READY TO ROCK AND ROLL
by Joe Pavia
He kicked the hell out of his cancer. It’s now time to get back on the ice.
Craig Savill is making his debut this weekend at the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins spiel presented by WFG at the Cornwall Curling Centre.
The Manotick resident missed all of last season as he fought to get healthy from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “I really didn’t think about curling too much. I was concentrating on my health and my family.” His medical team declared him cancer free this past August.
While he doesn’t have a set team lined up for this season Savill is hoping to eventually play on a team whose goal is the Olympics. For this season he is sparing for various rinks on the tour. He is throwing vice for Wayne Tuck this weekend beginning Thursday evening versus the defending champ, Brad Gushue. Gushue is out with an injury however.
He’s also giving back to curling in a number ways this season. First off he is playing in the inaugural Shorty Jenkins Celebrity Golf Tournament this Wednesday at the Cornwall Golf Club. Curlers will be paired with celebrity curlers with all the proceeds going to the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall & District and to the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre on behalf of Craig Savill.
His next venture stretches over this curling season. In conjunction with the Ottawa Youth Curling League he is starting the Savill Curling Academy. With room for 40 young people a session (they don’t have to curl in the youth curling league) the four sessions key on one or two aspects of the game both on ice and off. “There are no camps that don’t spread out the learning throughout the year. All of these camps are one weekend and you get inundated with so much information you can’t retain all of it.
So why not spread them out over 4 different sessions.” He feels by doing this once a month curlers will have three or four weeks to practice what they learned.
On top of this he will also operate adult group lessons for five to six hours a session with topics and times yet to be determined.
Savill feels he is ready to play. “I’ve been going to the gym pretty hard the last three months. I’m in shape and I’ve been practicing a whole bunch, which I’m going to do throughout the year.”
He can’t wait to compete again. “One thing I miss the most is the competitive side. I’m a very competitive person. I love competing. I watched a lot of curling on TV last year and that’s probably what I miss the most is being with the guys and competing and challenging myself.”
There will be plenty of competition in the Seaway City as the field is studded with stellar teams of both genders. Mike McEwen, Reid Carruthers, Brad Jacobs, Glenn Howard, John Epping (with Cornwall resident Mat Camm), David Murdoch, Niklas Edin, Kevin Koe, Brad Gushue and Tom Brewster highlight the men’s side. Rachel Homan, Sherry Middaugh and Silvana Tirinzoni are just some the women’s side.
The Shorty entertains from Thursday September 15 to Sunday September 18 at the Cornwall Curling Center. The prize purse is $89,000 up from $66,000. The women’s top dog takes home $10K while the men’s winner earns $15K. The Shorty boasts the highest prize purse of any 24-team Cashspiel.
Action begins Thursday with the finals scheduled for Sunday at 3:30.
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The Hogline Curlers Proshop is owned and operated by an experienced curler - Joe Pavia.
While Joe knows many renowned curlers, he’s most at home serving club curlers, rookies, children, youth and senior curlers who might not want to shop but just want to chat about the game we all love.
Joe has been involved with the curling world for decades as a player, organizer and curling commentator. He’s the weekly curling columnist for the Ottawa Sun where his Wednesday column is eagerly anticipated and is indeed available across the country.