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.”
22 total views, 22 views today
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.
25 total views, 25 views today
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.
1,445 total views, 84 views today
1,526 total views, 83 views today
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
2,128 total views, 84 views today
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.”
2,426 total views, 85 views today
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.
2,435 total views, 69 views today
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.”
2,674 total views, 63 views today
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
2,238 total views, 2 views today
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
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
2,367 total views, 3 views today
1,897 total views, 2 views today
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)
2,309 total views, 3 views today
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
2,722 total views, 1 views today
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.
2,776 total views, 4 views today
by Joe Pavia
This area had plenty of good teams playing this past week.
In Whitehorse the Rideau Masters women’s team ended up at as the number one seed with their 7-2 record. They advanced to the semi against Alberta and won 7-4. They faced BC in the final (they defeated the BC foursome 10-4 in the round robin) but had to settle for the silver medal by a 4-3 score. The team was Diana Favel, Sheila Rogers, Edna Legault and Sue Kollar.
Meanwhile in Edmonton the Huntley team of Kayla MacMillan, Sarah Daviau, Lindsay Dubue, Marcia Richardson and Coach Jill Rivington won the gold medal by rattling off seven straight wins at the Optimist U18 International Curling championship. They defeated the other undefeated squad Alberta in the final. The Ontario men who were coached by Richard Hart lost to Manitoba who was coached by Cathy Overton-Clapham. Both coaches had sons playing.
A rink from Kars on the Rideau School captured the provincial banner in Gananoque for the 2015 TimBits Elementary School Championship. The winning team was Adrienne Belliveau, Julia Brennan, Jordan McNamara and Lucas Houle. The coaches were Michelle Belliveau and Angela Houle. The rink they defeated in the final was from the same school. They went 6-0 in the 64-team field.
OTTAWA BRIER: The volunteer call went out just 10 days ago and already 80% of the 600 volunteer positions are filled. Bar service positions in the Patch are still open.
END NOTES: Late news from the Everest Canadian Seniors. The Ontario player Mike Johansen was the First All-Star Team second. His teammates Brian Lewis and Jeff McCrady were second team All-Star Skip and Third respectively. The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, the Players Championship, began yesterday. The top twelve men and women’s teams in the world will be competing in Toronto. The Swedish team of Margaretha Sigfridsson will have a familiar spare – Alison Kreviazuk. The team faces Rachel Homan in their first game. Sportsnet’s coverage begins on Thursday morning at 9 with the women’s final Sunday at 2 and the men’s later that day at 7.
The TimBits winners.
3,591 total views, 3 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Mike McEwen reacts after his final rock came to rest during the Safeway Championship provincial men’s curling event at Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man., on Sun., Feb. 8, 2015. (Kevin King/QMI Agency)
He won’t have to worry about getting out of Manitoba anymore.
Mike McEwen is moving to Iqaluit in the spring.
“I am tired of it.” said the stellar skip. “Every time I turn around someone reminds me of my provincial jinx and not representing Manitoba at the Brier.” He went on to say, “If he had a nickel for every time someone told me that I wouldn’t need the $153,000 I won this season.”
Because he works for Hardline Curling, it is easy for him to move. Most of his work is done via email and telephone. Wife Dawn, who is a federal government employee, secured an inter-departmental transfer to the territorial capital.
McEwen plans to join the curling club and see who might be available to curl with and get to the Ottawa Brier. “I know Nunavut is relegated but at least I will sort of be at the Brier. And I won’t have to see Stoughton’s rear end.”
McEwen vice B.J. Neufeld remarked, “It certainly was a shock when he sent me the text telling me he was moving. He even included a happy face. With Mead back in the province I can move to skip and maybe win more money.”
Other players on the tour were shocked at the news. Ottawa’s Lee Merklinger who played at the same event in March as Team McEwen says she knew something was up. “Mike’s team took my team to dinner and paid for everything. He gave me plenty of wine then asked me all sorts of questions about Iqaluit. I told him he might have me mixed up with Lynn Kreviazuk who is from Ottawa as well but coached up there. Maybe Mike had too much wine.”
The 2015 Manitoba Brier skip, Reid Carruthers, felt it was a good move for Mike. “It’s a lot colder in Winnipeg than it is in Iqaluit.”
Loof Lirpa, who reads backward and manages the Iqaluit facility said, “There is a club rule that new curlers have to play lead for a season. He better know that coming in.”
The Gold Trail money leader says he is looking forward to the move. “I just want my Brier experience.”
After what happened with Team Howard this week, is anyone else planning a move?
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED
The wrap up of the new Ottawa Youth Curling League happened on Sunday at the RCMP facility. Both Craig Savill and Lee Merklinger were there to present the trophies for the respective winners. The Savill division winning team was Jessica Thorne, Thalia Hartwig, Jade Merkley and Cloe Bourguignon. The Merklinger division-winning rink was from Buckingham and was Jeremy Langevin, Cedrik Labonte, Olivier Pelletier and Olivier Bourgault.
If you want league information for next season contact Marc Bourguignon at 613-297-9680 or email@example.com.
Buckingham’s Ted Butler and Don Westphal were First Team All-Stars as skip and third respectively at the just ended Everest Canadian Seniors. They were the silver medalists. The team of Mat Camm, Jason Camm, Gary Findlay and Marc Beaulne won the Cumberland Deep Sea spiel.
The Optimist U18 International Curling Championships begins today in Edmonton. Representing Ontario is Team MacMillan from Huntley. The Ontario Curling Association launched its new website Monday. Check it out. People wishing to sign up as an Ottawa Brier volunteer can now do so. Visitwww.curling.ca/2016brier/volunteer.
3,661 total views, no views today
BY JOE PAVIA
They hope to master the Masters.
Skip Diana Favel, along with her team of Sheila Rogers, Edna Legault and Sue Kollar, are headed for the Canadian Masters Curling Championship March 30 in Whitehorse, YT.
Favel has been to five national championships (three times at the Masters, with a 2013 title as third) but says, “For my team it is brand new going to a Canadian. I am excited for them.”
There are 12 women’s teams divided into two pools of six. After a round robin, the top four teams emerge and play a round robin versus the four teams from the opposite pool. The four rinks advance to the championship Easter weekend.
Despite earning one gold and two silver medals, Favel expects tough competition especially from Saskatchewan’s two-time winner Merle Kopach, who has defeated Favel twice.
The rink is well prepared to meet the challenge.
“We have been playing people our own age all season,” Favel said.
They compete in the Rideau’s competitive daytime league, one of the best in the city. Between the four, they play at four curling clubs.
“Between the curling games that we all do and then practising, Jerry Ciasnocha, our coach, has spent a lot of time with us,” Favel said. “We all maintain our physical fitness programs. I do aqua fit and Sue does running and Edna and Sheila go to the gym.”
If they play well, the women — ranging in age from 61 to 65 — might be acting like kids come Easter Sunday’s gold medal game.
ON THE MOVE
The Mark Kean Brier second, David Mathers, is leaving his team after the Adam Casey rink from P.E.I. offered the Ottawa resident the vice position. “I’m really looking forward to this and looking forward to living in the Maritimes,” Mathers told the Sun. He has many relatives on the east coast. Locally, Team Erin Morrissey and lead Jen Ahde added Lynsey Longfield and Erica Hopson to replace teammates that moved.
Team Ian MacAulay captured the championship in the Alexander Keith’s OVCA City of Ottawa Men’s bonspiel Sunday. With MacAulay were Steve Allen, Rick Allen and Barry Conrad. They took Team Brett Lyon-Hatcher to an extra end. Lyon-Hatcher had a clear last shot tap to win but his rock fudged just before the paint and crashed on a guard. The winners left with $7,100 while the runner-up got $3,800. Bruce Delaney took the senior section while Mike Shulz captured the Senators event. Other event winners were: BDO event: Ian MacAulay, Acacia Curling event: Shane Vahey, Conval-Aid event: Al Solari, Tail Gators event: Allan Scott, Alexander Keith’s event: Ian MacAulay, Hogline Proshop event: Tim Brooks, Club EG event: Roger Gossellin, Safeguard event: Matt Bulmer, Brockerlink event: John Race, Goldline event: James Birtwistle. In the senior section event winners were: Tubman event: Bruce Delaney, Armstrong & Richardson event: Roger Bertrand, Club de golf Outaouais event: Jim Klachan. The Senators sections winners were: OVCA event: Mike Shulz, City of Ottawa event: Doug Woods, Best Western event: John Thera.
In BrockerLink mixed regions those provincials bound are: 1A:Dave Collyer, B – Mike McLean. Senior mixed went to: 1A – Bill Adams, B – Paul Madden.
The Ford World Men’s begins this Saturday. Team Canada is Team Canada in the event skipped by Pat Simmons. TSN will televise all Canada’s games daily beginning Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
4,417 total views, 1 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Alberta skip Chelsea Carey is looking for a new team. (QMI Agency)
The teams they are a-changing.
Sportsnet’s Kevin Martin predicted during the Brier that with the season coming to an end there would be some movement of teams at the elite level. He reasoned that the moves would come now because the quest for points during the present Olympic quadrennial really starts next season, not this season.
Chelsea Carey is seeking a fresh foursome after her Alberta-based rink decided to seek a new skip. Carey isn’t sure where she will be playing next season. Her ex-team picked up the current two-time world junior champion Kelsey Rocque, saying it was a move to position them better for an Olympic run.
In Saskatchewan, Stefanie Lawton said the Olympics is why she decided to replace the 51-year-old Sherry Anderson with the 2011 national junior champion, Trish Paulson, who is 24. Anderson took the hint and will be skipping three much younger players next year.
Closer to home, last year’s Ontario Brier skip, Greg Balsdon, is no longer with his team. He is re-uniting with his former teammate Don Bowser from Gatineau. Aaron Squires, a former Ontario junior champion, joins Balsdon’s old team.
With Jenn Hanna lead Trish Scharf asking on Facebook if anyone needs her services, it looks like Hanna, sister Stephanie, Brit O’Neil and Karen Sagle are getting together.
It could be an interesting off-season as more changes are expected.
Calgary’s Charley Thomas and Kalynn Park defeated Bowie Abbis-Mills and Tess Bobbie in the final to seize the national championship. Abbis-Mills is from Carleton Place. The winning duo was last year’s runners-up.
Over and above that, two things were apparent at the event. For a game that uses just five thrown rocks and one stationary rock an end, there were always plenty of stones in the house almost every end. The second thing was how well the Hunt Club handled the event. It was its second consecutive year hosting the Trials and sets it up well to handle next season’s national Travelers Curling Club championship.
The Rideau rink of Brett Lyon-Hatcher, Ben Miskew, Kurtis Byrd and Chris Lewis captured the provincial Tim Hortons Colts banner on the weekend.
Team Homan won the Pomeroy Inns & Suites Prairie Showdown in Grand Prairie, Alta., where they collected $12,000. Their only pool loss was to Silvana Tirinzoni, whom they then defeated in the final.
There is a send-off for Ontario’s Senior Men’s Champs tonight 9:30 p.m. at the Ottawa club. Team McCrady begins its quest for a national title in Edmonton beginning March 21 … The Alexander Keith’s City of Ottawa Men’s bonspiel begins today. The Grand Aggregate winner earns $5,600 plus money for previous events won … The Over the Rainbow Spiel begins Thursday with 36 teams coming from Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa … A new Pinty’s Grand Slam event, the Syncrude Elite 10 from Fort McMurray, Alta., begins Thursday. The 10 best men’s rinks will be there. The number of ends a team wins will decide each match. There are two ways to win an end: the team with hammer scores two or more points or the team without the hammer steals at least one point. Television coverage on Sportsnet begins Thursday afternoon. CBC will show the quarter-final as well as Sunday’s 1 p.m. final.
6,026 total views, 2 views today
The first of many shots in the Pre-Qualifying battle with Curling Canada. They are trying to get people to carry signs into Scotia Bank Place in Halifax during the Ford Men’s Worlds to show their annoyance with the new system. They are also threatening to boycott Curling Canada sponsors.
5,741 total views, 1 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Ottawa might just be the centre of the curling universe from now until the end of 2017.
There is the Tim Hortons Brier in 2016, the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings in 2017 as well as the national Travellers curling club championship Nov. 23-28, 2015.
Beginning Wednesday, another national championship begins — the mixed doubles curling Trials.
The mixed trials and the 2015 Travellers will both be at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, which will make curling co-ordinator Bill Duck busy. He’s also the icemaker.
This same event was at the Hunt last year.
“The members got behind it again when we talked about it in the summer when there was an opportunity to put our name in the hat again. The members were gung-ho and we filled our volunteer requirements pretty fast,” related Duck.
All of the curling jurisdictions (except for Nunavut) are sending a team. Those 13 squads are joined by 19 other teams who get in by having sufficient Canadian Team Ranking System points.
There are seven participants from the just ended Brier including Adam Casey, Mark Kean and Dave Mathers. Glenn Howard is playing with his daughter Carly. The Scotties is represented by Lauren Mann, skip of Team Quebec and by Yukon player Patty Wallingham. There are plenty of married couples competing, including defending champions Kim and Wayne Tuck. There is even a mother/son team — Maureen and Tyler Miller from the Northwest Territories.
There will be four pools of eight with the top two from each pool after the round robin plus four teams with the next- best records advancing to a 12-team single elimination playoff.
“It’s a different game if you like seeing lots of rocks in play. Even with just five thrown rocks., said Duck.
Because players pay their own expenses, each team gets $100 per win. Despite all this, there was a waiting list for this year’s event. The winner advances to the world Mixed doubles championship in Russia in April.
There are six draws per day but just two on opening Wednesday at 7 and 9:30 in the evening. There is no admission charge. The finals is Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
The World Curling Federation is pitching the International Olympic Committee later this year to have mixed doubles included in the Winter Olympics as early as 2018.
The Tim Hortons Brier hit a nerve with fans in more ways than one as 1.25 million viewers tuned into the final with average viewership for the event at 587,000. The final attendance was 151,835. Team Ontario fifth player/coach Bryan Cochrane told the Sun when he returned to Ottawa that he felt “the broom taps (by Northern Ontario) were simply bush league. The bruise brothers were trying to intimidate our team and they were successful. There were a lot of comments from other teams supporting our boys.”
This region can claim another provincial winner. Cheryl McBain’s intermediate rink wins that event. Along with the skip were Susan Goheen, Sandy Aldridge and Sheryl Dobenko. Junior mixed regional winners were: 1A Jordie Lyon-Hatcher, B – Ryan Thompson-Brown. Apparently a player could only win this event if one had a hyphenated name. Bantam mixed regions winners were: 1A – Sam Mooibroek, B – Brady Lumley.
The Ottawa rink of Simon Festa-Bianchet, Chris Fliesser, Garrett Locoq and Jack Glover won North Bay’s Caldwell Banker & MU Surveying bonspiel.
The Zen-Noh world women’s curling championship begins this Saturday from Sapporo, Japan. TSN will broadcast all of Team Canada’s games and the playoffs ” … Rachel Homan’s team leaves Wednesday for the Pomeroy Inn and Suites Prairie Challenge in Grand Prairie, Alta. Ottawa’s Lee Merklinger is also going but playing for the defending champion from Switzerland — Silvana Tirinzoni.
5,544 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
The City View curling club is looking to expand its facilities. SUPPLIED IMAGE
If you build it, they will come.
The three-sheet City View curling club is one of the busiest in the country, with some 540 members using the venue seven days a week, with no spare ice available.
According to Cheryl Carroll, the new building committee co-chair, the club has obtained a mortgage to construct a new four-sheet building. “Our members are extremely excited,” she said. Though she recalls getting the funding wasn’t an easy task.
“We originally had financing promised to us from Ontario Infrastructure. And in 2014 when they called their election on May 1, they said, ‘Oh no, you do not meet our guidelines. This is too risky of a project’, which sent us for a loop. And none of the banks wanted to do it because we are a not for profit. We ended up having to go to a private lender to get the funds to build.”
Other governmental funding sources didn’t happen. The Feds provided $50,000 for accessibility. They still need to raise $500,000, but they have plans for that. They’re working with a fundraising firm and the committee is looking for community partners to sell the naming rights to — the building, the lounge or whatever partnership they can attract.
Carroll believes the extra sheet would enable the club to add 200 additional members. “We hope to attract at least 100 of that in the first year.” The new building will be on one level, with a rental hall that could accommodate 150 people. The club is installing a cement floor so there may also be the possibility of rink rentals in the off-season for non-curling activities. Their new home is also going to be completely accessible to wheelchair curling. The parking lot will also be expanded.
The land the new club will inhabit is at the back of their current lot. Most of the land the current building is on has already been sold to a contractor. They hope to move into the new facility by December 2015 and begin play in January 2016. “We will be able to curl when they are building. We will curl half the year in the old club, and half the year in the new club.”
The last curling sheets added to the region’s inventory was the two-sheet rink in Maniwaki, Que. in 2011. The year before, the Township of Russell doubled its sheets to four. Five sheets came online at the North Grenville curling club in 2005. In 2006, the Hylands facility at Uplands got torn down along with its four sheets.
In Tim Hortons Trophy and Colts regional winners were: 1A -Tracy Samaan and Doug Kee, B – Jennifer Harvey and Jonathan Beuk.
The OVCA Colts League final event of the season winner was the Buckingham, Que. rink of Luc Ouellette, Robert Pollender, Eric Labonte and Germain Dufour. The largest points earner over the four events was the team of Jason Picard, Braden Gray, Chad Valcour and Travis Stephenson. The top six teams advance to the $1,000 Tournament of Champions next weekend in Buckingham. The winner of the Richard Kargus Russell Men’s spiel was the team of Chris Gardner, Ryan Shillington, Scott Sagle and Patrick Boisvenue.
In regards to Monday night’s knees on the ice controversy, the Team Jacobs Facebook page explained their actions. “It was not done with any ill intention. When it happened and an apology was extended for that — the intent was a reminder to not “puddle” the ice surface … but it was not done with any aggressive or intimidating intent.” The pot is calling the kettle black.
5,292 total views, 3 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Listowel Curling Club skip Allison Flaxey, third Katie Cottrill, second Lynn Kreviazuk, and lead Morgan Court are pictured after winning the Ontario Scotties in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. in 2014. MICHAEL PURVIS/QMI AGENCY FILES
You could hear the cheering from Prince George, B.C. all the way to Nunavut.
Ottawa’s Lynn Kreviazuk is in the northern B.C. town coaching Team Nunavut’s girls’ curling squad at the Canada Winter Games.
On Monday, the girls won their first ever curling game, 8-2 over Team Yukon, in the five events in which they have curled.
“The girls were so thrilled to win. They were all very proud after a well played game,” said coach Kreviazuk.
The girls, with an average age of 15, had yet to win a game at two Arctic Winter Games and three national junior championships. At the national juniors, their opponents usually scored in the double digits.
“We stay motivated by understanding that we are learning from every game, whether it was a win or a loss. We have many years left and understand that we face losses in order to grow.”
The much-travelled coach recently returned from Sweden where she went after competing in the World Universiade in Spain. Her sister Allison lives in Sweden.
On her way to Ottawa, Kreviazuk’s luggage got lost so she had to buy new stuff for her trip to Prince George.
But no matter what, she loves coaching the Nunavut girls. “These girls are like sponges. They really appreciate and absorb information they are told and it is very clear in their progress that they are listening.”
The team consists of Sadie Pinksen, Christianne West, Katie Chislett-Manning and Kaitlin MacDonald.
Their coach credits their success by having a better handle on the ice and improving their rock placement. “I love it,” she said. The finals are on Saturday.
TWO SENIOR MOMENTS
Ottawa and Buckingham, Que., will be represented at the Everest Senior Championships in Edmonton in March.
Jeff McCrady, Brian Lewis, Mike Johansen and Graham Sinclair defeated their city rival Howard Rajala to take the Ontario title. In Quebec the Buckingham foursome of Ted Butler, Don Westphal, Mike Laroche and Maurice Cayouette captured the province.
In Bantam Mixed zones those advancing to regionals are: 1A Sam Mooibroek, B – Mackenzie Comeau; 2A – Jessica Thorne, B – Riley Griffith-Turtle; 3A – Abby Warren, B – Grace Wallingford; 4A – Brady Lumley, B – Michael Ryan.
Lynsey Longfield and Phil Dunville won the Rideau Mixed Doubles spiel on the weekend. In the 77th annual Merkley Cup, the Winchester team of Bill Hogaboam, Geoff Spruit, Phil Kleinswormink and Scott Smith won the eight-team event.
TSN’s Tim Hortons Brier coverage begins Saturday at 3:30 p.m.. Nova Scotia, PEI and Yukon have to play in the single round-robin pre-qualifying round with the final coinciding with the Brier’s first draw. Look for PEI to join the other 11 squads, including the first appearance by Team Canada, skipped by John Morris. In answer to an Ottawa Sun inquiry whether Team Ontario was the youngest team, the CCA’s Al Cameron replied. “I went to this amazing website http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html and calculated the number of days each curler will have lived as of the opening day of the Brier, and then produced a team average. AND, by just a mere fraction, Team PEI is, in fact, younger than Team Ontario!
Each Team PEI player will have lived an average of 9,131.75 days as of the opening draw of the Brier. Each Team Ontario player will have lived an average of 9,135 days as of the opening draw of the Brier. So, on average, the Ontario guys are less than four days older than the PEI players.” A portent? The sisters of Team Ontario’s Dave Mathers and Scott Howard won the OUA provincials for Laurier.
The Carleton Ravens women’s curling team missed advancing to the OUA finals when it lost to Laurier 5-4 in the semi-finals Monday. The Ravens men’s team missed the playoffs … Ottawa Brier tickets went on sale Monday and 55 full packages sold in two hours.
5,639 total views, 1 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Gatineau’s Lauren Mann loves it.
Skipping her Quebec team at the Scotties is a dream come true. “When you’re here I don’t think you can say anything is the worst,” she replied when asked by the Sun what the best and worst was at the tournament. “But if I had to guess I’d say not playing as well as we can.”
Mann won her province with an 8-2 round-robin record. The only teams that beat her were the two semi-finalists. Most of her success in her 19 years of curling came as a youth. The 30-year -old Affiliates Manager for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society says that the best part of her Scotties experience “is just reconnecting with the reasons I started playing competitively in the first place – competition and community.”
Mann lives in Aylmer, Que., with Don Bowser, who skips his own rink based out of Kingston. He is cheering her on in Moose Jaw. His squad did well this season garnering $18,000 to sit 19th on the money list.
The bilingual skip says, “Surprisingly we are not feeling intimidated at all. The fans here are great. In general the crowd cheers for good shots.” During a TSN Feb. 14 feature players were asked, “What’s your perfect Valentines Day?” The best reply was Mann’s who said something to the effect that who needs a romantic day when you can be playing at the Scotties.
Sunday’s Sandra Schmirler Telethon set a record for donations of $333,512. The total is still not known because there are still on-line donations being made. That’s about $80,000 more than the last record set in Kingston in 2013. The Foundation previously this year received a donation from a man in Castor, Alberta who curled until he was 95. When he died at 100 years of age he left $350,000 to be spread equally between 8 charities. This was also the first time Schmirler’s daughters have been on the telecast.
No one seemed to notice the pre-qualification rules when they were first used at less high profile events. Now that pre-qualification has sent the two arctic teams home from the Scotties plenty of fans have noticed. Much criticism has been aimed at the Canadian Curling Association for instituting this set of rules. An interesting take on the situation comes from Bill Tschirhart the highly regarded national coach. He was also the coach for the Yukon team sent home from Moose Jaw.
“We did not qualify out of the pre-qualification round which has now been instituted for the event, not by the Canadian Curling Association per se, but on the decree of its provincial and territorial associations. If you are among, what I suspect are thousands who oppose this process, please don’t petition the CCA. You need to express your feelings to your PSO (Provincial Sport Organization). It’s their minds that require changing!” Look for the relegation round winner Northern Ontario to be in the mix during the championship weekend. Wait for the hue and cry when this happens at the Tim Hortons Brier.
The Team Canada women at the World Universiade last week ended up earning a silver medal (one of Canada’s five medals) in an extra end 9-8 loss to Russia last Friday. Skip Breanne Meakin, Lauren Horton, Lynn Kreviazuk and Jessica Armstrong won every game including a round robin win over the same Russian team. Doug Kreviazuk coached them.
The senior provincials begin today in Glencoe near London. Representing this region are the teams skipped by Jeff McCrady, Howard Rajala, Cheryl McBain and Darcie Walker. The university provincials begin Thursday in Guelph. Both Carleton Ravens men and women’s teams will be represented.
6,385 total views, 1 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Mat Camm of Team Kean throws a rock as teammates David Mathers, left, and Scott Howard, right, begin to sweep during their final game against Team Epping at the Ontario Curling Championship at the Ontario Curling Championships at the Flight Exec Centre in Dorchester, Ont., on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Team Kean defeated Team Epping 7-6 in ten ends and will represent Ontario at the national championships. (CRAIG GLOVER / QMI AGENCY)
From the disappointment of 2011 to the joy of 2015.
Local curlers Mat Camm and David Mathers are still pinching themselves now that they are part of Team Ontario (with skip Mark Kean) going to the Tim Hortons Brier. Camm skipped his team to a silver medal at the 2011 Canadian Juniors with Mathers at second and their current lead, Scott Howard, as third. Saskatchewan’s Braeden Moskowy beat them on the last rock in an extra end. They will be facing him in Calgary. Moskowy is Team Manitoba third.
Their Recharge with Milk Tankard week was a rollercoaster but Mathers, a 23-year-old insurance broker, felt good about their chances early in the week.
“We felt good and we were really clicking,” he said.
They won their first four games handily, scoring 35 points to their opponents’ 13. Then disaster hit Wednesday when they lost both their games.
“Wednesday was more of a wake up call,” Mathers said. “We learned a lot from what we didn’t do well on Wednesday. We came back and bounced back with two great wins on Thursday. That’s kind of when we knew we were going to make the playoffs.”
The team credits their coach and fifth man, Bryan Cochrane of Russell, with helping them. According to Mathers, “He gave us some very valuable knowledge about A, our game plan and B, our releases on arena ice. It gave us a big time leg up over some of the other teams.”
Cochrane said, “There is a lot of laughter, but more importantly they love the game and will do anything to improve and perform. Their behaviour off the ice is a coach’s dream … their play on the ice is pretty good, too.”
Ironically, Cochrane doesn’t have the credentials to coach at the national level so will be their fifth man.
While Mathers was toiling in Dorchester, Ont., his girlfriend Lynn Kreviazuk (he lives at her parents’ house) was throwing second rocks for Team Canada in Granada, Spain, at the World Universiade.
“I’m so happy for him,” Kreviazuk told the Sun from Spain. “He and his team have worked so hard and peaked at the right moment this season.”
She will miss most of the Brier because she’s coaching at the Canada Winter Games until March 2. Team Canada has made Thursday’s playoffs with a 9-0 round robin record.
Mathers thinks their friendship is what holds the team together.
“There was never a doubt in our minds that we were going to bounce back in the semi-final. For a young team, we could have folded up the tent and gone home. And we came out and scored four in the first end against Middaugh and off we ran with it. Our team dynamics are off the chart.”
And what did the team do on Sunday after winning?
“We ordered some pizza and had a couple of drinks. I’m pretty sure we were all ready to go to bed at about 8:30. We were just out of gas.”
There is another Howard who won’t be doing anything during the Brier should the team decide to take a coach along.
This area has two provincial bantam champions. The Huntley rink of Kayla MacMillan, Sarah Daviau, Lindsay Dubue and Marcia Richardson with coach Jill Rivington took the girls side. The boys side went to Richmond’s Michael Morra, Sean Armstrong, Grant Fraser and Matthew Morra coached by Byron Scott. In Tim Hortons Colts the winners were: 1A – Douglas Brewer, B – Kevin Rathwell; 2A- Douglas Kee, B – Andrew Bugg; 3A – DJ Parent, B – David Cormier. At the Tankard, an Ottawa Special Olympics team captured the provincial championship. They are Conall Macmillan, Patrick Gratton, Chris White, Kimberly Gorin and Corey Hill.
In the Crystal Heart Curling Classic the open division winners were the team of Dawn Rodney, Charlene Sobering, Karen Johnson and Heather Kosierb. The senior division winning team was Betty Bush, Joanne Miller, Diane Wylie and Karen Peters from Kingston.
The Ottawa Youth League had its inaugural Ontario-Quebec Challenge on Sunday. Ontario won 54 to 42. TSN covers the Scotties beginning this Saturday at 3 p.m.
6,086 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Joanne Courtney (QMI Agency)
Edmonton’s Joanne Courtney got a call from Rachel Homan about moving to Ottawa and playing second for the back-to-back national women’s champions. She leaves next week for Moose Jaw to see if she can help them three peat at the Scotties.
“When I got the phone call it was something I couldn’t say no to.” said Courtney, 25. “When I am out here (in Ottawa), it’s all about curling. I am very lucky to have that chance.”
Mark, a doctor and her husband of a year and a half, supported her decision to make the move.
“During curling season, I’m hardly home a lot anyway,” she said. “We are having our team practices, leaving Thursday then back Monday so we didn’t see a lot of each other anyway. It’s not the easiest thing living away from my husband. But there are a lot of marriages that work that way.”
While in Ottawa, Courtney lives with her brother and his girlfriend. He is a lawyer who is away most of the time in Vancouver working on a case.
“I keep her company,” she said.
Joanne and Mark keep in touch through phone and Skype.
“We were actually out west playing a lot this year so I was able to go home early for visits,” she said.
Courtney is also a nurse and did casual work at her Edmonton unit when she did visit.
The new second has been spending her time practising to throw more like the women and “then there’s the whole communication thing. It’s a lot in itself to learn so I’m glad I can focus on that.”
Team Homan are sticklers about practising, averaging three hours a day between on ice and meetings.
“We’re purposeful with our practices.” said Courtney. “We just don’t show up and lob rocks for three hours. We like to set a goal.”
Does she ever get sick of practicing?
“Part of it is managing your mind set, too. Sometimes you might not want to go to the rink but it’s about putting yourself in the moment and enjoying it.”
Their biggest competition at the Scotties, she said, is “whoever gets hot in the week.”
“We can’t take anyone lightly. If you relax at all, teams will be there to get you.”
The Scotties runs Feb. 14-22. Team Canada’s first game is against Quebec, skipped by Gatineau’s Lauren Mann.
This is the first Scotties where Northern Ontario has a spot, but must play down against the Yukon and Northwest Territories Feb. 12-14 to see which of the three gets the 12th spot at the tournament.
In Broker Link Mixed, the zone results were: 1A – Don Bowser, B – Rob Fraser; 2A – Doug Johnston, B – Andrew Bugg; 3A – Dave Cormier, B – Mike McLean; 4A – Wayne Williams, B – Dave Collyer. In Senior Mixed zones, the winners were: 1A – Brad Shinn, B – Dave Stanley; 2A – Paul Madden, B – Mike Johansen; 3A – Bill Adams, B – John Wilson; 4A – Randy Hutchinson, B – Terry Corbin.
In the U3 bonspiel, the under-three-years-experience winning team was Steve Astels, Chris North, Leland McInnes and Darcy Pierlot. The one-year-experience team winner was Ann White, Caroline Paradis, Carol Chamberlaine and Carol Marszalek.
2016 Ottawa Brier tickets go on sale in a little over two weeks. The pre-sale is Feb. 23 and the full sale begins Feb. 26 … The 17th annual Crystal Heart begins Thursday … Sportsnet will televise the semifinal and final of the Recharge with Milk Tankard on Sunday at 9 a.m. and 1:30.
6,383 total views, 4 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Breanne Meakin. (QMI Agency files)
They have a world of experience.
The CIS national champion women’s curling team is headed to Granada, Spain, for the 2015 Winter Universiade, which begins Feb. 3. The squad consists of three local women, Lauren Horton (third), Lynn Kreviazuk (second) and Jessica Armstrong (lead). Their skip is Winnipeg’s Breanne Meakin. Meakin didn’t lead her team to the national championships. Manotick’s Jamie Sinclair had the honour but left the team for other curling pursuits.
Meakin, 25, says the Ottawa gals sought her out, eventually settling things via Skype.
“I play with three amazing girls. Our personalities just fit. It was really quick for us.”
Meakin and Kreviazuk have world experience at the junior level. Both were world junior silver medalists. The team played together four times so far this season and have earned $7,350. The team also had intense multi-day practices.
Their coach, Doug Kreviazuk, says this all went toward their team expenses which, he reckons, will exceed $30,000, much of it raised by them team. The CCA has contributed a large amount. Carleton U, on whose site is a crowd-sourcing site where $1,895 of their $5,000 goal has been raised, also provided a small amount.
The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 but not older than 28 as of Jan. 1 in the year of the Games. Curling starts Feb. 5. Canada faces nine countries, starting with South Korea. The final is Feb. 13.
“We are going in with an open mind,” Meakin said. “We are not too sure what we are going to get so we want to be prepared.”
Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone skips the Canadian men’s team. They leave for Spain on Friday.
Winners of the Best Western Intermediates were: 1A – Cheryl McBain and Norm Hewitt; B – Kerry McCue and Dwayne Lowe. Stick curling region winners were: 1A – Bob Bateman, B- Robert Matheson. In Bantam regionals winners were: 1A Kayla MacMillan and Ryan Hahn, B – Sierra Sutherland and Michael Morra. In Gore Mutual School Boy and School Girls zones the winners were: 1A – Sarah Throop and Adam Thompson, B – Mikayla Gemmill and Hayden Richmond; 2A – Jocelyn Taylor and Cameron Goodkey; B – Dayna Cullen and Sean Armstrong; 3A – Sierra Sutherland and Jordie Lyon-Hatcher, B – Beth Misener (no boy); 4A – Hannah Boudreau and William Parkes, B – Morgan Typhair and Eric Lansley.
A few parents and coaches approached the Sun about a bantam boys team that advanced to the provincials from the Richmond club but had three GTA boys on the squad. The OCA confirmed that the rules state players have to be from Ontario and registered at the same club to field a play-down team.
“I think this goes against the etiquette and spirit of the game,” Kevin McNamara said in an e-mail. “It was difficult to explain to my son that a team not from this area was able to qualify … and not live in the area or actually play at the club they represented.” Parachuting points to dwindling youth numbers, that is a major problem.
TSN carries the semifinals and finals of the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 … Scotties field declared. Joining Team Homan will be Patti Knezevic (B.C.), Val Sweeting (Alta.), Stephanie Lawton (Sask.), Jennifer Jones (Man.), Julie Hastings (Ont.), Tracy Horgan (N. Ont.), Lauren Mann (Que.), Mary-Anne Arsenault (N.S.), Suzanne Birt (P.E.I.), Heather Strong (Nfld.), Sarah Koltun (YK) and Kerry Galusha (NWT). The New Brunswick entry will be determined Sunday.
7,169 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Lee Merklinger of the Sherry Middaugh team. (QMI Agency Files)
Penetanguishene should be called Little Ottawa.
The home of this week’s Ontario Scotties has two Ottawa teams competing (from the Rideau, Team Varnes and the Ottawa, Team Inglis) as well as two players on other teams — Lee Merklinger with Team Middaugh and Cheryl Kreviazuk on Team Romain.
Scotties veteran Merklinger likes her rink’s chances.
“I think the week-long Scotties plays to our strength, which is longer-style events that mimic slams or the Canada Cups,” she said. “The schedule is set and we have a plan laid out for each day.”
The tournament is also in her skip’s home club, so a large fan base will be there. The second also feels the five-year-old squad has an advantage over the other teams because many are first-year teams and young.
When asked how many Scotties she has been in she said, “The better question is how many times have I won? Zero. It’s time to change that!”
Rhonda Varnes brings a wealth of Scotties experience with her from Manitoba, her home province. She was the youngest skip at the 2005 championship, then played third in 2006. Each time she was one game short of the playoffs.
“I know we are the underdog team,” she said, “but we were the underdog in regionals as well and slid under the radar to win.”
Her third, Melissa Gannon, also has national Scotties experience. The team’s coach is Bruce Merklinger, Lee’s father.
Katie Morrissey used to skip the Danielle Inglis team but when she moved away the three remaining players reached out to the Stouffville skip. They played in four events this season and qualified in two.
“We’ve managed to fit in five weekend practices this season plus I was able to play with them for a game at the Ottawa before one of our spiels,” said Inglis, a 26-year-old old employee of the CCA says, “If we can string together a couple good games and keep on top of our games, I think that we have a chance.”
Rogers is broadcasting daily draws live as well as Page games. Sportsnet takes over with the semi-finals Sunday at 8 a.m. followed by the 12:30 p.m. final.
In Best Western Women’s Challenge, the provincial champ is Brockville’s Karen Mahon. The Fairfield Marriott Men’s Challenge provincial champ is Metcalfe’s Billy Joe Woods. Senior region winners were: 1A – Darcie Walker and Howard Rajala; B – Cheryl McBain and Jeff McCrady. Bantam zone winners were: 1A – Cassie Allen and Tom Hamilton; B – Mackenzie Comeau and Patrick Gauthier; 2A – Sierra Sutherland and James Stonehouse; B – Anna Faninaccio and Ryan Hahn; 3A – Kayla MacMillan and Michael Morra; B Grace Wallingford -and Richard Barrie; 4A- Kayla Gray and Brad Lumley; B – Emma Wallingford and Adam Thompson.
Glenn Howard failed to earn a provincial spot at the Challenge Round but his former teammate Wayne Middaugh is going, as is his brother-in-law Rob Rumfeldt.
A CURLING LOSS
Former OCA President Ian McGillis passed away Saturday morning at age 53 after a battle with cancer. His tenure coincided with last year’s furor over the OCA’s loss of CCA membership. But that should not over shadow the immense amount of volunteer work he did. And he always did it with a gleam in his eye. His funeral is this Friday in Williamsburg.
The rink of Blake Sinclair, Jeff Tindall, Mike Robb and Mark St-John captured the top spot of the OVCA Colts League event Jan. 12.
Huntley’s Matt Allan has received the OCA Past President’s $1,000 scholarship … The 60th anniversary Open Cashspiel is looking for teams in Deep River. Prize money is $7,500 plus some meals during the Feb. 20 to 22 event. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
7,507 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
He’s a curling consultant and you better work hard.
Edmonton’s Marcel Rocque was in Ottawa for the weekend of January 3 & 4, which he spent with Team Homan. And did they work.
Rocque is no stranger to a curling work ethic having been the stellar lead for the legendary Ferbey Four who won four Brier titles in five years and three world championships.
While he works full time teaching culinary arts for the Edmonton school system the affable teacher considers himself a curling consultant. Last year he was the head coach for the Chinese. He’s on the high performance team of the Canadian Curling Association. Any nationally ranked team can call upon his services.
Team Homan spent a great deal of Saturday on the ice with Rocque performing drills then a great deal of Sunday doing more throwing and sweeping drills. When that was done they retreated for a two-hour meeting before a late lunch.
Why is he doing this? “This beautiful game of curling has given me so many great memories and great opportunities so it’s important for me to give back to the game I love.” he told the Sun.
With the children (14 and 12) into sports (competitive curling and club soccer) Rocque feels his kids need him more now than when they were little. He hasn’t curled at any level in four years. “I miss it but for me to play just for fun I tried it one year and found it quite frustrating. People wanted to be really competitive against you and I can’t just shut that off. So here I am trying to have fun with a bunch of beginners so I didn’t enjoy that aspect of it so it was easier just to walk away.”
While in Ottawa Glenn Howard lost in his regions and had to make a decision to either go to the Challenge Round or play the same weekend in the Pinty’s Skins Game. Rocque predicted to the Sun then that Howard would choose the Brier route.
WINNERS’ CIRLCE: This region has produced two provincial champions last weekend. Diana Favel enjoyed the Tim Hortons Masters so much she decided to play two tiebreaker games. The first was against Cathy Shaw of Galt. Favel advanced to the second tiebreaker with her 4-3 victory. In the final against Brantford’s Vicki Marianchuk the Rideau foursome forced Marianchuk to concede in the seventh for the 7-2 win. With Favel were Sheila Rogers, Edna Legault and Sue Kollar. Their next adventure takes them to the nationals March 30 to April 5 in Whitehorse. In Pepsi Junior provincial Belleville’s Mac Calwell defeated the Toronto area rink skipped by Carp’s Pascal Michaud 9-1. Michaud’s only loss in the round robin was also to Calwell. Joining Calwell in victory were Kurt Armstrong, Morgan Calwell and Matt Pretty. The Belleville rink next goes to the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Cornerbrook, NL, from January 24 to February1.
OCA RESULTS: In the Recharge with Milk Tankard regions 1A –Ian MacAulay, B – Colin Dow; 2A – Mark Kean, B – John Epping. This weekend’s men’s challenge round will complete the field. Bayview’s Julie Hastings defeated Ottawa’s Erin Morrissey to take the Scotties Challenge Round giving her the last spot in the January 19 to 25 Scotties provincial championships in Penetanguishene.
END NOTES: Pinty’s All Star Skins Game is on TSN this weekend. Kevin Koe takes on John Morris while Brad Jacobs goes against Kike McEwen The women compete this year with Rachel Homan battling Val Sweeting while Chelsea Carey takes on Jennifer Jones. Coverage begins this Friday evening at 8.
9,374 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Ontario skip Glenn Howard watches the line of his shot as teammate Craig Savill sweeps during the Canadian Men’s Curling Championships in Edmonton March 3, 2013. (Reuters File)
That’s how Craig Savill described how difficult it was for the Glenn Howard rink to make the decision to go or not to go to the Challenge Round.
The Challenge Round is a kind of torture that medieval curlers wouldn’t understand.
Shockingly, Team Howard lost their region. For the uninitiated, for decades now the Ontario Curling Association has mandated that all its competitions require teams to advance by winning their zone, then their region.
But there is a saviour — the Challenge Round. This is the last ditch event to win and advance to the Tankard and perhaps play in the Brier.
The Pinty’s All Star Skins Game in Banff, on TSN, is the same weekend as the Challenge, Jan. 16-18. Howard is one of the featured teams, and there’s lots of money at stake.
What to do?
On Monday, they decided to stick with the Skins Game. But by Tuesday, Savill told the Sun, “We wanted to go to both but decided as a team to go to the Challenge and try for the Brier.”
The Mike McEwen rink is taking their place.
That it comes down to this shows how backward Ontario is. The Ontario Curling Association office should be at Upper Canada Village.
Every other jurisdiction allows for multiple byes to the provincials. That Ontario doesn’t might just have something to do with the inordinate amount of competitions it oversees — 34 to be exact. That number is multiplied by having zones and regions. And they ask clubs to host these events for no compensation.
With fewer and fewer teams signing up for their events, Ontario should get rid of zones. Have large regional events that might make a club some money. By reducing events, you might also free up OCA money to pay for ice time.
If we want to send our best to national competitions, something has to change.
In Scotties regionals, those advancing to provincials are: 1A- Rhonda Varnes, B – Danielle Inglis. Lee Merklinger from Ottawa is provincials-bound with her Sherry Middaugh team from region 3. And another Ottawa Kreviazuk — Cheryl — advances to provincials out of region 4 with the Caitlin Romain rink. Team Varnes is in search of a spare as their second, Erin Macaulay is committed to a spiel in China. This will be the first year that Northern Ontario is not in the Ontario Scotties. The tournament is in Penetanguishene Jan. 19-25.
The Recharge With Milk Tankard regions 1 and 2 take place this weekend at Russell and Whitby.
Best Western Women’s Challenge and Fairfield Marriott Men’s Challenge those moving on the provincials are: 1A – Bill Woods, Lynsey Longfield; B- Al Solari, Laura Reavie; 2A – Rob Kluke, Sandy Mazzotta, B- Chadd Vandermade, Karen Mahon; 3A – Jason Smith, Susan Schmidt, B- Gary Smith, Yvonne Sklepowicz; 4A- Dave Collyer, Sherri Lynn Collyer, B- Jim Brownson, Katy Mountain.
The Carleton Place beginners bonspiel was won by the team of Brian Jones, Jessica Wilson, Emily Brown and Deborah Mayo.
The Tim Hortons Masters provincial championships begin Wednesday in Stirling. Representing this area are Dianne Wylie, Diana Favel, Brian Savill and Ron Edgeley. Wednesday is also the beginning of the Pepsi junior provincials in Galt. Lauren Horton, Melissa Wong, Mac Calwell and Doug Kee are representing this region … The World Financial Group Continental Cup begins Thursday in Calgary. Six Canadian rinks battle six from Europe in various formats. Ottawa’s Rachel Homan is there. TSN has all the action beginning at 10:30 a.m.
9,784 total views, 3 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Rachel Homan of Team Canada watches her rock during the gold medal match at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts against Team Alberta at the Maurice Richard Arean in Montreal on Sunday. PASCALE LVESQUE/QMI AGENCY
The past curling season gave fans and players joy and sorrow.
Team Homan’s remarkable undefeated performance at the Scotties Tournament of Heats in Montreal, where the Ottawa rink claimed its second national title in a row, showed that practice makes perfect. The tears streamed down the faces of family and friends when Rachel Homan’s second Alison Kreviazuk boarded her plane to live in Sweden.
The area’s young curlers were well served when a number of parents started up the new Ottawa Youth League for curlers aged 12 to 18. The citywide league sees teams of any skill level compete in two divisions until the league championships at end of the season. On the other hand youth numbers continue to decline in more competitive events.
Kudos to all the local and valley clubs who continue to offer or have just started rookie leagues. These leagues promise to be the future of curling clubs. The Ottawa Valley Curling Association is to be congratulated for instituting an instructor’s training program for these leagues. On the down side, rural clubs continue to struggle.
Plans are moving forward to build a new City View club, expanding the building and number of sheets. Too bad the club’s existing plant broke down, which cost City View money and delayed its season. This isn’t as bad as the situation at the Navy, where a torn power source forced the club to hire a mega generator for a number of weeks. The negotiation with its landlord, the Feds, continues with lots of money the club doesn’t have, at stake.
Local curlers Jamie Sinclair, Lauren Horton, Lynn Kreviazuk and Jessica Armstrong won the national university title and are going to Spain early in February for the winter Universiade. They have raised thousands of dollars themselves — close to their goal of $10,000. It is too bad there isn’t more funding provided so they could concentrate on curling.
Craig Savill, who lives in Manotick, thrilled that curling club when he presented a cheque to them from his portion of the sales of the 2014 Men of Curling calendar. The amount was just over $11,000. The club also got hit with a major septic system repair.
The Ontario Curling Association went through an organization changing time for most of 2014 with emotionally charged meetings, police in attendance and friendships ended. The good news is that reforms have been implemented and change is in the air.
On the national front, the Canadian Curling Association is pleased by three gold-medal performances at the Olympics and Paralympics in Russia. It means government funding of the organization stays in place. However the gap continues to grow between the elite players and the next level with no plan yet to address this disparity.
As for requests, more Vegas please.
The World Financial Group Continental Cup held in Las Vegas was a resounding success. Too bad the Brier couldn’t be there.
Meanwhile, the Sun asked prominent curlers if they planned to make New Year’s resolutions. The best reply was from Jean-Michel Menard: “Win more coin tosses as a team since we are not really good at this part of the game.”
In the Toronto Curling Association junior and bantam bonspiel that just finished Tuesday, the Huntley team of Kayla Marie MacMillan, Sarah Daviau, Lindsay Dubue and Marcia Richardson took the junior women’s side.
The Michaud brothers (Pascal and Decebal) from Carp won the junior men’s event with their Toronto-based team.
Ontario’s Pepsi junior championships begin Jan. 7 at Guelph. Lauren Horton, Melissa Wong, Doug Kee and Mac Calwell will represent this area. The Michaud brothers from Carp are also competing but out of Toronto. The winners advance to the M&M Meat Shops Canadian juniors in Corner Brook, NL.
9,508 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Curler Craig Savill. (Scott Wishart, QMI Agency)
Curling has a language all its own.
The terms take on different meanings during the Christmas season.
The 12 foot: The length of the pole I wouldn’t touch you with after you barfed on yourself at the curling club Christmas party.
Across the face: Where you got slapped by your girlfriend. See above.
Back 4: The number of inches you gained on your backside over the holidays.
Button: What pops after the festive feast.
Chip and lie: When you find the bag empty and the kids deny they ate them.
Come around: What everyone wants you to do during the season.
Corner guard: What Peter does sometime in his role as a police officer.
Double takeout: The pair of coffees you take with you during your hectic shopping day.
Extra end: What it’s called after you relax then remember you forgot to get one more gift.
Fall: The season you wish you had started shopping.
Front of the house: Where your uncoordinated brother-in- law fell on Christmas day.
Gripper: How you describe the hold your preschooler uses on his presents.
Handle: The guy who wrote The Messiah.
Ice maker: The device on your fridge you don’t want to break during the New Year’s Eve party.
Little rocks: What she really thinks of the size of the stones on the new ring.
Mate: What lots of party goers do after the Christmas party.
Narrow: The dimension you can no longer pass through after the feast.
On the broom: The device you think some people ride on when they over-stay at your place during the holidays.
Pebble: The name of the doll you got when you had a Flintstones Christmas.
Peel weight: How much your Clementine weights after you take off the skin.
Port: What tastes great after the big meal.
Raise: What you hope you get after the holidays.
Shooter: You’ll feel bad if you have too many on New Year’s Eve.
Split: What your pants might do after turkey time.
Straight ice: How you take your eggnog.
Takeout: What you order when you forget to turn the oven on for dinner.
Vice: What you swear off as part of your New Year’s resolutions.
Wick: The part of the candle you can never find.
In senior men’s playdowns those advancing to regional action are: 1A- Bryan
Cochrane, B – Jeff McCrady; 2A – Kevin Brady, B – Bill Duck; 3A – Dwayne Lowe, B – Howard Rajala. Women’s senior teams all advance to regionals because there weren’t enough to compete at zones. In Milk Tankard action zone 4 winners were: A – Dave Collyer, B – Bryce Rowe. Ottawa Craig Savill won his zone 10A spot with Glenn Howard. This was the first time in eight years Howard had to fight in zones. Another prominent Ottawa curler, Lee Merklinger, won her zone 10A Scotties spot throwing second for Sherry Middaugh. In the Diversicare Grand Masters zone winners were: 1- Wally Morris, 2-Merv Roberts, 3- Bob Matheson, 4- Benny Brock.
Twelve-year-old Ottawa curler Emily Deschenes was the star of a curling commercial shot by TSN in the city yesterday. She started her day at 8 a.m. then was joined by her team of Laura and Rebecca Smith and Sierra Sutherland … Have a wonderful Christmas.
9,233 total views, 3 views today
8,213 total views, 1 views today
5,506 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Ontario skip Rachel Homan (Ian MacAlpine, QMI Agency)
They have the skills. And now they have the Hart.
Rachel Homan’s rink announced Monday that Richard Hart, the former Brier, world champion and Olympic silver medallist will be their coach during the 2015 Scotties in Moose Jaw, Sask.
Hart told the Sun on Tuesday the two-time Canadian champs approached him. “I believe it is my curling experience which the team is hoping to utilize first and foremost.”
The Glenn Howard third got a taste for coaching when his two sons won the 2014 Ontario bantam provincials.
“I enjoy coaching and am looking to the future in this area,” Hart said.
His commitment is strictly for the Scotties. “My first priority is Team Howard. I will spend as much time as I can with the team before the Scotties getting to know them and trying to help them in any small way I can.”
Pepsi junior regional winners from this area were: 1A — Lauren Horton and Mac Calwell; B — Melissa Wong and Doug Kee. Pascal and Decebal Michaud from Carp attend Queen’s and won their region 2B spot. All advance to the Pepsi provincials in Galt starting Jan. 7. Tim Hortons Masters men’s winners in zone 1 were: A — Dwayne Lowe, B — Norm Clement. Zone 4 senior men’s winners were A — Gary Rusconi, B — Scott Davey. Zones one, two and three men’s tankard are all at the RCMP beginning this Friday at 6. The women’s Scotties zones are also there but there are some issues with the lack of entries. The RCMP club is asking spectators to bring a donation for the Food Bank.
The rink skipped by Randy Garland won the men’s senior spiel at the Navy. With Garland were Brian Edge, John Colquhoun and Cal Hegge.
WEAGLE HAS LANDED
Homan’s lead, Lisa Weagle, is a master of the tick shot. It’s even called the Weagle. There are some however who may want to limit its use. Curling Zone guru Gerry Geurts, who does some stats work for the CCA and USA curling folks, told the Sun he and the CCA’s Danny Lamoureux have conjectured about limiting its scope. “Definitely don’t want to take the shot out of the game as it’s a skill shot, but maybe changing the area you can clear the shots.” Geurts is proposing only allowing ticks in the 8 foot. He continued, “it would still allow the tick to be played but make it more difficult and also stones in the 8 foot are still usable to the team trying to steal.”
The CCA announced last Thursday that ESPN3 south of the border has acquired the USA rights to the CCA’s Seasons of Champions events. Because this is a streaming service I thought I could get out of paying the information highway robbery rates of Canadian television providers by downloading the ESPN3 app. It won’t download in Canada.
Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling kicked off Tuesday from Yorkton, Sask., with the world’s ready to roll. The big money event runs until Dec. 14 with 16 teams of each gender, including Homan. Instead of a round-robin format, the tournament winner will be decided by a triple knock-out with half of each field qualifying. Television coverage begins Thursday at noon on Sportsnet. The finals are Sunday with the men’s championship on CBC at 1 p.m., and the women’s final on Sportsnet at 6 p.m. Look for a Mike McEwen versus Brad Jacobs rematch in the final with Brendan Bottcher as the dark horse. Look for Homan to face Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni in the women’s final. Make Julie Hastings the dark horse.
5,306 total views, 3 views today
4,182 total views, 1 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
Telemundo TV host Letti Coo tried curling in Ottawa for the first time. SUPPLIED IMAGE
They came for soccer, but fell for curling.
On Monday, a four-person TV crew from the U.S. network Telemundo went to the Ottawa Curling Club to take in a new sport.
Why? This Saturday, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup which will take over Ottawa next summer, is holding its draft and Telemundo (owned by the NBC network) holds the FIFA Spanish USA broadcast rights. The Florida-based crew came to town to cover the draft but also decided to take in a few Canadian activities..
Network sports producer Enrique Bertran brought the host of their popular sports lifestyles show, Letti Coo. Her show, Rhythm of Sports travels the U.S. and other countries trying various new sports. “We chose curling because we know its Canada’s national sport,” said Bertran. “Letti has never curled, so it was a perfect fit.”
Colton Daly and Matt Clahane, teammates on an Ottawa junior team, spent a long time on the ice teaching Coo the ins and outs of how to curl. Coo thought it was extremely difficult. “It looks way too easy for what it really is. There’s a lot of technique and you have to have a lot of skills to maintain your balance.” The two instructors explained and showed her curling techniques which she would translate into Spanish on the fly. Their show airs nationally and reaches 90% of the U.S. Latin market.
Coo found it chilly on the ice and difficult to sweep. Her best sport she remarked is yoga, but she still enjoyed the experience. “I love the cultural aspect of it and the fun part. Everybody comes here and has a lot of friends. It’s more like a community and that’s what I like the most.”
In Tim Hortons Masters the zone winners were: 2A: Brian Savill, B- Ron Edgeley; 3A: Andy Hall, B – Ed Warren; 4A: Mike Schneider, B- Barry Mitchell. Zone 1 finishes tomorrow. There are no women zones. Pepsi Junior zone winners were: 1A: Melissa Wong and Jason Camm, B – Cassie Allen and Brad Lumley; 2A: Erin Butler and Hayden Richmond, B – Mychelle Zahabb and Doug Kee; 3A: Lauren Horton and Ryan Hahn, B – Kayla MacMillan and Michael Morra; 4A: Lindsay Bell and Mac Calwell, B – Kayla Gray and Joshua Henderson. Other Ottawa area juniors won zones but played in zone 8A. Those Ottawa players were Colton Daly, Matt Clahane and Hilary Nuhn.
The Challenge Casino de Charlevoix was won by Gatineau’s Jean-Michel Menard on Sunday. He faced off against fellow Gatineau resident Don Bowser.
ON TSN NO MOORE
Veteran curling analyst, Linda Moore is stepping aside immediately from TSN’s curling broadcast because of illness. She has benign fasciculation syndrome which is a neurological disorder. “I’ve been a part of the TSN curling family since 1989. I have had 25 wonderful years at TSN that I will cherish,” said Moore. “Unfortunately, I am physically unable to keep doing the job that I love. I had to make a very difficult choice, but it’s time that I focus all of my energy on my well-being.” Moore is a national and world champion as well as a gold medal winner in Calgary 1988. TSN plans to use a roster of guest analysts starting with Olympic silver medalist Cheryl Bernard beginning today with the start of TSN’s coverage of the Home Hardware Canada Cup.
This tournament has $140,000 in prize money at stake but the real prize is the entry into the Pre-Olympic Trials event — the Road to the Roar in 2017. Ottawa’s Rachel Homan faces Sherry Middaugh in their first game.
4,695 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
It’s a team effort in more ways than one.
Curling fans have heard for a long time about teams using sports psychologists. They have become part of a team’s arsenal with elite rinks all over the curling world. The Scottish teams used them first.
Gerry Peckham, the Canadian Curling Association’s Director of High Performance, has assembled an integrated support team composed of a number of sports scientists, sports medicine experts, nutritionists and strength coaches. Medals aren’t cheap.
The integrated support team individuals we hear the most about are psychologists.
“There is more of an acceptance on the part of the elite players that performance on demand and consistent high performance is more mental than physical or technical,” Peckham said.
Players from Olympic gold medalists to up and coming curlers use their services.
“Someone as experienced as Jennifer Jones might be looking for something very minimal as opposed to up and coming skips who are just trying to get their feet wet and do not have the experience of Jennifer Jones or Glenn Howard,” Peckham said.
The funding for this thrust comes from Own the Podium.
The lead for the CCA’s IST program is Kyle Paquette of Ottawa. According to Peckham, Paquette has made a great connection with a lot of teams, especially younger teams such as Rachel Homan, Mike McEwen, John Epping, Steve Laycock and Val Sweeting.
Paquette, a PhD candidate at Ottawa U, sees his role as something of a consultant.
“It is not like these athletes are training to perform well, they are trying to consistently perform at a world-class level,” he said.
He went on to say that his work is based on the idea that “our brains are not designed for opportunity or for high performance — they are designed for survival.”
His task, he said, is to help athletes “recognize and re-wire these survival strategies and develop high-performance habits.”
Paquette believes these habits have to be learned.
“I’m helping them become more aware to the habits they have to bring to the high-performance environment.”
Our results from the last Olympics — 3 gold medals — suggests a high level is indeed habit forming.
The best news at the well attended press conference last week was the word from Warren Hansen (the CCA’s director of events) that this Ottawa Brier committee will make money. The 2001 Ottawa Brier lost money, leaving no legacy fund. Many volunteers (to this day) were incensed that local curling got no funds to help clubs in the region. The host committee is guaranteed a portion of ticket sales and all 50/50 draw proceeds. The latter has been huge at other curling events — it is not unusual to see $20K jackpots for a single draw.
The first Season of Champions event, the Home Hardware Canada Cup, begins a week from today in Camrose, Alta. The first draw at 10:30 a.m. on TSNfeatures Team Homan versus Team Middaugh. The two winning rinks get a spot in the 2017 Road to the Roar — the Pre-Trials event.
The second-annual Kim Ryan Memorial fundraiser spiel is will be held Dec. 20 at the Navy. Contact Krista Marsden at Krista.email@example.com. The Navy club is still without power. It is a bigger job than was originally thought. The cable failed in many spots … The poster for the 2015 Milk Dairy Farmers of Ontario Tankard is out. It features a photo of Glenn Howard, not last year’s winner Greg Balsdon.
6,062 total views, 3 views today
BY CHRIS HOFLEY, OTTAWA SUN
Canada’s best curlers are coming back to the capital.
For the fourth time in history and first time in 15 years, the Tim Hortons Brier will be held in Ottawa at the revamped TD Place, the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) announced Thursday.
From March 5-13, in just over a year from now, the rink formerly known as the Civic Centre will be transformed as the sport’s top Canadians compete in the 12-team round-robin event. The teams are made up of the 11 provincial/territorial champions as well as the champion of this year’s Brier, set for Feb. 28 to March 8 in Calgary.
The 2016 instalment of the Brier will be the fourth go-around for the CCA’s director of event operations Warren Hansen, who has been involved with the tournament the three other times Ottawa has hosted the Brier, in 1979, 1993 and 2001. He’s seen interest in the game take off.
“When curling became an Olympic sport in 1998, that was the beginning of it becoming more of a mainstream activity,” Hansen said. “I think it’s continued to grow and as a result it’s influencing younger people to become involved with the sport.”
The most recent Ottawa edition of the tournament in 2001 was won by Randy Ferbey’s rink, representing Alberta. While the actual arena, formally the Civic Centre, changed very little during the Lansdowne renovations, the area as a whole has become an ideal location for a major event, especially as stores and restaurants begin to open around the stadium.
“This was a very different place (in 2001), as was the sport of curling,” OSEG CEO Bernie Ashe said Thursday, pointing out that an estimated 700,000 Canadians play the sport, most of them between the ages of 25 and 45. Among them is Ottawa’s Rachel Homan, the reigning women’s national champion.
While there will undoubtedly be many who take advantage of the Brier to watch live curling for the first time — and to party in the Brier Patch, which will be located on the Aberdeen Pavillion — those already active in the local curling world were thrilled by the announcement.
“We’ve waited a long time to hear (the Brier is coming back to Ottawa),” said Elaine Brimicombe, past-president of the Ottawa Valley Curling Association and spokeswoman for the tournament’s host committee.
Brimicombe said it had “been hard to keep this a secret for the last few weeks.”
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome Canada’s best men’s curling teams,” she said.
With the city already committing $900,000 every year to attract big events to the capital, Mayor Jim Watson said Thursday the Brier is a perfect example of what the revamped Lansdowne is all about.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our city,” said the mayor, who called TD Place “a perfect location to showcase our country’s best curling talent.”
The black curtain installed in the arena for Ottawa 67’s hockey games will be removed to give access to additional seating, meaning capacity will be about 10,000. In 2001, 154,136 came to watch matches during the tournament in Ottawa.
Brier attendance through the years
- 2014, Kamloops: 65,505
- 2013, Edmonton: 190,113
- 2011, London: 113,626
- 2010, Halifax: 107,242
- 2009, Calgary: 246,126
- 2007, Hamilton: 107,199
- 2005, Edmonton 281,985
- 2001, Ottawa: 154,136
- 1993, Ottawa: 130,076
- 1982, Brandon: 106,394
5,643 total views, 3 views today
The Tim Hortons Brier is returning to Ottawa at TD Place in the 10,000 seat arena. The dates are March 5-13, 2016.
The last Brier hosted in Ottawa left a very bad taste in curlers collective mouths. The 2001 Brier made no money at all. The hundreds of hours devoted to the event by hundreds of volunteers resulted no legacy fund for local curlers.
The host committee headed by Elaine Brimicombe and CCA Manager of Events, Warren Hansen, both maintain this Brier will be different. Not only will the host committee (the Ottawa Valley Curling Association) get a percentage of the ticket sales but they will get the entire proceeds of the 50/50 draw which can range into the $250,000 range.
Brimicombe also hopes the event will increase awareness of curling amongst non-curlers and fill local clubs.
5,618 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
The Brier in Ottawa?
Tomorrow morning at 11:30 at TD Place, the CCA is expected to announce Ottawa as the host to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier. A few months ago the CCA and OVCA signed a letter of agreement securing the event here. Ottawa had been awarded the 2011 Ford Men’s Worlds but had to turn it down because of the uncertainty of Lansdowne Park’s availability. Because the press conference is being held at TD Place, bet that the event will be staged there. The CCA’s Warren Hansen, who oversees their events, likes the venue.
NAVY CLUB POWERLESS
Navy Curling Club isn’t quite ship shape.
On Sunday, Oct. 19, the club’s power went off and still has not been restored. Through the best efforts of their volunteers the club has managed to keep its ice and not disrupt its schedule too much. But what happened?
No one knows how the power got cut off to the club. The Navy club is in a unique situation. Because it is on Department of National Defence land and that department is nominally its landlord, Ottawa Hydro just couldn’t come in to assess the situation.
Things also got complicated because Public Works administers the lease. On top of that, DND is building a new facility on the site overseen by Defence Construction Canada. The construction of the $18.5 million HMCS Carleton Naval Reserve Building isn’t going to be finished until May 2015.The initial reaction from Public Works was that if the power line was cut because of construction, the feds would take care of the expenses.
In the meantime, with no swift solution at hand, the Navy folks rented a generator so that their curling season wouldn’t be jeopardized. According to Ken Waterman, one of its volunteers who oversees the facility, the rental has cost the club somewhere between $45,000 to $50,000. The club’s insurance doesn’t cover the generator rental, either.
It now comes down to investigating what was the actual cause of the failure. One school of thought on DND’s part is saying that the lease with Navy makes the supply of hydro, water, all utilities and upkeep the responsibility of the curling club. This is DND’s fiduciary responsibility.
Because of on-going activity on the base, it is difficult to quickly find out what the cause was. The power line is also buried.
According to another volunteer, Maureen Harris, “there is light as the end of the tunnel.” Ottawa Hydro is coming in this Sunday to re-connect the club. Then all parties concerned should know the cause of the failure.
Chris Gardner had an amazing run at the Canadian Mixed in North Bay. The Ottawa rink won the bronze medal, although they seemed to be the class of the field. “Not the colour we wanted but not a bad consolation prize,” Gardner said after defeating B.C. in the bronze medal game. His lead, Jessica Barcauskas, was voted All Star lead. Meanwhile, the rest of his men’s team were finalists in the Gord Carroll Classic where they lost to John Epping.
The Lauren Horton team continues to be hot on the junior tour. The Almonte foursome, which includes Kimberly Gannon, Cassandra Lewin and Jessica Armstrong, won the KW Junior Classic going undefeated and posting some double digit scores … The John Steski rink won the Tankard Tune-up cashspiel Sunday. With Steski were Colin Dow, Ritchie Gillan and Brett Lyon-Hatcher … The Navy rink of Charles Chamberlain, Steve Gooch, Nathan Scott and Wayne Keough took the second event of the OVCA Colts league on the weekend.
VOTE FOR OTTAWA
The new Ottawa Youth League submitted a video to True Sport. It was chosen as one of six finalists in a national contest with the winner to be announced on RBC Sports Day in Canada on Nov. 29 on CBC. Go to Truesportpur.ca to vote for Ottawa.
Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, the National begins today from Sault Ste. Marie. Sportsnet carries games beginning Thursday morning at 9. The finals are Sunday afternoon at 3:30.
4,545 total views, 2 views today
The new Ottawa Youth League has a chance to make national exposure on TrueSport Give Back Challenge, Canada wide contest. The spirit of giving back to our kids, families and communities with the help of sports. The OYCL has produce a lot of great stories already this year and we want to continue and make it even better.
A short 3 minute video about the league has made its way to the finals. Yeah!
Now we need YOU to help us (OUR LEAGUE) bring home the gold and get the title of the best contribution in Canada!
VOTE, VOTE, and VOTE again.
Mark your calendars and reminders.
Ask your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, club members, coaches, curling buddies to help us out.
We want to win!! Let’s do it for youth curling everywhere and help the future of our game!
Voting will take place at http://www.truesport.ca/giveback beginning on Tuesday November 18th at 10:00 am (EST) and runs through to Wednesday, November 19th at 11:59 pm (EST).
You can see the OYCL video at http://youtu.be/_jzUkGWtgBs
Winners will be announced and air on CBC sports Saturday November 29th as part of the RBC Sports day in Canada. Partnership with Truesport, CBC and Participaction. http://sportsday.cbc.ca/
4,887 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
This is a fundraiser you can sleep on.
Two-time Scotties winner (with skip Kelly Scott) Sasha Carter came up with a fundraising idea called Sweep to Sleep, a team-to-team challenge. The goal is to raise funds for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation.
“It was thought that we should try to raise awareness and the profile of the foundation, not just around the Scotties/Brier, but at other times as well,” Carter said.
So how does it work?
Simply put, a team takes a photo of each member sleeping. You then post the photos on Twitter and Facebook through the foundation’s website. You then tag two other teams to take up the challenge of snoozing for dough. Everyone involved should donate to the foundation but also encourage others to donate.
Plus Bobbleheads are at stake!
Every team that enters is included in a draw for team bobbleheads with a striking resemblance to the winning team members. Most importantly, the team that raises the most funds will have it matched by the foundation. That team can also resent to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and pick where they want the money directed.
But why did she pick the sleep concept?
“After having my own children, I understood that one thing a new parent is gobsmacked with, is the amount of sleep their new cherubs need, and the fleeting luxury of quality sleep a new parent can expect. Factor in the mandatory need of all curling athletes, and their need to be well-rested to perform their best, and the connection of sleep became clear.”
Remember, this is from a curler who was pregnant during two Scotties.
Plenty of high-profile curlers are supporting the Sweep to Sleep challenge, including Team Glenn Howard.
After looking at the poster, one has to be suspect about Craig “why should I wear clothes” Savill. Between last year’s calendar and the poster, who knows?
Carter hopes this catches on with everyone.
“But we want the challenge to not be just elite teams, but teams of all calibres … everyone who just enjoys the game, or enjoys watching the game.”
Visit www.sandraschmirler.org for more info.
Ottawa’s Earle Morris was the recent recipient of the Coaches Association of Canada’s Petro Canada Coaching Excellence award. He received along with curling three Olympic gold medal team coaches”¦Buckingham’s Richard Faguy won the senior section of the Circuit Provincial du Quebec. The win assures his team a spot in the senior provincials.
Mississauga’s Cathy Auld defeated favourite Julie Hastings from Thornhill 7-4 in the Royal Lepage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic on Sunday. The game revolved around two draws against four by each skip. In the fourth, Auld successfully drew the four-foot to score one. In the sixth, Hastings missed the four-foot when she wrecked on a guard giving up a steal of four. With Carly Howard as lead, her old man Glenn showed up to coach. Brother Russ had less luck with his Japanese squad. They lasted three games. The winner left with $5,200 and the runner-up with $2,800.
The semifinalists were Gatineau’s Lauren Mann and Quebec City’s Kimberly Mastine ($1,800 each) while the quarter-finalists were Theresa Breen, Erin Morrissey, Danielle Inglis and Breanne Meakin.
Ottawa’s Chris Gardner told the Ottawa Sun that the hospitality in North Bay at the Canadian Mixed has been spectacular. He is skipping Team Ontario. However, he said, “The key is balancing the social aspect and the competitive aspect. It’s easy to get carried away in either of them.”
4,363 total views, 1 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
The celebrity curlers keep coming.
Two-time Brier champ and World champion Kerry Burtnyk was in town last weekend watching his two daughters compete and now it’s the turn of Russ Howard this weekend.
Howard is coaching a Japanese team competing in the Royal Lepage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic in Kemptville’s North Grenville Curling Club.
Besides the Japanese team skipped by Touri Koana (they have a 7-8 record in three Canadian events so far) there are squads from Sweden, the U.S., as well as Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. (defending champion Susanne Birt), Quebec and Ontario.
So how does Russ Howard end up coaching a Japanese team?
It started in 1983 when Howard made ice in Midland Ontario. He was asked to teach a Japanese man who had never seen curling how to curl. He taught the rookie — Hiroshi Kobayashi — how to curl and that started a lifelong friendship. Kobayashi was, in fact, the man who put curling into the Olympics at Nagano in 1998. (Canada voted against its inclusion.)
This man brought Howard to Japan many times to instruct. Kobayashi even built a two-sheet curling club on Mount Fuji. The women Howard is coaching are not the Japanese national team. They are four good club curlers from Mr. Kobayashi’s facility.
“I am just doing this as a friend. Thirty-one years I have known this guy and he keep popping into my life.” said Howard. “I call him Mister Lucky.”
The Julie Hastings rink from Thornhill is on a roll with a 20-4 record and has won two events. The team sits at No. 10 on the money list. Other than Ottawa’s Rachel Homan, no one has repeated as winners here. Be prepared for anything.
The first draw isThursday morning at 9:15. The 24-team triple knockout leads to an eight rink Sunday playoff round with the final starting at 3:30. Adult full event passes are $10; a day pass is $5 with those under 17 admitted free. Check out www.classic.ovca.com
Lauren Horton skipped her team to a narrow victory Sunday in the JSI OVCA Junior Superspiel. They stole one in the 10th end over Winnipeg’s Rachel Burtnyk. Burtnyk chose to hit instead of drawing against three but overthrew it. Sharing the $4,000 purse with Horton were Kimberly Gannon, Cassandra Lewin and Jessica Armstrong. Korey Dropkin from Massachusetts took the men’s side. The team of Bryan Cochrane, Doug Johnston, Ian MacAulay and Richard Nimijean captured a senior bonspiel at the Rideau.
THE MCEWEN SHOT
In Sunday’s Pinty’s Grand Slam, Mike McEwen made the shot of the season to score four in the sixth end. Was it a called shot? Here is what McEwen told the Ottawa Sun. “Option A was the double run back onto our red in the house to send it back to pick their yellow off and a likely result of 2, 3, or almost impossibly a 4. Honestly, to send a long double run to the general area of target was the first goal and how it turned out was stupendous — did not imagine option B would work for 4!”
Montreal’s Hardline Curling pitches its products tonight on CBC’s Dragon’s Den … The CCA is making an announcement Nov. 20 at TD Place … The Canadian Mixed begins Monday in North Bay. The Ottawa team of Chris Gardner, Trish Hill, Jonathan Beuk and Jessica Barcauskas is Team Ontario. This is Gardner’s second national mixed but with a different team. The Northwest Territories team is back-ended by Jamie Koe and his sister Kerry Galusha who just may win the thing.
4,559 total views, 1 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
It’s scary how good they are.
The JSI OVCA Junior Superspiel begins on Halloween Friday with some of the best talent in the world sliding into town.
This year’s men’s roster might just be the best in recent years. Yannick Schwaller skips his Swiss team, the defending world junior men’s champs. The two Manitoba rinks are the two past defending Canadian junior champions, Braden Calvert and Matt Dunstone. The 2014 Canadian junior runner-up rink is here from New Brunswick, skipped by Rene Comeau. He is also the spiel’s defending men’s champion. Joining the fray is the U.S. junior men’s champion Korey Dropkin.
Although not as strong, the women’s side will feature the Scottish team skipped by Gina Aitken, a Swiss rink skipped by Lisa Gisler and a U.S. squad. Of interest is a Manitoba team coached by TSN’s Cathy Gauthier, whose daughter Gaetanne is second. This team’s skip and third — Rachel and Laura Burtnyk — have a bit of curling pedigree. Their father, Kerry, might know something about rings.
Ottawa skip Colton Daly earned a berth in the event through the qualifier and is looking forward to competing.
“We get to test ourselves against the best in the world,” said Daly, whose team made it to the semi-finals last year. “I like our chances. If we do one better or we win the thing we will be very happy.”
The 20-year-old university student feels that the two Manitoba men’s teams are the biggest competition.
“They both even beat some pretty good men’s teams on the world curling tour,” he noted.
Daly faces off against Calvert Friday morning at 9 at Carleton Heights.
Besides the international field, teams are coming from every province from Manitoba east. The 98 matches begin Friday morning with six clubs involved. The championship round begins Sunday afternoon at noon at Carleton Heights. Each gender champion earns $4,000 per team. Admission is free. Visit www.superspiel.ca for more information.
OCA RESULTS: The winners of the regional Travelers Insurance Club Curling event were: 1&2A – Erica Hopson and Ken Sullivan; Zone 3&4: Ronna Reddick and Mike Hull. All advance to the provincials which run at the Cornwall Centre this weekend.
HOME TEAM ALMOST: Gatineau’s Jean-Michel Menard lost the final of the Challenge Chateau Cartier by a score of 5-3 to Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen. McEwen is on a streak of four straight wins with a 28-1 record. Ottawa’s Don Bowser lost the semi-final to Menard. Bowser is on a streak of his own, qualifying in every event this season. Erroneous information appeared here last week. Owing to some miscommunication, only one team left the Gatineau event and that was due to entry fee non-payment.
FIRST GRAND SLAM: The most prominent names in curling are in Selkirk, Man., this weekend for the $100,000 Masters. No game may ever be a blow-out as the five rock rule is in force — teams cannot hit a guard rock out of play until the sixth rock of the end. Kevin Martin makes his debut as a commentator, as well. Ottawa players are prominent with Team Rachel Homan and Glenn Howard (with Ottawa lead Craig Savill) as the defending champs. Also from Ottawa is Lee Merklinger. Many Homan fans will get to see the new second, Joanne Courtney, for the first time. This event also marks the television debut for new teams — John Morris, Glenn Howard, Kevin Koe, Jeff Stoughton, Jim Cotter and Val Sweeting.
Sportsnet will televise games beginning tomorrow afternoon at 1:30. The broadcast schedule is available at www.thegrandslamofcurling.com/curling/masters/masters-tv-schedule.
4,742 total views, 2 views today
BY JOE PAVIA
It reads like the who’s who of men’s curling.
Mike McEwen, Niklas Edin, David Murdoch and Brad Gushue will be in Gatineau. In fact, seven countries are represented (Canada — seven provinces, Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, the U.S., China) at the annual Challenge Château Cartier de Gatineau which runs today through Sunday.
The impressive field is divided into a 32-team elite division and a 25-team open division. The action will take place at the Centre Sportif Robert-Rochon as well as the Buckingham and the Thurso curling clubs.
Six local rinks, however, got booted from the spiel. Those rinks claim the organizers wanted to include more prominent teams on the roster.
Greg Drummond, third on the David Murdoch rink, told the Sun, “We want to play in this event as our fellow competitors have told us that the event in the past has attracted a high quality field and provided high quality ice. These were the main reasons that we chose this event. We are hoping it will be the perfect platform for us to prepare for the Grand Slam event the following week. We decided to compete in this event when we put our schedule together during the summer.”
Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen told the Sun, “Actually we were originally entered in the Brooks event to defend our title. The event was cancelled for this season and we had heard good things about the Gatineau event so we managed to get one of the last few spots.” The Cactus Pheasant Classic in Brooks, Alta., was cancelled on Sept. 7.
Spiel organizers are faced with a dilemma when prominent teams want in an event. Do they drive the gate and attract sponsors? Does the dismissal of local rinks, often the fodder teams who populate your event in the lean years, hurt your entries going forward?
Spiel organizer Dany Beaulieu could not be reached before deadline.
The Gatineau event begins on Wednesday at 8 p.m. for the open section. The elite teams begin Thursday morning at 8:30. The final is Sunday afternoon at 3:30. Admission is $5. The draw is available at www.challengechateaucartier.com.
In Innisfil, Ont., the Ottawa squad of Colin Dow, Ritchie Gillin, Brett Lyon-Hatcher and John Steski won the Stroud Sleeman cashspiel and $3,000. In Almonte the JSI OVCA Junior SuperSpiel qualifier produced six teams who advance to the Super Spiel in November. Those skips are Lauren Horton, Hailey Armstrong, Emma Wallingford, Doug Kee, Colton Daly and Hayden Richmond.
CITY VIEW PROBLEMS
Our good wishes go to the folks at City View whose compressor went bust just as the season began. They have suspended play until the repairs are done about November 3.
NEW YOUTH LEAGUE
The Hogline-sponsored city wide Ottawa Youth League begins plays this Sunday with a star-studded lineup of instructors for a clinic for curlers 12 to 18. The instructors are Lee Merklinger, Craig Savill, Alison Kreviazuk and Fredrik Lindberg. Previously, Rachel Homan and Emma Miskew provided a mini clinic. The league allows the participants to play with no coach or parental involvement. There are three divisions — the Homan, Savill and Merklinger divisions. Play takes place at three clubs on Sundays– the Ottawa, Manotick and RCMP.
HELP OUT RAVENS
The Carleton Ravens women’s curling team are the Canadian champions. They will be representing Canada in Spain at the World University Games in February, 2015. They are trying to raise $5,000 to offset the cost of event entry fees, travel and accommodation as they prepare for Spain. If you would like to donate check out futurefunder.carleton.ca.
5,614 total views, 1 views today
There was lots to give thanks for on the weekend if you like Ottawa area curlers.
Closer to home Gatineau’s Jean-Michel Menard took on Ottawa’s Ian MacAulay at the Capital Curling Classic at the RCMP rink. Menard outplayed MacAulay to get the 8-4 win.
In Toronto Lee Merklinger from Ottawa moved up to third on her Sherry Middaugh rink (Middaugh was away). They made it to the finals of the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard. They managed a 5-4 win over a team from Montreal. The Quebec rink is actually skipped by Lauren Mann who curls in Ottawa and recently moved from Ottawa to Gatineau to abide by residency rules.
In Calgary at the Curling Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic Rachel Homan faced Jennifer Jones in the event final that took a last end shot for the Jone’s 6-5 win.
The local team skipped by Erin Morrissey made the semi-finals at Stu Sells with her Ottawa team and Danielle Inglis from southern Ontario has 3 Ottawa teammates who qualified in TO as well.
Team Glenn Howard lead, Ottawa’s Craig Savill, helped his team make the semi-finals in Toronto as well.
All in all Ottawa talent shone on the weekend.
6,783 total views, 2 views today