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