling clubs are on thin ice with their finances, and they’re not getting the help they’d like from the City of Regina.
On Tuesday, the city’s finance and administration committee voted to deny tax exemptions for the Tartan Curling Club Co-operative and the Highland Curling Club.
The not-for-profit clubs say they are at a disadvantage with other curling and sporting organizations across the province that operate out of municipal buildings, and therefore are often exempt from property tax.
Both clubs faced skyrocketed tax assessments. The Tartan’s assessment jumped to $1.34 million in 2015 from $312,000 in 2012. That means, through a phased-in tax increase, the club will pay $29,400 in taxes this year — nearly triple what it paid in 2012.
The Highland saw its assessment leap to almost $867,000 from $345,000 in the same time period, with its property taxes increasing to nearly $19,000 from $11,300.
“I think the big thing is to be fair,” said Tartan treasurer Ken Dishaw. “We’re in trouble financially.”
City administration recommended denying the clubs’ request because there isn’t a policy for providing tax exemptions or reduced taxes to not-for-profit organizations or recreational groups.
But that’s the case for the Caledonian Curling Club. The organization signed a 99-year lease agreement with the city in 1978, under which it would receive tax-exempt land in return for financing the construction, operation and maintenance of a facility there. The city was also provided use of the building as a clubhouse for the Craig Golf Course from May to October.
“At the time, this would have been a win-win arrangement,” said Don Barr, the city’s director of assessment, tax and real estate.
Despite the golf course shutting down, the arrangement stands. Barr said a re-evaluation of the lease would require both parties to agree on new terms.
“It is what it is,” said Dishaw of Caledonian’s agreement, making it clear he doesn’t want that club to lose its tax exemption.
“They signed that lease, but the net result is we have to add $30,000 to our membership fees, and we’re in competition with the Callie (club) for members.”
Both clubs are now in the red: The Tartan suffered a $74,700 deficit in the 2014 fiscal year; the Highland, $16,750.
“We’re running losses right now, and if we don’t turn that around, we’ll have to close down,” said Dishaw.
Travis Netterfield, general manager of Highland, said the club can’t compensate for the increased taxes through membership fees alone — although they have been hiked at both clubs — for fear of scaring curlers away.
Capital improvements at both buildings have been put off and programming might suffer, the groups say. The clubs have also been trying to book out their spaces during the off-season.
Instead of tax exemptions, the city encourages not-for-profits to apply for community grants. Curl Regina Inc. received a $10,000 general grant and $6,000 for specific programs from the city this year, which is shared among clubs. Netterfield, though, said it’s not enough.
Coun. Barbara Young, a finance committee member, agreed.
“I think grants might be helpful, but I don’t think we have enough money in the grant pot to give all of these community organizations that do great work in the community,” she said.
On Tuesday, Young proposed providing a tax exemption to the clubs for one to three years, until they can balance their budgets.
“I don’t want to see local curling clubs go under,” she said. “I don’t want to see seniors’ and children’s programs have to disappear in curling.”
The requests are going before city council on June 22, where Netterfield and Dishaw hope they’ll have another shot to make their arguments.
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courtesy of the Charlotte Observer
note: Jamie is from Manotick and holds dual US and Canadian citizenship.
Jamie Sinclair, a member of the Charlotte Curling Association, has been selected to USA Curling’s High Performance Team for 2015-16. She also was part of the program in 2014-15.
Sinclair was selected based on her performance at a combine May 16-19 at USA Curling’s National Training Center in Blaine, Minn. Athletes were assessed on technical, tactical, physical and mental skills on and off the ice.
Sinclair will now attend a training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., as well as additional camps this summer to prepare for the season.
“The opportunity to play at the highest level is something I take very seriously,” Sinclair said Wednesday. “I am truly thankful, and could not be more excited to get this season underway and pursue my dream of competing at the Olympics.”
Sinclair was on the Carleton Ravens team that won the Canadian National Women’s University Championship in 2014. She lives and trains in Ottawa, Canada. Her long-time association with the Charlotte Curling Association has been mutually beneficial.
“The CCA embraced me very early in my curling career,” she said. “It was the first U.S. club where I played, and I felt immediately at home. The people, energy and enthusiasm of the Charlotte Club makes it a joy to come back to participate in (tournaments) and help out.”
“Jamie is an important part of the Charlotte Curling Association family,” club president Steve McKee said. “She visits on a regular basis and has been instrumental in helping our group of curlers become better. We have enjoyed watching her compete on the international stage and offer our support as she trains in hopes of making the 2018 Olympic team.”
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courtesy of Grand Forks Herald
A district judge erred in dismissing a man’s claim his membership to the Grand Forks Curling Club was improperly terminated.
In a ruling released today, the North Dakota Supreme Court said membership requirements under state law do not apply to a member’s individual action against a nonprofit corporation.
Justices reversed a Grand Forks District Court decision against C.T. Marhula and remanded the case for findings of merit of his claim against the club.
In 2012, the Grand Forks Curling Club expelled Marhula, who filed a lawsuit the following year and claimed his membership had been improperly terminated following disagreements he had with the club’s board over where to rebuild and relocate the its building, according to court documents.
The club asserted Marhula, who joined the club in the mid-1990s, didn’t meet statutory requirements to properly challenge the termination.
District Court Judge Jon Jensen sided with the club, prompting an appeal by Marhula to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in March.
During oral arguments, Marhula’s attorney, David Thompson, said Marhula did not receive a “fair and reasonable” procedure for termination, which includes giving prior written notice of his expulsion.
The club’s attorney, Theodore Sandberg, argued the club followed its bylaws and did give a fair and reasonable procedure to the best of its ability, and that Marhula didn’t follow the proper guidelines for appealing termination.
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by Joe Pavia
The Ontario Curling Association’s annual tour of the zones landed at the RCMP Tuesday evening and what a refreshing change it was from previous zone meetings under the previous regime.
Executive Director Steve Chenier and Vice President John Shea lead the meeting.
Yes the usual ice allocation was accomplished first so that the way too many events could be accommodated.
But then the changes started – all for the better.
1. The new Curling Club Symposium was outlined. This weekend educational but also fun event will run October 30 to Nov.1 in Kitchener. The aim is to give clubs tools to run their business better. AND the OCA is PAYING FOR 2 DELEGATES FROM OCA clubs to attend – mileage allowance, accommodation, meals and the symposium!
2. Chenier outlined a new Hydro Project that hopefully will cut down on club’s power bills. The gist of it is:
- Getting a grant from the Ontario Power Authority so that clubs can borrow this money from the OCA to install new ice making equipment (The Force and the Ice Mistress) that will results in a quick payback to the clubs. The cost will be $5,000 on average.
- The OCA is working on a bulk energy buy from Blackstone Energy who supply Ontario hospitals with power at lower rates. The institutions have reduced their power costs by 12%.
3. Bylaw Template: The OCA is working with a lawyer who is working on creating a template for clubs so the creation of their bylaws will be not so expensive. Instead of costing thousands for a lawyer to do this the cost will be between $300 to $500.
4. Health and Safety: The OCA gave each club a memory stick that contains 600 health and safety related documents that are all printable. It also includes info on board insurance.
5. New database: The OCA has received a student grant so the Association can hire someone to create a proper data base to make website tasks more automated and allow for better sharing of information.
6. Competition review: A committee chaired by Ian Tetley has been formed to get stakeholders views on current OCA competitions. They are soliciting your views and wants them before their next meeting on May 30.
7. Payment for ice use. The OCA wants to pay clubs for using their ice but needs to rationalize their competitions and perhaps raise more revenue in order to do that. They have to reduce their costs. For instance their single largest expense is $100,000 annually for hotel rooms for curlers at various provincials. They also pay Sportsnet and Rogers a total of $40,000 a year to televise the Tankard and Scotties provincials. The OCA will be working with these event host committees to share some the event revenue and share costs.
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Cornwall curler Mathew Camm nabs Jaques Richard trophy at Benson Cornwall Lions Club Sports Award dinner, eyes the Brier 0
Top junior award winner Abby Jurchuk, an Olympic-style weightlifter, with event chair and emcee David Murphy (left), and guest speaker Tim “The Coach” Cunningham, at the Benson Cornwall Lions Club Sports Awards Dinner on Wednesday May 13, 2015 in Cornwall, Ont.
An athlete can win the Jacques Richard Trophy only once, but there are no limits to how many times you can play at an win a Brier.
Curler Mathew Camm took the trophy Wednesday night, then shared that he’s determined to go back to the Canadian men’s curling championship for a second straight year in 2016.
“Now that I’ve been there (to the Brier in Calgary in late February), you get a taste of it, and you want to go back,” said Camm, who was a member of the Ontario squad, playing third on the Mark Kean-skipped team that competed against the country’s best and went 5-6 at the competition.
Even three months later and standing near the stage at the 51st Benson Cornwall Lions Club Sports Awards Dinner held at the Best Western Plus Parkway Inn, it was hard for Camm to believe what had happened on the ice during the 2014-15 season.
“It takes a while to sink in,” said the 25-year-old, the first curler out of the Cornwall Curling Centre to play at the Brier. “I’m still kind of pinching myself… when you grow up (in curling facilities) your dream is always to go to the Brier.”
There was a bit of disbelief for Camm late on Wednesday night, when he won the top trophy that was presented for the 51st time to the top sports personality from Cornwall and area.
“I’m quite shocked (to win),” Camm said. “There are so many individuals (in the room) who’ve worked so hard as athletes. It’s a real honour to win this.”
Camm is originally from Rockland and he’s been a resident of Cornwall for just over a year. He’s been named top curler at this same dinner two years in a row, playing in the Wednesday night men’s league at the Cornwall Curling Centre.
There is no real curling off-season for him. Camm already knows he’ll begin the whole process of qualifying again for all of the steps on the way to the nationals with a new team – he’ll play third in 2015-16 on a squad skipped by John Epping, of Toronto.
“I’ll be training all summer, mental and physical training,” Camm said, noting that the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier is in his hometown of Ottawa.
“It’s basically in my backyard, and I’m really excited to get going (with the season)… but it’s very tough to do, go back (to the Brier a second time).”
Camm will make his attempt with a lot of support from the city he now calls home.
“I love Cornwall,” he said. “It’s a great community, it supports (athletes).”
Dozens of young athletes are celebrated each spring at the Lions event and the major award winners this time around included weightlifter Abby Jurchuk, who won the Joe Assaly trophy that goes to the top junior from the region.
Myriam Fontaine was recipient of the RBC Bursary, Gabrielle Bergeron received the Cornwall Lions Bill Bray Bursary, Stuart Gordon took home the Benson Friends of the Round Table Award, and Alex Douglas was presented with the Ian Brodie Bursary.
The guest speaker for the event was Tim Cunningham, “The Coach,” who had a long stint behind the bench of the Queen’s Golden Gaels men’s hockey team and who is also a syndicated sports radio talk show host.
- Male Athlete: Steven Belanger
- Female Athlete: Emilie Lamarche
- Personality of Year: Bob Thompson
- Black Sox: Mitchell Roy
- Si Miller: Amber Flannigan
- Miriam Lalonde
- Neica Rouleau
- Joanne Brault
- Member of Year: Dan Laperle
- Curler of Year: Mathew Camm
- Youth Curler: John MacGillis
- Skater of Year: Naomi Wang
- Volunteer of Year: Russell Grant
- Jr. Wildcat: Braden Clark
- Sr. Wildcat: Andrew McCourt
- Mackenzie McAllister
- Boys Badminton: Jonathan Ponnudurai
- Girls Badminton: Cloee Menard
- Boys Basketball: Thomas LeGallais
- Girls Basketball: Myriam Fontaine
- Curling: Taya Orchard
- Football: Andrew McCourt
- Girls Golf: Melanie Carriere
- Boys Golf: Devin Radley
- Boys Hockey: Cole Beckstead
- Girls Hockey: Shana Krol
- Rugby: Sumiha Karunagaran
- Boys Soccer: Mathieu Brousseau
- Girls Soccer: Taylor Beitz
- Track & Field Dorman: Mathias Croney
- Boys Volleyball: Joel Filion
- Girls Volleyball: Gabrielle Bergeron
- Sue Hickley Award $250: Courteney Laplante
- Brian Tardiff Education Bursary $500: Karine Lecuyer
- Boy of Year: Tyler Fitzgerald
- Executive of Year: Rod Zeaton
- Hockey Sponsor of Year: Boston Pizza
- Marly Quince
- Zachary Plumadore
- Athlete of the Year: Rob Lefebvre
- Female Athlete: Jennifer Suggars
- Male Athlete: Wendell Lafave
- Female Athlete: Brooke Nadeau
- Male Athlete: Franco Caparelli
- Volunteer of Year: Chris Smith
- Player of the Year: Samantha LaForty
- Coach/Volunteer of the Year: Courtney Seguin
- Girls: Kennady Kilger
- Girls: Mackenzie Wright
- Female: Guylaine Barnes
- Male: Dale Witty
- Girl of the Year: Elissa Armstrong
- Male of the Year: Hugo Caya
- Abby Jurchuck
- Joe St. Denis Parks & Rec.: Myriam Fontaine
- Ian Brody Bursary: Alex Douglas
- Benson Friends of Round Table: Stuart Gordon
- Bill Bray Bursary: Gabrielle Bergeron
- RBC Bursary: Myriam Fontaine
- Joe Assaly Top Junior: Abby Jurchuck
- Jacques Richard Top Sports Personality: Mathew Camm
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Like many curlers, Ottawa’s Marc Bourguignon got involved in kids’ curling when his own children started in the Little Rock program at his home club, the RCMP. And as he watched his kids’ progress, an idea started to take shape.
“The idea of an under-18 league was brought up many times in the past at my club,” says Bourguignon, who volunteers and coaches in the youth program. “It really kicked off in April 2014 at the RCMP Curling Club annual Bantam Easter Spiel when I met James Sutherland from the Manotick Curling Club.”
Sutherland had been thinking about creating a youth league in Ottawa, and the two men starting talking. In short order, they had arranged with the RCMP Curling Club for four sheets of ice dedicated to a new Sunday league for youth curlers.
The first open meeting was held late in the Spring of 2014, just to see if there was enough interest to go forward, and Bourguignon says the response from parents and coaches was “overwhelming.”
Of course the organizers quickly recognized that they needed more than just four sheets of ice and expressions of interest, no matter how enthusiastic. They reached out to the Ottawa curling community, adding the Russell Curling Club and Ottawa Curling Club as partners. They also enlisted the aid of Joe Pavia, of Hogline Curling fame, to join as the main sponsor.
“Joe was instrumental in helping us get the message out and promoting the league,” says Bourguignon.
Pavia had long been advocating the need for more opportunities for young curlers in the Ottawa area, and had expressed his views in the Ottawa Sun, where he’s the curling columnist.
“A number of years ago I wrote a column castigating curling for not offering a league where kids can curl without getting over-competitive and with no adults involved,” he says. “A league where they can just have fun.”
In other words, exactly what Bourguignon and Sutherland had in mind.
“When Marc took the bull by the horns and formed the league, I jumped on board,” says Pavia, who persuaded “famous local curlers” like Craig Savill, Lee Merklinger, Rachel Homan and Emma Miskew to get involved as well.
Skills clinics during the season allow the kids to interact – and learn from – these local curling heroes. And there were other fun events this season, such as an inter-provincial challenge involving a trip to Montréal to play against teams from Québec.
“The OYCL runs like any adult curling league would run,” says Bourguignon.
Teams register in one of the divisions and play several sessions in a round-robin format, moving up and down in the standings. The curlers play about 20 games during the season from October to March.
The goal is to provide an additional curling experience, but not to replace junior programs already in place at clubs around the region. And with the first season of the OYCL in the books, Bourguignon is already looking ahead.
Finding available ice on Sundays is always a challenge, he says, as is dealing with the inevitable conflicts with clubs’ own junior programs. But the organizing committee is coordinating with clubs to make it work, and based on registrations for the 2015-2016 season, no one is complaining.
“As soon as the league was over, we had current and new teams already registering for next season,” he says. “We currently have 20 teams next season, allowing us to expand to three or four divisions (including a new Team Homan division). We are also working with other clubs in the city to host games as we deal with expansion.”
The first season of the OYCL wrapped up at a closing event held at the RCMP Curling Club, with four finals, followed by the presentation of prizes, lunch and some entertainment. Curlers Savill and Merklinger took part, presenting the trophies to the winning teams in the divisions bearing their names.
“Honestly, I wish that there had been a league like this when I was a kid,” says Merklinger. “It is a great way to make curling more social and give youth and their coaches the opportunity to improve their skills and learn more about the sport.”
“Regardless of whether or not these kids choose to pursue curling or other dreams in life, the OYCL is providing them with community connectedness, peer support, physical activity and fun,” she says.
Parent Leslie Ashton says it was gratifying to see how much her two daughters benefitted from the opportunity to play a weekly game against a variety of opponents.
“It was terrific to witness firsthand the calibre of curling improving throughout the year,” says Ashton. “Skill on the ice improved, but so did the speed of play and overall important curling etiquette.”
And the kids weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the season, she says.
“It was simply a lot of fun, and an overall great opportunity to meet so many families from the area from all the different clubs – individuals we were previously used to seeing only at spiels, but not really connecting with or socializing with before now,” she says.
“Dreams start young,” says Merklinger, who emphasizes that Bourguignon, Pavia and the other organizers deserve “mucho respect” for the hours of effort they’ve put into getting this league up and running. “I was one of those kids once. Who knows, the next Olympic gold medallist could be in the Ottawa Youth Curling League.”
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Councillor Keith Egli bring his greetings. Sod turning with commemorative shovel from McDonald Brothers Construction
The building committee digs in.
Craig Savill was in attendance The new 4 sheet club will sit at the back of the current site.
The champagne toast to the construction
and the receipt of the building permit
The Old. The New.
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Olympic curling star Eve Muirhead takes on Race for Life in memory of gran
OLYMPIC gold medallist Eve Muirhead takes time out of her punishing schedule to honour the beloved gran she lost to cancer by running the Race for Life.
The 25-year-old Olympic curling star said the death of her beloved gran Joan Dance reminds her why the runners’ fundraising is so imporant.
Eve said Joan, 84, was hugely proud of her and it was that constant support that helped to spur her on to win bronze at last year’s Winter Olympics.
She added: “I’ll be thinking about my gran at Race for Life.
“She was my No1 fan but I was proud of her, too.
“I have a lot to thank her for. My gran kept pictures all over the house of me. She used to always tell her friends how I was getting on and she never missed one game at the Olympics.
“She’d be right there watching all the curling on telly. Gran followed every single match, which was really great.”
Joan died from breast cancer just before Christmas.
Eve, from Perthshire, said her gran proved the importance of the cash raised for Cancer Research UK through Race for Life events.
She added: “Breast cancer ended up taking my gran’s life. But if it wasn’t for all the amazing fundraisers out there raising money for vital research, I don’t think she would have lived as long as she did.
“She was ill for a long time but she still got the very best treatment and the very best out of life.
“She passed away peacefully at home. She didn’t suffer. She got all the help that’s out there, which is good. Cancer touches so many families, but I know fundraising is helping so many families, too.”
Eve knows it will be an emotional moment tomorrow as she rallies a crowd of around 10,000 women at Glasgow Green ahead of Scotland’s largest Race for Life.
She said: “I know what it’s like to lose a loved one through such a horrible disease and so many of the people I’ll meet on Race for Life day will also have been through it.”
No one was prouder than Joan when Eve and the rest of the Team GB curling team won a bronze medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics in February last year. The 25-year-old was the youngest ever skip to win an Olympic medal.
At Joan’s funeral, Eve, who is a champion bagpipe player, stood outside the church on a freezing January day and played. It was a chance to think about how much her gran meant to her and to remember the sun-filled holidays they’d spent together.
Eve said: “My gran was always on the go.
“She lived in Southampton and when I was growing up, I used to love going down to visit her.
“She had eight grandchildren in total and loved us all to bits.
“Her favourite thing of all was spending time with us. She’d take me and my brothers on holiday to Lanzarote.
“I have so many great memories from those days when she was so active. She used to love treating us to ice-cream.
“She was due to come to Scotland to watch me take part in a junior curling championship but she had to go in to hospital for a major operation. There were so many things which could have stopped her, but she was a determined lady and wanted to forget most of the time that she had cancer. She just wanted to carry on with life.
“We used to laugh when I’d ask her to sit down and chill out for a bit. She liked to get things done and she liked to see me do well.”
Eve’s other gran Elinor Muirhead also died from breast cancer 13 years ago.
The curling star draws inspiration from her lost loved ones during her tough training schedule.
She’s just back from the World Women’s Curling Championships in Sapporo, Japan. And she is
going for gold at the next Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018.
Are you taking part in the Race for Life tomorrow?
Eve trains at the SportScotland Institute of Sport in Stirling but medal glory also means a lot of hard work in the gym.
She said: “I’m usually in the gym by 7am. I have to follow a very strict regime. If our curling team want to stay one step ahead of the other countries, we have to train that one step harder.
“You have to be fit to be a top-class curler. I know what we all had to do to get the bronze Olympic medal. It’s tough.
“Now we’re set on getting right to the top of the podium. And to do that, we need to step up training that little bit.
“When I go home to Blair Atholl, where I grew up, I love going running in the stunning countryside.
“We have one of the best curling teams in the world. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re going to give it our best shot and go for gold at the Olympics.
“I think my gran would approve of that.”
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Applications now being accepted for 2015 For The Love of Curling Scholarships
Young curlers across the country will be able to benefit for the second straight year from Curling Canada’s For The Love of Curling scholarships, it was announced today.
WireService.ca Media Release (05/01/2015) – Thanks to the incredible support of the curling community, 10 scholarships are available again this year for elite young curlers.
“This is one of the programs we are most proud of as a National Sports Organization (NSO),” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada. “We have some amazing young athletes in our sport, but they need this kind of support to pursue their curling dreams. Being able to offer these scholarships is another example of how we’re continuing to build our sport and maintain our position as the world’s leading curling nation.”
The application process for the For the Love of Curling scholarships is now open to young curlers who will studying at a Canadian university or college. These scholarships were funded by generous donors and curlers from across Canada.
Last year, 10 deserving young people received a scholarship to help balance the demands of curling, school and work. Some of the recipients went on to compete in the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, 2015 CIS/CCA University Curling Championships and the 2015 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Championships.
Each scholarship will provide $1,000 to help university or college athletes cover a portion of their education and curling costs. A total of 10 scholarships are available for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Emphasis will be placed on athletes who have competed at the provincial/territorial level or higher; who have maintained a good level of academic standing; and athletes who show a commitment to curling through their involvement in coaching, instructing and/or volunteer activities. Athletes must be 23 or younger as of Dec. 31, 2015, and former recipients of the For The Love of Curling scholarships are not eligible.
The application process runs through to June 30, 2015, and the scholarship recipients will be announced in August.
For more information or to apply, go to curling.ca/scholarships
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From the Smithsonian.com
Mint juleps, big hats and bets — it’s Kentucky Derby season, and on May 2 spectators will gather at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky to cheer, jeer and will their favorite horses to victory. But how do the Thoroughbreds, who sport names like Carpe Diem and International Star, get their names?
It depends, reports Pia Catton for the Wall Street Journal. Naming a Thoroughbred horse can be a mundane process or a bizarre one. Take El Kabeir, for example. Catton notes that when the horse’s owner, Egyptian businessman and stable owner Ahmed Zayat, saw the horse, it strutted around like it owned the place. So he named it “boss” in Arabic.
Parentage is another common naming strategy, notes Catton. Fast Cookie’s foal Frosting (another baking reference) will race in this year’s Derby, as will Danzig Moon, son of Danzig and Malibu Moon. Other owners prefer themes, like Kaleem Shah, a soccer fan who has named horses things like Bundesliga and Bayern (Dortmund is being called “the big star of the Kentucky Derby”).
Perhaps the strangest horse name in this year’s stable is Keen Ice. It’s a curling term that means fast ice, reports Catton — appropriate for a horse sired by a champion named Curlin. Still others will reuse names released by the Jockey Club, which must vet and approve every registered Thoroughbred name. The club has a complex, competitive naming process with plenty of fine print. For example, it’s not kosher to name a horse after a racetrack, use horse-related terms, or indulge in wishful thinking by naming it after a former Horse of the Year.
But though the Jockey Club has the last word on names, it could use a proofreader or two. Owners, the public, and the Club all missed a typo in the name of 2015 contender American Pharoah… who will nonetheless race with a misspelled name.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/curling-baking-typos-how-years-kentucky-derby-contenders-got-their-names-180955152/#FGW12HxDcXPRswmJ.99
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What did Ottawa pay for hosting the Brier? An indication is contained in the article below courtesy of SooToday.com.
Big fee, big event
Monday, April 27, 2015 by: Darren Taylor
Sault Ste. Marie’s own Brad Jacobs spoke to city council Monday regarding the Sault’s bid to host the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier.
It is hoped the Sault’s fame as the home of Team Jacobs (winners of the 2013 Brier and 2014 Olympic gold medallists) will help bring the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier here.
“I’m really pumped. I really hope we get the Brier,” Jacobs said to council.
Jacobs also said he hopes, of course, for his rink to be part of the tournament.
“We would love nothing more than to be the hometown team,” Jacobs said, adding he and his rink of Ryan Fry, E.J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden, along with coach Tom Coulterman, will do all they can to support the city’s Brier bid.
Council unanimously approved contributing $150,000, from the city’s Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), towards Sault Ste. Marie’s bid to host the event.
Council gave its preliminary approval to the Brier bid at its February 23 meeting.
The funding is part of a larger $850,000 hosting fee required by Curling Canada.
Sault MPP David Orazietti announced earlier Monday the province, through the Celebrate Ontario 2015-2016 Blockbuster Program, will commit $300,000 to the Sault’s Brier bid.
A report presented to council states the local tourism sector has committed $100,000 towards the bid, and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will seek another $150,000 from the province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and $150,000 from the federal government’s FedNor to make up the remainder of the $850,000 hosting fee.
The three levels of government have come together before to successfully secure funding to host other sports events in the Sault, such as the 2013 Telus Cup and the CARHA Hockey World Cup.
Ian McMillan, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie executive director, told council Monday the city’s 2017 Tim Hortons Brier bid needs to be finalized by early May.
St. John’s and Regina have also confirmed their interest in hosting the Brier, and there are rumours a fourth city may be interested in competing to be the host city, McMillan said.
The city with the successful bid will be notified in “early to mid-September,” McMillan told council.
Sault Ste. Marie previously hosted the Brier in 1990 and the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2010.
A report to council from McMillan has used methodology put together by the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model (STEAM), and estimates the Brier would generate a total economic impact of $15 million, $12.6 million of which would stay in Sault Ste. Marie.
GDP from the event, which runs from March 3 to March 11, 2017, would generate $6.1million in GDP, 2,500 visitor days, and TSN viewership of 12 million.
The event’s total budget would be $3 million (Curling Canada’s budget).
Council also encouraged citizens, at its February 23 meeting, to support a process set up by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, the Soo Curlers Association, Tarentorus Sports Club and the City of Sault Ste. Marie whereby local curling fans could place refundable $50 deposits on tickets for the event (refundable if the Sault’s bid to host the event is unsuccessful).
That led to 1,213 deposits.
(PHOTO: Sault curling hero Brad Jacobs speaks to city council, expressing support for the city’s bid to host the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier. Darren Taylor/SooToday)
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Plenty of curlers question curling associations, – Curling Canada, the Ontario Curling Association, even the Ottawa Valley Curling Association. Below is the OVCA’s spring newsletter with a host of accomplishments listed.
The following are examples of some of the work that has been done on your behalf by the OVCA.
Prior to 2007 – $1,272,000 in loans to clubs for infrastructure improvements and $383,000 from 2007 – 2015.
$120,000 Purchasing smaller rocks for youth programs
$12,000 Junior Superspiel support since 2008
$19,400 Youth programs and travel support since 2008
$14,500 Adult team recognition (travel grants) since 2008
$1,350 Coaching clinics since 2013
$5,000 Adult Learn to Curl grants to clubs 2014-15
Organizing or obtaining events such as:
The Alexander Keiths Mens
The OVCA Mixed
Brokerlink/OVCA Junior Superspiel
The Royal Lepage Fall Classic in North Grenville – a World Curling Tour Event
Annual Golf tournament
Several Briers including 2016
The Roar of the Rings 2017
Business of Curling seminars
Sponsorship funding for clubs hosting provincial and national competitions
Representation at the Governor General’s Winter Celebration
School Curling programs
Colts League support
Presenting OVCA club interests at the Ontario Curling Association
Recognition of volunteers through the Ken Thain Award program
Website support for member clubs
Providing recognition to OVCA teams attending Provincials and Nationals (see photos on our website).
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED!
The above achievements are accomplished with the help of volunteers. Be a part of the support the OVCA gives to local curling – be a volunteer. We have several openings on the Board and on the committees that organize these events. We need you! Please firstname.lastname@example.org
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by Joe Pavia
Mike McLean did it the hard way.
His Ottawa foursome fought back through a tiebreaker to win the Broker Link Ontario Mixed title in Gananoque on Sunday.
“We started out at 1 and 3.” said the skip. “But we felt we played well. We just kept going and if we win that’s great and if we don’t we’ll have fun.” At that point they were one loss away from last place. They ended up winning six in a row.
McLean, his third Brit O’Neill and Karen Sagle lost the final last year as a team. The new addition was Andrew Denny at second this year.
When the round robin was completed they were tied with Ontario Brier skip, Mark Kean, at 4-3. They defeated Kean 7-4 on Saturday evening. Sunday morning brought the semi-final versus Brampton’s Kevin Lagerquist who had finished the round robin at 5-2. The key was a fifth end three McLean took to run Lagerquist out of rocks with a score of 6-4.
Belleville’s Dave Collyer who lead the RR and finished 6-1 had previously beaten McLean. The low scoring final saw the Ottawa rink steal singles in two ends. Collyer threatened in the final end where he was laying two without hammer. “I threw a double for the win but rolled out.” said McLean. The final ended 4-3 win. The Ottawa rink advances to the Canadian Mixed next November in Toronto.
In Junior Mixed the Michaud brothers – Pascal and Decebal – from Carp went 7-0 to win the province. They played out of Acton.
CITY VIEW BUILDS: The City View Curling Club is celebrating the ground breaking for their new club on Wednesday May 13. The 3 p.m. ceremony marks the beginning of construction for the expected opening in January 2016.
MIXED MESSAGE: The World Mixed Doubles begins on April 18 in Sochi, Russia. The International Olympic Committee is considering the discipline’s inclusion in the Olympic programme of the 2018 PyeongChang games. A decision is expected later this year.
END NOTES: The Kanata Theatre is presenting the comedy The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon by W.O. Mitchell May 12 -16 and 19-23. If you need a spring curling fix check it out at www.kanatetheatre.com. The Hogline Curlers Proshop Little Rocks championship is this Sunday at the RCMP. This is the season’s last column. This city will be hot for curling next season. Rest up and prepare to welcome the world to Ottawa in 2015-2016.
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