And so it goes
This site, and later the associated blog
which allowed me to add photos, grew from a desire to promote curling as
a viable winter recreation choice for wheelchair users. I also hoped to
influence the direction of the sport's development, by sharing my ideas
on how the game might be played and how it might be organised.
Since 2005 I have been the sport's unofficial archivist, reporting what
often would otherwise have gone unrecorded; understanding that a sport
grows from its history. But it was never intended to be a lifetime
commitment and I am drawing it to a close before it becomes a chore
rather than an enthusiasm.
I will keep this website and the blog open, the articles and records
available. Anyone who has read the articles and my blog post comments
will know my opinions. They have never been a secret and do not need a
My thanks to those who have supported my efforts over the years.
I have made many friends through my involvement in wheelchair curling,
and I will continue to follow the sport with interest. If I have one
regret it is that I lacked the physical skill to play competitively. I
hope that my contributions in other areas have made a difference.
Welcome to this year's Christmas Quiz.
The questions have all been taken from posts written during the course
of 2011 and reflect our international readership. Good luck. The 20
answers will appear in a couple of days.
1. What do Canada's Sonja Gaudet and Heather Smith-Dacey have in common
with Scotland's Eve Muirhead and Sweden's Anette Norberg?
2. Who cut his Paralympic medal in half? Why?
3. Which wheelchair user represented his country in an international
curling tournament at which all the other players were able-bodied?
4. Who coached Scotland at the 2011 World Championships?
5. Canada repeated as World champions in 2011 - which play-off team
failed to win a medal?
6. The 2011 Worlds allowed powerchair users to compete for the first
time. Who was the first athlete to compete using a powerchair?
7. Which of the 3 national teams teams involved in relegation tie-breaks
avoided having to re-qualify for the 2012 Worlds?
8. Who was the first female to skip at a World Wheelchair Curling
9. Who was the first wheelchair user to coach a national team at a World
Wheelchair Curling Championship?
10. Which country had to cancel their national championships in the face
of natural disaster?
11. At what event did a sponsor offer a $1,000 sponsors prize for a
hammer-deciding throw that covered the pin?
12. The $1,000 prize was not won, but someone won a consolation $200 for
a shot that ended less than 4 cms from the pin? Who made that throw?
13. Which province broke BC's stranglehold on Canadian national titles?
14. Four Americans were ever-present on Team USA for the 4 years from
2008 through 2011. Of the four, who's been chosen compete in 2012?
15. Nine of the ten teams at the 2012 World Championships will have
competed at that level before. Who's the tenth?
16. Norway travelled to Canada to compete at the 7th Annual Cathy Kerr
Memorial Spiel. How did they do? Who was missing from their team?
17. Team Lessard from Quebec were beaten finalists at the Cathy Kerr.
What event did they win the previous week?
18. The South Lanarkshire WCC changed the rules at a recent fun event.
What Scottish delicacy was used as the target?
If you've enjoyed our coverage of wheelchair curling over the years,
please consider making a donation towards the maintenance of this
website by clicking on the link on the front page.
A very Happy Christmas to you all from Eric and Cate.
Michael McCreadie quits
Michael McCreadie has announced his
resignation from international competition.
"I am no longer a member of the World
Class Performance Squad," he told me. "Since the summer, although
playing reasonably well and achieving some good results in International
competitions, my heart wasn't in it any more - the enjoyment had gone.
It was not an easy decision to make. I had to do what was best for me
and ultimately the squad.
"I wish the coach and the squad every success in the future."
Tony Zummack, the national coach,
responded: "I do feel that Michael McCreadie will continue to be
involved and support wheelchair curling in the future. I respect his
decision to retire from international competition and also respect the
time and commitment he made to the National Program."
Michael, 65, was a member of the Scottish
team that contested the first World Championship in Switzerland, 2002,
where he won a bronze medal playing 2nd under Frank Duffy. He won gold
medals playing 3rd at the 2004 and 2005 Worlds, and was the British flag
bearer in Torino in 2006 where he won silver.
He followed Duffy into retirement after
the crushing last rock Torino defeat, but was soon back and skipped his
country to bronze at the 2007 Worlds, a success that eluded his teams
the following 3 years.
After the Vancouver Paralympics, where he
skipped but threw 3rd stones, he announced
he would take a year off. He returned this season, but with the
Scottish team committed to his partner Eileen Neilson at skip after her
silver medal at the 2011 Worlds, his role was to skip Scotland's B team.
That is the position he has now quit.
Zummack is not immediately replacing him.
"I am keeping the National Squad at 7 athletes and have had some of our
development athletes come in to train and play with us and will have
someone in place for the Lanarkshire International." (Jan 17-18)
Michael McCreadie played in
72 World Curling Federation events, ending with a
record, 2 gold and 2 bronze Worlds medals and a Paralympic silver medal.
Nova Scotia has new champions
Richard Brown, Nova Scotia wheelchair
curling's other skip, finally broke through to win his first provincial
championship over the 5 time champions Team Rutt at the Lakeshore CC
Brown, who skipped the winless
NS Host team at the 2009 Nationals, faced opponents missing the
services of skip Mike Fitzgerald who had relocated to New Brunswick, but
as the best of five series began, his team of Terry Cousineau, Steve
Parfitt and Paige Fougere could have been forgiven for thinking little
had changed. Laughie Rutt, stepping up to skip but throwing 3rd stones
in favour of Trendal Hubley-Bolivar, led his title defenders to a 10-2
opening night victory.
Rutt * 1 0 1 1 3 1 3 x 10
Brown 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 x 2
Team Brown regrouped Saturday to steal
the first 4 points of Game 2, and then hang on as Rutt, down 7-4 after
7, fell just a point short of forcing an extra end.
Rutt * 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 2 - 6
Brown 3 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 - 7
It was deja vu in Game 3, as Brown again
stole 3 in the 1st and added another in the 2nd before surrendering a 4
spot in the 7th to fall behind 7-6. Brown took one with hammer to force
an extra and then stole 2 to lead the series 2-1.
Rutt * 0 0 1 2 0 0 4 0 0 - 7
Brown 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 2 - 9
Sunday saw Team Rutt return to the form
they showed in the opener as they posted 8 unanswered points to level
the series at 2-2, after again giving up an opening end steal.
Rutt * 0 2 4 1 1 x x x - 8
Brown 1 0 0 0 0 x x x - 1
The series decider returned to the
pattern of Saturday as Team Brown, despite never earning the hammer,
stole 2 in the 1st, added a single in the 2nd and stole 2 more in the
5th, finishing 8-3 winners and Nova Scotia Champions.
Rutt * 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 x - 3
Brown 2 1 0 2 2 0 1 x - 8
Scots put haggis to good use
The STV website reports that
Lanarkshire Wheelchair Curling Club marked St Andrew's Day (November
30) with a
haggis curling competition.
The huge haggis, donated by sponsors Damn
Delicious of Lanark. was used as the target in the competition that drew
over 30 curlers to the Hamilton Ice Rink.
Bill Masterton, Gary Marshall, Steve
Sutherland and individual winner Jan Drife secured the inaugural title.
(photo on blog)
South Lanarkshire Wheelchair Curling Club
chairman Arthur Bell described the day as "filled with lots of skill,
sometimes a bit of luck as the beastie was whacked away, and always lots
of fun. That's what amateur sport should be about."
Learn To Coach course in Greenock
(SCO) January 8th 12/18/2011
The Royal Caledonian CC, guardian of
curling in Britain, is offering a workshop introducing coaches to
wheelchair curling. The session costs £15 and will cover the basic
delivery styles and skills used when teaching wheelchair curling.
CLICK HERE for details and a registration form.
Slovakia catches the attention of
the IPC 12/16/2011
Slovakia, surprise winners of the recent
Qualifying Tournament for entry to the 2012 Worlds in Korea, were
featured on the International Paralympic Committee website.
Curling began in Slovakia ten years ago
and wheelchair curling five years ago, but progress has been swift. The
skip, Radoslav Duris, was formerly a swimmer and hockey player a
car accident in high school.
“All of our players were sportsmen before, so they all have the hearts
of sportsmen,” team coach Milan Kalis said.
Read the whole article
Nova Scotia Provincials begin
December 16-18 12/15/2011
Two teams will compete at the Lakeshore
CC in a best of 5 match for the right to represent Nova Scotia at the
2012 Nationals in Thunder Bay, March 18-25.
With Nova Scotia stalwart Michael
Fitzgerald decamped to New Brunswick, his championship defending
team will be skipped by Laughie Rutt, who will continue to throw 3rd
stones. Trendal Hubley-Bolivar will throw 4th, with lead Debbie Earle
and a returning Keith Williams, back from a year off preparing for
basketball at the Canada Games.
They will face perennial challengers Team
Brown: Richard Brown at skip, 3rd Terry Cousinneau, 2nd Steve Parfait
and Paige Fougere at lead.
First game is Friday 16th at 8.30, with
Saturday games at 2.30 and 6.30 plus Sunday games at 3 and 7pm if
BC Provincials scheduled
February 2-5 in Kamloops
BC's Provincial Championship will be held
at McArthur Island (Kamloops) from February 2-5, though as only two
teams submitted entries by the December 9 deadline, that schedule may be
Team Cormack, last year's surprise winners over a Jim Armstrong team
featuring Darryl Neighbour and Chris Daw, will defend their title over a
team skipped by Darryl Neighbour. Details when available will be
published here and on
BC were slow to adopt a playoff format
for the Provincial team, but had 4 teams registered in 2009, and 3 in
2010 and 2011. This year's entry is very disappointing, considering how
BC athletes have dominated the national team since 2007. Success at the
national and international level is clearly no spur, at least in BC, to
increased grassroots participation.
Team Canada miss out on IPC Best
The final round of awards from the 2010
Vancouver Paralympics was held in Beijing last Saturday: the
International Paralympic Committee's
Best Team Award went not to Canada, but to Japan's silver medal
sledge hockey team. While it is possible that scandal may have
influenced the Committee's decision, the citation emphasised that
Japan's team had not been expected to medal before the Games began.
Team Canada have kept a very low profile
this year. Rather than repeatedly traveling to compete internationally,
much of the budget has been spent bringing in new people either to
training camp or domestic competition to work with the six currently
carded team members.
Team Canada 2012 has not been officially
announced but Jim, who has now moved to Ontario, Darryl, Ina and Sonja
will be in Richmond BC this weekend for one of two scheduled training
camps prior to the 2012 Worlds in Korea, February 18-25. A January
training camp has yet to be scheduled, though the team will compete in a
Mixed Cashspiel in Prince George January 16-18.
Wes Smith, USA Paralympian,
The Bangor Daily News reports that Wes
Smith died on Monday in Florida. Wes played in the inaugural Wheelchair
Curling World Championships in Sursee SUI in 2002. He was also, at 65,
the oldest competitor at the 2006 Torino Paralympics, a record overtaken
by Japan's Takashi Hidai who was 75 when he curled at the Vancouver
Paralympics in 2010.
USA selects team for 2012 World
The five athletes who will represent USA
at the 2012 World Championships in South Korea next February 18-25, have
been announced though playing positions have not yet been decided.
The players are:
Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.)
James Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.)
Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.)
David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.)
and Tim Kelly (Rockford, Ill.) chosen as alternate.
Players were chosen based on their performance at an open-call training
camp and at the US Open and Cathy Kerr Spiel.
USA lost their skip Augusto Pérez, 3rd Jim Pierce and lead Jacqueline
Kapinowski to retirement after a tough 2011 Worlds campaign that saw
them finish just one win above the relegation zone. This season they'll
be led by Patrick McDonald who returns from shoulder surgery that kept
him out of last year's championships. Experienced Jimmy Joseph and Penny
Greely, last year's rookie alternate, return to the squad which has two
newcomers; David Palmer and Tim Kelly.
HERE to watch a video of Rockford's Channel 13 TV station interview
with Kelly after he made the team.
Wheelchair curling thriving at
For those not beholden to national
fundraisers like Own The Podium, wheelchair curling is about enjoyment -
something easily forgotten amidst reporting's natural emphasis on
competition and drama.
Ilderton Ontario's program has been rebuilt on that firm foundation. The
coach, Ernie Comerford, after relocating to London Ontario and looking
to recreate the success he helped biuld in Calgary, saw Ilderton CC had
the closest accessible ice. It also had a storied history, hanging three
Canadian Championship banners plus the Torino Paralympic Gold Banner; a
leagcy of Chris Daw's early involvement at the club. But participation
had collapsed post Torino, and it took a whole winter to encourage the
first two wheelchair users to enter the ice in the Spring of 2008.
Since then there has been a steady growth in participation at the
recreational level, while two teams played in this year's Cathy Kerr,
one reaching the semis. Two players, Mark Ideson and Mike Munro,
attended the National Training program and participated on Team Canada
II in Richmond in November.
This season the recreational group meets on Sundays from 11 am until 1
pm. The competitive group plays in a regular mixed league weekly and
attends separate practices during the week. The Club intends to enter
two teams in the January 2012 Provincials near Ottawa, with the hope
that will expand to three in the future.
The Club belives in outreach, and owns a set of demonstrations rocks to
promote the game and recruit newcomers at local malls.
The blog has a
video af highlights from the 2010-2011 season that gives a taste of
the positive energy that motivates the club.
Wheelchair Curling is alive and well in the London area and it keeps
getting better, says Ernie. Anyone interested should contact Ernie
Comerford at 519-203-0087 or by email at
Calgary's curlers facing
Calgary's wheelchair curlers lost their
Ogden CC home when the curling club disbanded over the summer, and have
struggled to find viable alternatives to their old fully accessible
venue. They have been playing in an able-bodied league at the Calgary
CC, and that club have been very supportive, going so far as to purchase
an expensive (and heavy) ramp to allow side door ice access.
Getting suitable practice time at what may be Canada's busiest club,
however, has proven impossible. The Garrison CC has provided practice
ice late Sunday afternoon; an awkward time that has meant a drop off of
attendance especially among the recreational players.
The team itself. together for over seven years, is adjusting to the
absence of a founding member. Bridget Wilson. Bridget got wheelchair
curling started in Alberta but always found traveling a strain. She
spends most of the winter in Arizona and decided to step back for a year
at the conclusion of last season; spending more time with her family and
not concerning herself with being match ready come the 2012 Nationals.
Bridget remains part of the team and is playing in a fun league while in
Phoenix, though Martin Purvis will play front end at this season's
competitions. Martin joined the team in 2009, winning silver at the 2009
and 2011 Nationals while playing 2nd, and also made the All-Star roster
There is a possibility that Calgary will be challenged for the southern
Alberta slot at Provincials by a team from Lethbridge, who recently
brought six players to Calgary for an afternoon pof curling. Medicine
Hat is also rumoured to be preparing a team.
Russia wins 6th Czech Open
Russia topped the seven team field at the
6th Czech Open last weekend in Prague, dropping just one point in a 5-5
tie with the Italian Trentino team. Poland finished second and Sweden
third. Two Czech teams and Slovakia also competed. Slovakia, with
three of the four players who won promotion to the 2012 Worlds from the
Qualifying Tournament, finished 6th with four losses and a tie.
Full event details including line scores
and team members can be found
Sweden's Patrik Burman, Paralypic
bronze medalist, profiled 11/29/2011
Patrick Burman, who started at second on
Sweden's 2010 Paralympic team before stepping up to 3rd to replace Glenn
Ikonen in the playoffs, is profiled HERE.
Patrick played 3rd on the 2011 Worlds
team that narrowly escaped relegation, but suffered a shoulder injury in
the summer and will miss this season, his place taken on the
reconstituted Paralympic team likely to compete at the 2012 Worlds in
Korea, by namesake Patrik Kallin.
English team looking for some
Four avid wheelchair curlers, fairly new
to the ice but experienced in other sports, are looking for coaching
support and sponsorship towards their goal of becoming a competitive
team worthy of representing England.
Stephen McGarry, Jeff Ward, Stewart Pimblett and Paula Longrigg live in
the north of England, and travel to Kelso for their curling. They
competed at the 2011 British Championships, finishing with a 2-2 record
after a narrow 6-5 defeat by pool leader Rosemary Lenton in the final
round robin draw.
At present Scotland dominates British curling because they have the
curling ice. Though England and Wales have competed at World events in
the past, Team Scotland inevitably becomes Team Great Britain, and
indeed any Paralympic qualification points that might be earned in
Britain outside of Scotland are by agreement ceded to the Scots.
As an ex-pat Englishman I'm cheered to see a challenge to this hegemony
and I hope there are people left in England who can provide these
pioneers with some much needed support.
Team Ewan take 2011 British
Gregor Ewan skipped his team of Jim
Gault, Ian Donaldson and Gil Keith to victory at the 2011 British
Wheelchair Curling Championship at The Galleon Ice Rink, Kilmarnock SCO.
Twelve teams competed in 2 pools, with
crossover semi-finals for the top two in each pool. Pool A leader
Rosemary Lenton gave up a steal in the 6th (final) end of her semi
against Paul Webster to lose 5-3.
Ewan saw off National teammate Aileen
Neilson 11-2 with a series of big end steals in the other semi. He then
went one better in a repeat performance, dispatching Webster 12-1 in the
final. Neilson beat Lenton 6-3 to take bronze.
0 3 1 3 5 x - 12
Webster 1 0 0 0 0 x - 1
Neilson 0 2 1 0 3 0
Lenton 1 0 0 1 0 1 - 3
Line scores for all the matches are
HERE and a digest of the final day is available
HERE. Team members are
Anne Hibberd is CCA's featured
athlete of the week 11/24/2011
Aussie transplant Anne Hibberd, an
integral part of Team Alberta for the past 6 years, is featured in the
CCA's continuing promotion of wheelchair curling through their "featured
athlete of the week."
In addition to earning two silver medals
at National championships, and recently playing in the Team Canada
squad, Anne has served as president of the Calgary Wheelchair Curling
Association since 2005.
See what she has to say about her life in
and out of curling,
Norway takes Cathy Kerr final over
Quebec as USA I fades 11/20/2011
Norway, playing without skip Rune
Lorentsen who did not travel, took the $400 first prize at the 7th Cathy
Kerr Memorial Spiel at the RA in Ottawa. They beat Chris Sobkowicz's
national champions Team Cancade 7-3 in the pool cross-over semi-final,
then faced Quebec, who handed USA I their first defeat 13-3 in the other
The final went 9-5 to Norway while
Team Cancade edged USA I 6-5 for 3rd place. Scores from the other
cross-over games and results from all draws, plus team members, can be
Norway - gold
Quebec - silver
Cancade - bronze
Nfld & Lab
In the recreational division Quebec
visitors Lenoxville prevailed over Michel with Simpson 3rd.
USA 1 & Norway top their pools
after round robin at Cathy Kerr 11/19/2011
USA I, playing with just three members
after Dave Palmer had to return home for a family emergency, went 5-0 in
round robin play at the end of Day 2 of the 7th Annual Cathy Kerr
Memorial Spiel at the RA in Ottawa, Ontario. They beat Ken Gregory's
Bradford 6-3 and Newfoundland/Labrador 6-5.
Norway also went undefeated, topping
their pool after dropping only a point in yesterday's tie with Toronto.
Today they inflicted Quebec's only defeat, 8-5, and finished with a 7-5
defeat of Sudbury. In the absence of skip Rune Lorentsen, who did not
travel with the team but who will lead them in Korea, Jostein
Stordahl has proved an effective replacement. The other members of the
team have rotated positions but tomorrow will play Sissel Løchen at
lead, Per Fagerhøi at 2nd and Terje Rafdal at 3rd.
Chris Sobkowicz's Manitoban Team Cancade,
with recent implant Mark Wherrett playing 2nd, beat Ilderton 9-3 in the
morning then piled on winless Team Fraser, 18-0 after 6 ends. Their
alternate, George Horning, played on the Newfoundland/Labrador team
replacing a player who fell ill.
Quebec rebounded from their morning loss
by beating USA II 6-5 in the afternoon.
That set up top of the table cross pool
match-ups of USA I vs Quebec and Norway vs Cancade at 9am, the winners
playing for the $400 1st prize, and the losers playing for 3rd, at
Tables after Round Robin
|USA II 3-2
Results from each draw can be viewed
HERE. The schedule is available
In the recreational division, visiting
Lennoxville (3-1) from Quebec won both their games to top the table over
Michel (2-2) Wong-Sing (2-2) and Simpson (1-3).
Quebec and USA I off to perfect
start on Day 1 of Cathy Kerr 11/18/2011
Ben Lessard's team from Quebec continued
the run of form that saw them go unbeaten at last weekend's US Open, by
posting a 3-0 start in Pool A on the opening day of the 7th Annual Cathy
Kerr Memorial Bonspiel in Ottawa, Ontario.
They beat host club organiser Bruce
Cameron in the early morning (8.30am) draw 8-7 and then posted large
margin wins over reigning Ontario provincial champion Chris Rees 8-1 and
relative newcomers Sudbury 10-2.
In Pool B USA I were also unbeaten,
topping the Manitoban national champions Team Cancade 8-1, before seeing
off Ottawa's Fraser 9-4 and Ilderton 12-3.
The USA teams had struggled at their Open
and the players have this event as a final opportunity to impress their
coaches before Team USA 2012 is announced.
Norway's long-time skip, Rune Lorentsen,
was unable to travel with the team, so everyone moved up a position.
They won two games after an opening 7-7 tie with Chris Rees.
Tables after Draw 3
|USA II 2-1
Results from each draw can be viewed
HERE. The schedule is available
In the recreational division where all
four games over the two draws ended within 2 points, Team Wong-Sing won
both their games and Michel and visitors Lennoxville split while Simpson
will have to wait another day.
CTV's cameras were on the ice this
morning talking to Ottawa's Bruce Cameron and Richard Fraser. You can
see the segment
HERE. Click on the November 18 wheelchair curling link.
Ottawa hosts 7th Cathy Kerr Nov.
18-20 - world's largest event 11/14/2011
The 7th Annual Cathy Kerr Memorial Spiel
will take place next weekend at Ottawa's RA Curling Club with the first
draw starting at 8.30 AM Friday.
With 12 teams registered for the
Competitive Division and 4 more playing in the Recreational Division,
the bonspiel is once again the largest wheelchair curling event in the
The field is headed by Team Norway,
defending champions Team Quebec, Canadian champions Team Cancade from
Manitoba and previous winners USA 1. Chris Rees brings his 2011
provincial champions, one of five Ontario teams plus teams from Sudbury,
Newfoundland and Labrador and USA II that round out the field.
The recreational division is made up of Team Lennoxville (PQ) and three
teams from the host Capital Wheelchair Curling Club.
The full draw schedule is
Organisers would still welcome volunteers
to clean and move rocks during games. If you can spare some time please
Johanna at 613-521-0404
Jungnell returns but Scotland wins
5th Rolli Trophy, Bern SUI 11/14/2011
Sweden's Jalle Jungnell, who announced
his retirement last season, choosing to coach rather than skip his
national team at the 2011 Worlds, returned to the ice with his 2010
Paralympic bronze medal team at the 5th Annual Rolli Trophy in Bern,
Switzerland this past weekend.
It was Scotland however who took the top
two places in the 7 team field, with Aileen Neilson skipping Angie
Malone, Tom Killin and Gregor Ewan past her partner Michale McCreadie's
Scotland II squad. Sweden placed 3rd.
Lausanne Olympique's Eric Décorvet was
the only player on the three Swiss and one Italian team to have competed
in Finland last week.
Full details from the event can be found
Quebec take 6th Annual US Open in
Utica, NY 11/13/2011
Ben Lessard skipped his Quebec teammates
to a 7-0 sweep of the competition at the 6th Annual US Open in Utica, NY
this weekend. The win, their first since the
2010 Cathy Kerr. builds on their 3rd place in Richmond earlier this
month. Lessard, Carl Marquis, Johanne Daly and Denis Grenier play out of
the Magog CC under coach Germain Tremblay. Their regular 2nd, Sébastien
Boisvert, will rejoin the team at the Cathy Kerr.
Bruce Cameron's Ottawa team (5-2) were
2nd and Ken Gregory's Bradford squad (4-3) were 3rd.
The two USA teams finished a combined 5-9
and will be hoping that the rebuilt programme will make enough progress
to avoid relegation at next February's Worlds.
Final standings after
Toronto: 3-4 *defeated Nova Scotia and USA #1 head to head
Nova Scotia: 3-4 *defeated USA #1 head to head
USA #1: 3-4
USA #2: 2-5
Full line scores are available HERE. The Draw Schedule and Rules are
Chase Curling Club in central BC
looking for wheelchair users 11/11/2011
Wheelchair users in the Chase area, from Kamloops to
Salmon Arm and beyond are invited to make use of the very wheelchair
friendly facilities at the Chase Curling Club.
Andrew Casavant tells me he is looking to get in
contact with individuals or groups catering to wheelchair users who
might be interested in taking up curling, and especially stick curling,
which is probably the format best suited to wheelchair play. He can be
email for more information.
Slovakia and Italy prevail at
Worlds Qualifying 11/10/2011
The top two teams after round robin play
were also the two teams who qualified for the 2012 Worlds after the Page
playoff, but it wasn't easy.
Italy (7-1) got off to a fast start
against Slovakia (5-3) taking 2 with hammer and then adding a
steal, only to fall behind 4-3 in the 3rd. A 3 of their own saw Italy's
lead restored at the break, but Slovakia tied the game with 2 in the
Again Italy struck back, posting 3 in the
6th only to give two back in the 7th. With the hammer and the score 9-8
in their favour, the Italians looked to put away the nightmare of the
2010 playoff by keeping the house clean. That didn't happen.
With Slovakia sitting shot, Italian skip
Andrea Tabanelli missed a peel with his first stone. Slovakia drew for
second shot behind a guard and Tabanelli missed his take-out attempt,
giving up a steal of 2 and allowing Slovakia, in just their third year
of competition, to take the first of the two Qualification slots.
0 0 4 0 2 0 2 2 - 10
Italy * 2 1 0 3 0 3 0 0 - 9
A surprised Slovak Skip Radoslav Duriš,
said: “It’s very impressive. There were highs and lows in this game for
both teams but in each end we thought we could do it. The win for us is
“We lost four games in a row in the middle of this event and at that
point we said ‘Houston we have a problem!’ but since then we have won
every game. It was a dream for us to go to Korea – and now we are
The 3 vs. 4 game Germany faced Finland
without their skip. Jens Jäger injured his had the previous evening and
Totzauer moved up, but gave up a 6 ender and then a steal of 4
either side of the
break before losing 13-2 in six ends.
Finland * 1 2
0 6 4 0 x x 13
Germany 0 0 1 0 0 1 x x 2
set up a match between Finland and Italy. Skip Andrea Tabanelli later
professed to feeling lucky to get a second chance.
rode his luck all the way to the last rock of an extra end.
began with a single with hammer but immediately gave up 3 and then a
steal of 1 before taking a point to go in to the break down 4-2.
A steal of 1 in the 5th and a 2 with hammer in the 7th levelled the
scores at 5.
in the 8th Italy looked good to steal the game. But Markku Karjalainen
made a great shot on his first stone to double out Italy's shot rocks.
Tabanelli drew partially behind a centre stone to count one and Finland
had a hit and stick for the win. They hit but rolled out, forcing an
extra end but keeping the hammer.
teams showed signs of mounting pressure in the final end but
again threw a double take-out with his first throw. His second take-out
attempt, however, may have been slightly over-thrown. It missed and
Italy could finally put 2010 behind them and celebrate the steal that
qualified them for South Korea next February.
Finland 0 3 1 0 0 1
0 0 0 - 5
Italy * 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 - 6
Andrea Tabanelli said: “I was upset
this morning, due to a mistake I made with my last stone, I lost us the
game. We are very lucky to have a second chance and play again this
afternoon. I am delighted
that we won. This win is for my team, who are fantastic and have managed
to form a strong bond.”
“We’ll try again next year. We showed massive improvement this year, so
we will be coming to next year’s competition with a completely different
mindset. After a couple of days, I’m sure we’ll be able to enjoy this
achievement too, even though we didn’t manage to achieve the spot at the
Italy and Slovakia
join Canada, Scotland, Norway, Russia,
China, Korea, USA and Sweden at the 2012 Worlds in
Chuncheon City, South
Korea February 18 -25.
The 2012 Worlds Qualifying event will
return to the Kisakallio Sports Institute, Lohja, Finland from the 3-8
November. Kate Caithness, President of the World Curling Federation,
said: “The Finnish Curling Association and Kisakallio Sports Institute
have delivered an excellent event. The institute provides top class
facilities and optimal competition conditions for disabled athletes. We
are delighted to return to Kisakallio once more and would like to thank
the organizing committee for all their hard work this year.”
HERE for full statistics, line scores and team line-ups. The event
also has a
Wheelchair and visually impaired
spiel at Idleton CC Nov. 12 11/8/2011
The Idleton CC near London ON is hosting
a wheelchair and visually impaired spiel on Saturday November 12.
Wheelchair curling at Idleton is coached by Ernie Comerford who has seen
a rapid rise in the numbers participating as well as having two of his
players invited to play in Richmond BC by national team coaching staff.
You can read about Saturday's event in
Worlds Qualifying Day 5
At the start of the final day of round
robin play at the Worlds Qualifying Tournament in Loja, Finland, seven
teams held their own fate. They just had to avoid defeat in the final
two draws to join Italy in the playoffs. Only one, Slovakia, succeeded,
beating their Czech neighbours 8-4 in the morning and Germany 7 -5 in
The Czechs then had to beat Italy to hope
for a tie-break, but the confident Italians, leading the round robin
table as they had in 2010, were in no mood to be beaten, eliminating the
Italy's morning opponents, Denmark had
only to win one of their final two games to clinch a playoff spot, but
lost to the leaders 8-4 and then lost to Japan 6-5 in the day's tightest
game. Japan were ahead 4-1 at the break, but saw the Danes level
the score with a steal of 2 in the 8th. Japan, already eliminated after
suffering a 5th loss to Finland in the morning, played spoiler by taking
the extra end for a 6 -5 win that pushed the Danes into a tie-break.
Germany and Switzerland could not both
avoid a 4th defeat as they played each other in the morning, Germany
coming out on top 6-3. Switzerland salvaged a tie-break chance by
beating bottom of the table Latvia 9-4 in the final draw.
With Italy facing Slovakia in the Page 1
vs.2 game, there were four teams on four losses to decide who played in
the Page 3 vs. 4 game, In the tie-breakers, Germany completed a
miserable day for Denmark by posting a 4 in the 2nd end and holding on
for a 7-5 win. Hosts Finland gave the home fans a stake in tomorrow's
playoff round, beating Switzerland 7-3 after getting off to a 4-0 lead
after 3 ends.
The winner of tomorrow's Italy vs
Slovakia game will claim the first qualification spot, while the loser
will play the winner of the Germany vs. Finland game to decide who gets
the second qualification place The two teams will join the eight
(Canada, Scotland, Norway, Russia, China, Korea, USA and Sweden) already
qualified for the 2012 Worlds next February 18-25 in South Korea.
Draw 9 and tie-breaks
Italy 7 - 1
Slovakia 5 - 3
Finland 5 - 4 won tie-break
Germany 5 - 4 won tie-break
Denmark 4 - 5 lost tie-break
Switzerland 4 - 5 lost tie-break
Czech Rep . 3 - 5
Japan 3 - 5
Latvia 2 - 6
HERE for full statistics, line scores and team line-ups. The event
also has a
6th Annual US Open in Utica NY -
November 11-13 11/8/2011
The 6th Annual U.S. Open begins this
Friday in Utica, NY. Eight teams will play a full round robin with head
to head records, total ends or if necessary total points as tie-breaks.
There are eight teams registered. Patrick MacDonald skips the new-look
Team USA I with Penny Greely, James Joseph and David Palmer. Bob
Prenoveau skips USA II with Tim Kelly, JR Wynne and Meghan Lino. The
American teams will be coached by Rusty Schieber.
Laughie Rutt, promoted to skip after Mike Fitzgerald's move, is bringing
a Nova Scotia side of Trendal Hubley-Bolivar, Debbie Earle and newcomer
Keith Williams (see
There are three Ontario teams who will be challenging again for
provincial honours this season. Ottawa's Bruce Cameron brings Doug
Morris, Jamie Eddy and Christine Lavallee. Branford's (ON) Ken Gregory
skips Collinda Joseph, Frank Cannarella and Jim Primervera. Toronto's
Chris Rees leads Carl Bax, Alec Denys and Shauna Petrie.
Benoit Lessard's Quebec team includes Carl Marquis, Sébastien Boisvert
and Johanne Daly. Ontarian Katie Katie Paialunga is in charge of a mixed
Canadian/American squad with Jimmy Kenner, David Sawyer and Pam Wilson.
The Draw Schedule and Rules are
Worlds Qualifying Day 4 11/8/2011
With just two more draws to play, eight
of the nine teams at the 2011 Worlds Qualifying Tournament in
Lohja, Finland, were still in with a chance of making the playoff. The
one certainty: Italy with just one loss after 7 Draws, is guaranteed a
Italy's only defeat was to Japan in the
morning draw. Japan, Vancouver Paralympians, lost their opening 3 games
but their narrow win over table-toppers Italy was their second.
Down 5-2 after 3 ends they stole the next
3 points to inch ahead, but gave up a single in the 8th to see the score
tied at 6. They then took 2 with hammer in the first extra end of the
event to post an 8-6 win.
Kaneko Emi from the Japanese Curling Association said: “The team was
feeling down after losing our first three games but all the other teams
and our own technical staff have been very supportive. After two wins
the team is feeling much more positive and happy now and hopefully we
can continue that in our final games. We have a new team this year with
two new players, both of whom bring a lot of positive energy to the
Unfortunately for the Japanese they were
unable to maintain momentum, giving up an 8th end 2 to the Czechs in a
5-4 loss this afternoon.
Four losses may still qualify for the
playoffs as tomorrow's draws pit Germany and Switzerland, and the Czechs
and Slovakia, each with 3 losses, against each other.
The host Finns, coming off a run of 3
consecutive victories, fell to Slovakia in the morning draw, tying the
game at 6 with a 2 in the 8th, but unable to prevent Slovakia taking the
winning point in the extra. Another narrow loss, 6-5 to Italy this
afternoon drops Finland down the table with 4 losses, needing help to
get to the playoffs.
Slovakia and Latvia, the least
experienced of the competing sides, played a very tight game in the
afternoon draw. Latvia went ahead on two double steals, but surrendered
the last 4 points to lose 6-5, and drop out of contention. Slovakia
moved to 3-3 and hold their fate in their own hands.
Germany, who had started so brightly,
lost their only game today 9-4 to the Danes who then went on to edge the
Swiss 6-5 this afternoon. The Danes leapfrogged Germany and Switzerland
in the table and with the four teams below them playing each other
tomorrow, need just one win tomorrow to clinch a playoff spot; against
either Italy or Japan.
Italy 5 - 1
Denmark 4 - 2
Czech Rep . 3 - 3
Slovakia 3 - 3
Germany 3 - 3
Switzerland 3 - 3
Finland 3 - 4
Japan 2 - 4
Latvia 2 - 5
HERE for full statistics, line scores and team line-ups. The event
also has a
Worlds Qualifying Day 3 11/7/2011
As play began on Day 3 of the Worlds
Qualifying Tournament in Lohja, Finland, three teams were unbeaten. By
the end of Draw 5 just one had a perfect record: Germany and Switzerland
both losing to Italy.
Italian coach Giulio Regli was delighted
with his team’s performance. Remembering that the Italian team had
faltered after finding themselves in this position only a year ago, he
cautioned that there were still four games of the round-robin to go.
"The team had to keep focused," Regli said.
Switzerland were first to face the new
leaders, and nosed ahead 3-2 on a steal of 2 after the mid-game break.
Italy came back to steal 2 in the 7th, and sealed the win 5-3 with a
final stolen point in the 8th.
Italy then faced Germany, who had lost to
Finland 7-4 this morning, after allowing 4 stolen points. They also may
have lost some confidence as they surrendered seven more stolen points
to Italy in an 11-1 loss.
Switzerland, like Germany, failed to
recover from their morning defeat, allowing the Finns to grab an 8 -6
win with 3 in the 8th.
Per Christensen, Denmark's very
experienced (and ex-Norway) coach, may have had some tough words for his
under-performing national squad; whatever was or was not said, the Danes
came out fighting today, blowing away the Czechs 13-5, and Latvia 15 -3.
Rookies Latvia had earlier disposed of
Japan 10 - 6, stealing the game's final 5 points. Paralympics skip Yoji
Nakajima's team may be feeling the absence of preparation occasioned by
the series of natural disasters that hit his homeland this year, though
Japan did regroup to post their first win, 9-3 over Slovakia in Draw 5.
Japan controlled that game with some
great set up shots from the front end. Here's an observer's description
of some fine play in the 3rd end that resulted in a steal of 2.
Japan and Slovakia each had a stone in the 4ft,
both well hidden behind guards but Slovakia had other counting stones in
the house, and the hammer.
Skip Yoji decided to play a hit and
roll off a stone in the 12ft. to attempt to remove or make sure of the
stealing point. The first two ends had been decided on a measure for the
He made it perfectly, pushing the
Slovakian counter out of the 4ft, and sitting 2 buried. Radoslav Duriš
attempted a raise but was unable to outcount Japan's stones, giving up a
steal of 2.
Italy 4 - 0
Finland 3 - 2
Germany 3 - 2
Switzerland 3 - 2
Denmark 2 - 2
Latvia 2 - 3
Czech Rep . 1 - 3
Japan 1 - 3
Slovakia 1 - 3
HERE for full statistics, line scores and team line-ups. The event
also has a
Worlds Qualifying Day 2 - 11/6/2011
Italy are a Cinderella team. They dropped
into the qualifying pool by losing in a 5 way relegation tie-break at
the 2009 Worlds, and last year in this event, made the 1 vs. 2 game
before losing to both China and Russia.
Their two-time Paralympics skip, Andrea
Tabanelli, had to leave before play began last year, but after an
opening bye, has steered his team to two wins on Day 2, 9-2 over
Slovakia and 10-4 over Latvia.
A very experienced neutral observer
reports: "Latvia tied Italy after 5 ends but missed their opportunities
to pressure Italy when it mattered. Their lack of strategic
understanding often let Italy off the hook. Latvia missed opportunities
to score a big end on numerous errors."
A tough assessment of a rookie team, but
probably more useful to them than the usual anodyne public relations
coach-speak if the team is serious about competing at the world level.
Germany and Switzerland also posted two
wins. Germany beat newcomers Latvia 9-5 and were gracious in post game
"We were really surprised by how strong a
team Latvia was," said skip Jens Jäger. "They are very precise and good
players and have clearly very good team spirit. It is always a great
feeling when the wheelchair curling family grows and grows."
Germany blanked Japan 12-0 in the
Co-leaders Switzerland stole their way to
an early 7-2 lead against the Czechs in Draw 2 before hanging on for a
7-6 victory. They repeated the pattern against Slovakia in Draw 4,
leading 7-0 after two ends before cementing a 10-6 win with 2 in the
Hosts Finland posted their first win with
a 5-ender and a 4-ender in a 14-1 rout of Denmark. The Finns shot an
impressive 67% as a team.
"It was like having a different team on
the ice," said lead Tuomo Aarnikka. "We had a great start to the game.
We stole five points in the second end and after that we managed to keep
the game simple for us and the opposition was the one who had to keep
taking the risks."
The Finns were unable to maintain
momentum, however, surrendering 6 steals in an 8-1 loss to the Czech
Republic in Draw 3.
Standings after Draw 3
3 - 0
Switzerland 3 - 0
Italy 2 - 0
Czech Rep. 1 - 2
Latvia 1 - 2
Finland 1 - 2
Slovakia 1 - 2
Japan 0 - 2
Denmark 0 - 2
HERE for full statistics, line scores and team line-ups.
Canada I sweeps to victory at
Richmond International 11/5/2011
Jim Armstrong's World Champion Canada I
team of Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forest and Sonja Gaudet completed their
round robin with a seventh win, gently over RCD 6-2, while second place
Cancade pounded Alberta 10 - 1, stealing the last seven points.
USA took 3 in the 5th in a
6-2 win over BC, enough to lift them above Canada II who lost to Quebec
4-2 with just 5 ends played.
In the playoff Canada I faced Manitoban
Team Cancade for the $1,000 first prize and got off to a fast start,
taking 3 with hammer. Cancade held them close the rest of the way but
lost 7-5, earning the $600 second prize.
Quebec blanked USA 10-0 to take home $400
for third. Teams also earned $50 for each round robin win.
Standings after Draw 7
Canada I 7 - 0
Cancade 5 - 2
Quebec 5 - 2
USA 4 - 3
Canada II 3 - 4
Alberta 2 - 5
BC 2 - 5
RCD 0 - 7
Draw and rosters are available
Draw 7 line scores are available HERE
and playoff line scores are available HERE
Worlds Qualifying Day 1 - 11/5/2011
The World Wheelchair Curling Qualifying
Tournament began today in Lohja, Finland, with nine teams competing for
the final two places in the ten team 2012 World Championship in South
Korea next February.
Manfred Bollinger, the tournament's most experienced skip, edged his
team to a 7-6 win over Japan in the opening draw. Team Japan had
interrupted their Qualifier training camp to compete in the Friendship
league in Hokkaido, Japan, at the end of October (where they finished
bottom of the table) and with Japanese curling centred in the north of
the country so badly affected by the earthquake, tsunami and its
repercussions, had not had the easiest of preparations. So holding the
Swiss was an encouraging result for their experienced skip Yoji Nakajima
and his rookie squad.
The good times were rolling again for Germany, whose skip Jens Jäger had
been alarmed at my previous description of ebullient. (It had somehow
become mangled in translation.) They beat the Czechs 7-4.
Team Germany has a new coach (Bernd Weiser) and travelling team official
Petra Schlitt professing general happiness with everything, adding:
"This new group has great team spirit, and more than anything else, they
want to keep the playing fun for everyone." Those of us who fondly
remember their travelling supporters singing in the stands at the 2009
Worlds, hope the fun lasts the week.
Hosts Finland were feeling confident before their opener against Latvia.
Their skip, Vessa Hellman, said: "Practice went well and the ice feels
quite good. The stones are quite a lot less swingy than last year, but
they give us a good amount of curl."
Unfortunately for the home fans, the Finns lost to Latvia 3-7. It was
Latvia's first win at this level. "Playing in Scotland last month was
good preparation," an excited vice-skip Ojars Briedis said.
Slovakia, also relative newcomers to the sport at the World level, beat
Denmark 11-4 in the remaining match, while Italy had a bye.
Rock moving and time-keeping duties are
being performed by student volunteers led by Jari Moberg "The
students are extremely active in helping out in the tournament. It
serves as good practice for them in how to organise and help out in
sporting events and thus it is a useful experience for them also in
their studies. The fact that it is an international event is always a
nice addition because the students get a chance to use English."
Draw 2 begins at 10.30 local time.
Tournament organizers plan live
webcast coverage of some games.
The draw and game schedule can be found
HERE. Results will be posted
Richmond International Day 3
Canada I continued their cruise through
the field on the third day of the Richmond International, stealing four
ends against USA in the morning before allowing a two in the 6th and
final end of a 10-2 win. In the afternoon they beat BC 9-2, padding the
score with a steal of 4 in the 7th; the only game of the eight played
past the 6th end.
Quebec, lying 2nd in the table at start of play, started strong against
Alberta, stealing 3 in the 1st, the winning margin of the 7-4 result. In
the afternoon they met Manitoba's Cancade team and lost 6-4. Chris
Sobkowicz's side had earlier beaten Canada II 7-2 and their double put
them in second place at the end of play. Alberta slumped to a second
defeat, losing to Canada II 7-6 in a game where multiple points were
scored 5 of the 6 ends.
The pick-up team representing the RCD hosts took another beating in the
morning 12-0 defeat by BC, but regrouped in the afternoon though still
losing 5-4 to USA on a stolen final point.
Standings after Draw 6
Canada I 6 - 0
Cancade 4 - 2
Quebec 4 - 2
Canada II 3 - 3
USA 3 - 3
Alberta 2 - 4
BC 2 - 4
RCD 0 - 6
Draw and rosters are available
Draw 5 line scores are available HERE
and Draw 6 line scores are available HERE
Richmond International Day 2 11/3/2011
Canada I were caught napping with an 8-1
lead allowing Chris Sobkowicz's Manitoban Cacade team to post a 4 in the
6th end. They awoke to post a 4 of their own and complete a 12-5 victory
in the morning draw. They posted another 12 in the afternoon, allowing
Quebec just a single point in seven ends: Quebec's first defeat after
their morning 6-1 defeat of BC.
Canada II have settled on an unusual line-up with Mark Ideson skipping
from lead, in front of trendal Hubley-Bolivar, Darlene Jackman and Mike
Munro. They posted their first win, 5-4 over USA in 6 ends in the
morning draw before whitewashing the RCD host team 11-0 in Draw 4. RCD
could be forgiven if they felt a little shell-shocked having been
hammered 13-0 in just 3 ends by Alberta in the morning.
USA stole 2 in the 7th and final end in a 6-4 win over Bruno Yizek's
Alberta and BC suffered their second loss of the day - 9-3 to Manitoba's
Standings after Draw 4
Canada I 4 - 0
Quebec 3 - 1
Alberta 2 - 2
Cancade 2 - 2
USA 2 - 2
Canada II 2 - 2
BC 1 - 3
RCD 0 - 4
Draw and rosters are available
Day 2 line scores are available
Worlds Qualifying begins Nov. 5 in
Lohja, Finland 11/2/2011
The World Wheelchair Curling Qualifying
Tournament begins Saturday November 5th at the Kisakallio Sports
Institute in Lohja, Finland, site of last year's event. Nine teams will
compete: Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland.
They will play a full round robin, the top four teams entering a Page
playoff on Thursday November 10. The top two finishers join the top
eight from the 2011 World Championships, and will compete at the 2012
Worlds in Chuncheon City, South Korea next February 18-25 for Sochi
Paralympics qualifying points.
Competition between the top teams is likely to be especially tough this
year as Germany, Italy, Japan and Switzerland all competed at the
Vancouver Paralympics, while the Czechs have the experience of hosting
the 2011 Worlds.
There was a great deal of drama surrounding team Germany post Vancouver,
with ebullient skip Jens Jäger shown the door after failing to build on
his bronze medal performance at the 2009 Worlds. Unfortunately for
Germany, Jäger's successor and ex-3rd, Marcus Sieger, was unable to
avoid relegation in 2011 leading to Jäger's return to the national team.
Jäger has been traveling to European spiels with his own team, the
Mainhattan Ice Wheelers, with mixed success, but arrives in Finland with
a new coach as a favourite to gain at least a playoff spot.
No-one in Lohja has more experience than Swiss skip Manfred Bollinger,
who impressed international coaches at the recent Kinross spiel where
Switzerland defeated Canada en route to the final.
The other skips with Paralympic experience are Italy's Andrea Tabanelli
who skipped the host side in Torino (2006), Denmark's Kenneth
Ørbaekalso, also in Torino and Japan's Yoji Nakajima in Vancouver.
In a continuing trend, 8 of the 9 teams list two female members while
the other, Slovakia, travel with just a four person team.
Hosts Finland are still looking for their first Worlds appearance. Radek
Musilek returns to skip the Czech’s after their 10th place finish on
home soil at the 2011 Worlds which sent them back to the qualification
Latvia, skipped by Aleksandrs Dimbovkis, are competing at the
international level for just the second year. Slovakia’s Radoslav Duriš
and his team hope it will be third time lucky after finishing 6th last
Tournament organizers plan live
webcast coverage of some games.
The draw and game schedule can be found
HERE. Results will be posted
You can see results from all major championships from 2006 by clicking
on "Events" at the top of the page.
Richmond International Day 1 11/2/2011
The first of four days of very
competitive wheelchair curling began this morning at the Richmond CC as
8 teams started a full round robin to decide who will playoff for the
$1,000 1st prize next Saturday.
The event, sponsored by the Richmond Committee For Disability (RCD) saw
Canada bring their World Champion team, as well as a neophyte Canada II
team, while BC, Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba (Cancade) all fielded
strong established teams with lots of competitive experience. USA
featured only one player from 2010, skip Patrick MacDonald, while a
mixture of players from Richmond and Portland (OR) represented the RCD
Canada I crushed Canada II in the opening draw and more significantly
took out Bruno Yizek's Alberta 9-3 in Draw II.
Gary Cormack's BC were edged 6-3 by Alberta in the opener but rebounded
to hand Canada II their second loss, 9-5 in the afternoon.
Quebec handled USA 5-1 and blanked RCD 9-0, while Chris Sobkowicz's
Cancade team also blanked RCD but were then beaten by USA, 7-4 in Draw
Play was generally slow, with most games
ending in 6 ends, a couple managing just 5, and only one game lasting 7
Standings after Draw 2
Canada I 2 - 0
Quebec 2 - 0
Alberta 1 - 1
BC 1 - 1
Cancade 1 - 1
USA 1 - 1
Canada II 0 - 2
RCD 0 - 2
Draw, Scores and rosters are available
Home favourites take 4th Wetzikon
Invitational in Zurich 11/1/2011
Manfred Bollinger skipped his national
team to a decisive win at the 4th Annual Wetzikon Invitational in
Zurich, Switzerland October 22-23.
A ten team field often used as a World's Qualifying warm-up, this year
attracted Italy, the Czech Republic and Team Germany, skipped once again
by Jens jager, back from the wilderness and with a new coach after
Germany's failure at the 2011 Worlds.
Final standings and team members are
Team Canada introducing new faces
at Richmond International 10/31/2011
Team Canada is bringing five athletes
less familiar to west coast fans to compete in the Richmond
International. Nova Scotia's Trendal Hubley-Bolivar and Newfoundland and
Labrador's Darlene Jackman are likely to play with rookies Mark Ideson
and Mike Munro from London, Ontario, on Canada II, while Ontarian
Collinda Joseph replaces Anne Hibberd on Bruno Yizek's Alberta side.
Though Mark and Mike have only been
curling a year, their coach Ernie Comeford is impressed with their rapid
progress and is convinced they will be major players in the future.
"After all Jim, Daryl and Bruno are over
60 and both Mark and Mike are in early 30s at the most. The potential is
there," he said.
They also fit a physical profile
attractive to the national coaching staff.
You can watch them and seven other teams
at the Richmond CC starting this Wednesday. Draw 1 begins at 9.30am. You
can see the teams and the Draw HERE
Mark Wherrett moves to Winnipeg,
Ficek looking for a third 10/30/2011
Mark Wherrett, who appeared on all four
Northern Ontario national championship teams, the past three as vice to
Wayne Ficek, has relocated to Manitoba.
"I moved back to Winnipeg late last
summer," he said, "and have been curling with the gang in Winnipeg, I
played basketball with Chris, George and Dennis in the eighties. I also
lived in Winnipeg up to 2000 so it was more like coming back home. The
curling rink in Dryden closed this fall so it turned out to be a good
move for me with being able to continue to curl."
Mark replaces Don Kalinski on the
Manitoban "Team Cascade" at this year's Richmond International, but
leaves Wayne Ficek short of a third back in Northern Ontario. Team
Ficek's Chester Draper and Cindy Hoffstrom also curled out of the
defunct Dryden CC and their playing status for the coming season is
News from Manitoba 10/30/2011
Manitoba, the current national champions,
were a team born into
controversy with some consideration given by the Province to not
appearing at the 2011 Edmonton Nationals. Gold medals probably eased any
Curl Manitoba qualms about sponsoring a self-selected and unopposed
A proposed Spring meeting to discuss minimum playdown requirements
and/or selection protocols apparently did not materialise, but as this
season begins, skip Chris Sobkowicz has gathered a group of eight who
are participating in a development program sponsored by Cancade Inc.
They play in 3 mixed leagues, practice
twice a week, and play in 3 different two person stick leagues.
"It's completely open to anyone," Chris
told me. "It's like a sports academy where we all learn the same
strategies and techniques, work collectively on our program of
activities with a competitive angle, and of course enjoy each other's
"We'll be hosting a "You can Do it" camp
later in November headed by coach Rob Lamb and the MCA. This will focus
mainly on people new to the game, and offer a recreational component."
"Team Cascade" will compete in next
week's Richmond International, with Northern Ontario transplant Mark
Wherrett replacing Don Kalinsky from the national championship squad.
The 2012 Team Manitoba will be chosen by
provincial team coach Rob Lamb from those participating in the Cascade
Richmond Centre for Disability
hosts 5th International Nov 2-5 10/28/2011
The 5th Annual International Bonspiel
organised by the Richmond Centre For Disability begins Wednesday
November 2nd at the Richmond CC, with a full 8 team round robin ending
with the playoff round Saturday November 5th.
Team Canada will be fielding its World
Champion team in their final competitive appearance before they defend
their title in South Korea, Feb. 18-25.
Also competing for the $1,000 first prize
will be the 2011 Quebec champions, the Manitoban and Albertan finalists
at the 2011 Nationals, 2010 National Champions BC's Team Cormack, Team
USA, a mixed US and Canadian RCD team, and a Canada II team tba.
The event boasts the most competitive
field outside of the national championship, and viewing is free. Teams
can practice Tuesday afternoon, and Draw One begins Wednesday at 9.30am.
Full information is
Lots of opportunities to learn in
Nova Scotia 10/28/2011
CurlAtlantic is sponsoring eight weekends
where wheelchair users and anyone interested in wheelchair curling can
learn, practice and develop their playing and/or assistance and coaching
The free sessions will include on and
off-ice time and will be led by Trendall Hubley-Bolivar, a 3-time
Provincial Champion and current National bronze medallist.
They begin at Halifax's Mayflower CC on
November 5, 2.30 - 5pm, and at the New Caledonia CC in Pictou, NS, on
January 14. You can view the announcement and full schedule
Katarina Hakansson (902
240-9870) for more information.
3rd Annual Asian Friendship
League, Hokkaido, Japan, Oct 28-30 10/27/2011
The 3rd Asian Friendship League begins
Friday, October 28 through October 30, at Moseushi Curling Hall, in
Hokkaido, Japan. Six teams are competing with China's Prague World
Championship team joining Korea's 2011 World's silver medalists
challlenging four Japanese teams.
More information for readers of Japanese
while entering the page url into Google Translate is
an option for the rest of us.
Sonja Gaudet graces the 2012 Women
of Curling Calendar 10/27/2011
Two time Paralympian gold medalist and
current Team Canada lead Sonja Gaudet, already the photogenic ambassador
for Canadian wheelchair curling, will grace a month of the 2012 Women Of
Curling Calendar, being sold as a fundraiser for Shoot For A Cure, a
spinal paralysis research charity.
You can read more, and
order a copy of the calendar,
USA team pool announced after
tryout camp 10/26/2011
Eight US wheelchair curlers have been
selected to form the playing pool from which Team USA 2012 will be
chosen after a 14 candidate three-day individual tryout competition at
the Madison CC in McFarland, Wis.
Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.)
James Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.)
Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.)
Bob Prenoveau (Chittenango, N.Y.)
David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.)
Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.)
Tim Kelly (Rockford, Ill.)
Gerald Wynne Jr. (Plover, Wis.) who received a donated wheelchair from
Ki Mobility of Stevens Point, Wis., to assist in his quest to make Team
The first four all have previous international experience.
The selection was based on individual skills testing, game participation
and strategy assessment as well as interviews to determine team/player
compatibility. The squad will participate in the several highly
competitive wheelchair curling events in November to help determine Team
USA at the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship Feb. 18-25 in
Chuncheon City, South Korea.
Daw "released" as manager as
Vancouver CC moves to Hillcrest 10/26/2011
Torino gold medal skip Chris Daw has been
"released" from his contract as Manager of the
Vancouver CC just
prior to the club moving into its new premises as part of the Hillcrest
Centre, the 2010 Olympic venue.
He has now returned to Ontario with his
family. You can read
his account on his blog.
The Hillcrest Centre officially opens
this Saturday, October 29th, and the curling ice will be fully
Russia II over Scotland II for
Kinross title 10/21/2011
Russia II proved the class of the field,
winning the final of the Kinross International 9-4 over Scotland II.
Switzerland won their last two games to take second place in Group A,
going on to beat Group B runners-up Norway 9-4 for 3rd place. Norway
earned their playoff spot on ends scored, after tying with Canada II and
Scotland 1 in round robin play.
Final round robin tables, playoff line
scores and team photos are
on the blog.
Canada 1 finished with a 2-2 record, Ina
Forrest rejoining the team in Amsterdam prior to their flying to
Scotland. TC coach Wendy Morgan professed everyone was pleased
with the result though neither team qualified for the playoffs. "Early
season tweaking ... everyone pleased." Bruno Yizek and Chris Sobkowicz
shared skipping duties on Canada II.
An organiser's report on the final day
can be read
And Goose makes 3 - leaving USA
2012 selection wide open 10/20/2011
Augusto 'Goose' Perez was the third Tam
USA member, with Jacqui Kapinowski and James Pierce, to quit the program
over the summer. This throws team selection wide open as 14 candidates
gather at the Madison CC in McFarland, Wisconsin, the new centre for
wheelchair curling in America, for the annual selection camp October
Jimmy Joseph (49, New Hartford, NY) is the one survivor from the 2006
and 2010 Paralympic team and he will be joined by 2010 Paralympian Pat
McDonald (44, Madison WI) who has moved his family from California to be
more involved with the program. Penny Greely (40, Green Bay WI) returns
from the 2011 team, and Bob Prenoveau (46, Chittanango NY), who was a
part of the 2005 and 2007 World Championship teams, is the other athlete
with international wheelchair curling experience.
The 3-day camp will select eight who will then compete at two November
events before the five person team for the 2012 Worlds is announced.
National coach Steve Brown heads a five person selection committee
looking for individual skills, game participation, strategic
understanding and that catchall loved by coaches, "team/player
compatibility." The eventual five will also have impressed in cumulative
performance, on/off ice behaviour, team dynamics and training regimen.
Joining Jimmy, Pat, Penny and Rob are:
Catherine Cummins - 47, Portland, OR
Tyler Halatek - 40, Green Bay, WI
Stephen Hart - 62, Portland, OR
Tim Kelly - 38, Rockford, IL
Jimmy Kenner - 50, Green bay, WI
Megan Lino - 27, East Falmouth, MA
David Palmer - 51, Mashpee, MA
Steven Roberts - 16, Vancouver, WA
Pam Wilson - 56, Westminster, CO
Gerald Wynne Jnr. - 45, Plover, WI
Scots and Russian second strings
lead at end of Kinross Day 2 10/19/2011
Scotland II beat Switzerland 8-6 on the
strength of a 5 spot in the 3rd end of the morning sraw, and continued
with a 7-6 defeat of Scotland III to stay top in Pool A at the end of
Day 2 at the Kinross International.
Russia II beat Canada II 6-4 after three
consecutive steals put them ahead 3-0 at the midway break, maintaining
their unbeaten record atop Pool 2.
Canada I bounced back from their opening
defeat, beating Scotland III by 8-4 and Russia I by 10-3.
Tables and full line scores can be seen
Team Canada finalist for IPC 2010
Paralympics Best Team Award 10/18/2011
Team Canada is one of five finalists for
the Inernational Paralympic Committee's "Best Team" Award. Jim
Armstrong, Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forrest, Sonja Gaudet and Bruno Yizek
defended Canada's Paralympic title with
a 7-2 round robin record before beating Sweden, and then Korea in the
Also being considered are the US and
Japanese Sledge Hockey teams and the Russian Men's and Women's Cross
Country Skiing Relay Teams.
The winner will be announced in December.
The IPC news release is
Scots sweep Canada in opening draw
of Kinross International 10/18/2011
Canada's two teams played in the final of
the Norway Open on Sunday and two days later faced Scotland's best on
the opening day of the Kinross International in Scotland. They lost both
games, giving up a steal in each final end.
Canada 1 * 0 0
1 1 0 1 0 0 - 3
Scotland 2 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 - 5
Canada 2 * 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 - 2
Scotland 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 1 - 5
The ten team tournament includes teams from Norway, Latvia, Russia and
Switzerland competing in two pools, with the first and second in each
pool competing in Thursday afternoon's playoff.
In other results, Switzerland beat Russia 1 by 7-5, and Russia II beat
Norway 8-5. Latvia and Scotland III had byes.
You can see the table and full line scores
HERE and the tournament program
with team line-ups
Wheelchair curling club needs your
online vote NOW 10/17/2011
The South Lanarkshire Wheelchair Curling
Club is applying for a community development grant from the Royal Bank
of Scotland. You can read about their application
The club trains regularly at the Hamilton
Ice Rink and will host an international event next January 18 and 19.
Secretary David Morgan said: “The money
would go towards the international event as well as the development of
“It’s important for people to vote for us because there’s so many
wheelchair users that are caught up in poverty and can’t get access to
funding which leaves them isolated because they can’t get out.
“This funding would help the social aspect and it’s a great initiative
bringing an international event to South Lanarkshire.”
The organisation is hoping to run a special event on St Andrew’s Day
this year and preparations are also underway for 10th birthday
celebrations in February.
Voting closes at midday (7am eastern time in north America) on October
Here's the RBS voting page. It's a bit of a pain as you have to
register before voting, but it's worth the 3 or 4 minutes that will take
too support a club that is showing real initiative.
Armstrong over Yizek in all-Canada
Norwegian final 10/16/2011
Jim Armstrong's Canada 1 took the
2011 Norwegian Open with a 7-3 win over Bruno Yizek's Canada 2 team.
Denmark beat Finland 4-3 to take 3rd place.
Canada 1 were one player short (see
yesterday), which in a game without sweeping offers an advantage to the
players throwing three stones.
Full results can be found
Canada sweep into final of
Norwegian Open 10/15/2011
Norway 1 only got to play one match
against Canada in this weekend's Norway Open and were comfortably
handled by Bruno Yizek's Canada 2 as the Canadians swept into tomorrow's
final. Finland play Denmark for 3rd place.
Ina Forrest was unable to travel because
of a family bereavement, but will join the team in Scotland.
Canada 1: Armstrong, Sobkowicz and
Canada 2: Yizek, Neighbour, Smart and Gaudet
Full results can be found
Wayne Ficek is CCA's featured
athlete of the week 10/14/2011
Jean Mills' fascinating series of athlete profiles for
the CCA continues to include wheelchair curlers with this week's focus
on Northern Ontario champion skip Wayne Ficek.
Read Wayne's take on a rule change that would improve the sport, and
Canada posts big margin wins at
Norwegian Open 10/14/2011
Both Canadian teams posted big margin
wins in the opening draws of the Norwegian Open at the Halden Curling
Centre. The draw and results are available
Team Canada off to Norway and
Team Canada's only international trip
before defending their World title in South Korea next February is to
Norway, where they play this weekend, then on to Scotland the following
The Norwegian Open, to be held at the
Halden Centre starting Friday, failed to attract any other contending
teams and will serve as a warm-up for the Kinross event beginning next
Canada is fielding two teams with
Calgarians Anne Hibberd and Jack Smart joining the six carded squad
members. In Norway, roles and positions will be flexible, but Canada's
medal team expect to play together in Scotland.
The eight teams in Norway include four
local teams, plus Finland and Denmark.
The ten teams that will compete in
Kinross include two from Russia, plus Norway, Switzerland, Latvia and
three Scots teams. Team members can be seen
NB's Capital Winter Club access
fundraising close to $60K target 10/12/2011
As part of its 50th Anniversary
celebration, the volunteer run
Winter Club in Fredericton NB has almost reached its $60,000
fundraising target that will, with matching provincial funds allow the
installation of a lift to the upstairs viewing area.
Club president Rob Wight told
The Daily Gleaner: "we're hoping to extend that at some time in the
future to where we can actually have wheelchair curling and give people
with disabilities access to the ice."
Give-it-a-go at The Peak in
Stirling (SCO) October 5th 10/4/2011
There will be a "taster" session at The
Peak in Stirling from 2.30 to 3.30 on Wednesday October 5th.
Stirling WCC has 13 regular curlers and is actively seeking members.
Aileen Neilson voted "Athletes'
Athlete" by Scottish peers 10/4/2011
Team Scotland skip Aileen Neilson was
awarded the coveted Gordon Brown Memorial Trophy at the Scottish
Disability Sport's AGM on September 28th. This honour is voted for
by fellow athletes to the individual who has excelled at the highest
level in their sport.
Aileen skipped her team to a silver medal
at the 2011 World Championships in Prague, a return to the podium for
the former wheelchair curling powerhouse after several years. You can
read the RCCC report on the event
Team Canada devlopment camp begins
in Richmond BC 9/30/2011
Twenty six wheelchair users and a dozen
coaches will gather this weekend at the Richmond CC in British Columbia,
the pay-off to last season's promise that the regional development camps
held across the country would lead to opportunities to connect with the
present Team Canada squad and their coaches. Attendees will have an
opportunity to learn what it takes to win at the international level,
and use those insights to strengthen their provincial programmes.
It's easy to underestimate just how much work, and how many hours go
into developing the skills that underpin winning performance, hours that
for the national squad are eased by financial support, and guided by
coaching staff with the resources to analyse and adjust performance.
While Canada is blessed with enormous coaching experience across the
country, specific experience in wheelchair curling is very limited
outside of the national program, and the efforts of a handful of
provincially based coaches volunteering their time.
So the weekend will be an opportunity to spread the word about good
practices and proven methods that can improve standards nationally. It
will also probably demonstrate how wide is the gap both in execution and
ambition between those athletes with access to expert coaching and
training and the resources to devote significant hours each week to
their sport, and those making their own way.
Expert coaching can change that equation, especially in the area of
technique, on which all else rests, and which even experienced
able-bodied coaches will find alien. A stable repeatable delivery is
essential to success, and while individuals will differ in their
throwing motions, delivery positions, and stick configurations depending
on their physique, an educated eye can help maintain the consistency
that eventually allows for measured change of force, and the ability to
Anyone disappointed at not receiving an invite to Richmond can console
themselves knowing that with a settled squad holding both Paralympic and
World titles and unlikely to voluntarily give up carding system booty,
the opportunity to break into the squad before 2014, baring accident,
illness or even more dramatic legal imbroglios than a felony drug
distribution conviction, remains slim to none. The true worth of the
weekend will be whether teams competing in Thunder Bay next March arrive
better prepared to bridge the gap between the National Champions, and
Quebec's Johanne Daley is this
week's CCA featured athlete 9/29/2011
Johanne Daley, who brought a wealth of
high performance sport experience to her debut on curling ice in 2008,
is this week's featured ahlete on the CCA website. Discover what rule
she'd change, and how hard she can throw a takeout and much more in Jean
Wheelchair curling in the Yukon? 9/28/2011
The Yukon Curling Association, in a news
release reported by the
Whitehorse Daily Star, suggests they are interested in starting
wheelchair curling in the territory. There were no details given for
locations, or what if any clubs might be wheelchair accessible, but
Yukon wheelchair users interested in participating should contact the
YCA office at 867-668-7121 or by e-mail at
Calgary change of venue and
Edmonton's ice is in 9/27/2011
The Ogden Legion CC, host for seven
extremely successful years to Calgary's wheelchair curlers, succumbed to
financial pressures and closed its doors this summer, forcing the
wheelchair curling program to relocate to the
Garrison Curling Club.
Regular weekly Sunday evening sessions
resume at 4.45pm, commencing October 16th.
The ice is in at the
CC, site of last year's
also host of this season's Provincial Championship January 20-22, 2012.
A tweet from Cathy, the club manager ()
suggested a wheelchair curling clinic is planned for the October 1st
Contact her for more information.
Invitation to 6th Open Czech
Tournament 2011 9/22/2011
The event will be held from November 25th
to November 27th at the Prague curling hall.
Entry forms and hotel information are available
the booking deadline is October 24.
Ohioans offered an opportunity to
learn to curl 9/22/2011
Columbus (Ohio) Curling Club is holding another learn to
curl session on Sunday October 2nd from 9 - noon. The session is
designed introduce wheelchair athletes to the sport of curling, as well
as for able-bodied curlers interested in learning to teach wheelchair
Cost is $10 per participant and veterans are free. Visit the
for more information and to sign up.
McCreadie steers Scotland II to
season opening win in Denmark
The 5th Annual Danish Open in Tårnby
September 9-11 attracted a full complement of ten teams to open the
2011/2012 competitive curling season. Scotland, Russia and Norway each
sent two teams, and Germany, Finland, Czech Republic and Denmark also
Scotland II and the Czechs topped their
groups (which were scored on more than won/loss records) with the Scots
running our easy winners in the gold medal game and Russia taking 3rd.
Gregor Ewan moved from Scotland I replacing an injured Jim Gault and did
a fine job of calming any rookie nerves from Ian Donaldson and Gill
Keith, according to coach Tony Zummack.
Final Standings - teams played a final crossover game between the two
GB 2 beat Czech Republic for Gold
Russia 1 beat Norway I for Bronze
Russia 2 beat Finland for 5th
GB 1 beat Denmark for 7th
Germany beat Norway 2 for 9th
The Scots were coming from an intensive
two week camp that straddled the end of August, one of several
innovations their full-time coach has introduced this season.
As reported by Bob Cowan, the wheelchair curlers attended as part of
the newly integrated Royal Club/British Curling World Class Performance
Programme, sharing ice and classroom time.
"It was a really good camp," said
Zummack, and after eight days we had the opportunity to bring in some
other competitive wheelchair curlers for a day, and then finish with a
well-attended "give-it-a-go" session for wheelchair users and people
interested in coaching, that several senior players stayed around for.
"We're spending a lot of time on the ice
in supervised practice," he said, possible with a full-time national
wheelchair coach. "From now on the squad of eight will be spending at
least two 4-hour practice sessions a week, some where they will come to
me, and some where I will travel to them. This hasn't been done in
Scotland before, and we'll see how it goes this season, then evaluate.
"Six of the squad are using a parallel
delivery and seven are using the (Eales) off-side brace, but the most
important thing is they use a delivery that fits their body and with
which they feel comfortable." It also appears they have dropped the
long-range shooting style favoured by the previous regime.
Manitoban Dennis Thiessen featured
on CCA website
Team Manitoba 3rd Dennis Thiessen is the
featured athlete on the newly revamped CCA website.
2011, after some local controversy over team formation, was a big year
for Dennis and his teammates when, as Team Manitoba, they converted a
string of three bronze medals into gold at the national championships in
Edmonton. That win earned them an invitation to the end of September
Team Canada Development/Evaluation camp in Richmond BC.
Find out who Dennis would invite to dinner, and what his favourite
website is, by reading Jean Mills' profile
News from Team Canada
There are six Canadian athletes currently
receiving financial support through the national carding system; the
five who won gold at last year's World Championships in Prague, plus
Manitoban Chris Sobkowicz, skip of the current national champions, who
receives a smaller "development" grant.
The six all participated in the optional monthly training camps at
Edmonton's Saville Centre over the summer, and will be joined by 20
invitees and 9 coaches at a Development/Evaluation Camp that will be
held in Richmond BC from September 30-October 2.
This camp, which had initially been proposed for the end of last season,
is a follow-on from the series of regional camps held by national team
staff and athletes throughout last season. Invitees to Richmond were
chosen in part on impressions gained at those camps, as well as
performance at observed competitions, and recommendations from regional
With the present Team Canada appearing as both Paralympic and World
Champions, the camp is probably less about breaking into the national
team than an opportunity for athletes and coaches to familiarise
themselves with national training procedures that may be carried back
into and improve regional programs.
A full list of Richmond invitees can be seen at the end of this post.
An eight person TC squad will travel to Norway (October 14-16) and then
with just a day's turnaround, compete at the Kinross event in Scotland
(October 18-20). Albertans Jack Smart and Anne Hibberd will join the
squad for those two events. In Norway the team lineups will be flexible,
but the world champion team is expected to play together in Scotland.
Canada will also field two teams at the Richmond International (November
2-5) though personnel may change.
A further but smaller development camp is planned for later in the
Expected to attend the Richmond camp
National Team coaches Laura Farres, Joe Rea, Wendy Morgan, Gerry Peckham
National squad members Jim Armstrong, Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forrest,
Sonja Gaudet, Bruno Yizek, Chris Sobkowicz
National Champions Manitoba coach Rob Lamb, with Dennis Thiessen, George
Horning, Don Kalinsky, Melissa Lecuyer
BC coach Karen Watson with Frank Labounty and Alison Duddy
Alberta coach Andy Jones with Jack Smart and Anne Hibberd
Saskatchewan coach Lorraine Arguin with Darwin Bender and Gil Dash
N. Ontario coach Dave Kawahara with Carl Levesque
Ontario coach Carl Rennick with Collinda Joseph, Chris Rees, Mike Munro
and Mark Ideson
Quebec coaches Germaine Tremblay/Alan Smith with Benoit Lessard
and Carl Marquis
Atlantic region coach LeslieAnn Walsh with Joanne McDonald, Darlene
Jackman and Trendal Hubley- Bolivar
Highland Wheelchair Curling
begins in Inverness Sept. 27
The Highland WCC would like to encourage
wheelchair users and all those with mobility problems, to join them on
Tuesdays from 1.30 to 3.30pm during the curling season at the
Inverness Ice Centre. Sessions begin September 27 and you don't need to
stay the full two hours.
Mo Simpson says: Wheelchair Curling is an
enjoyable and social sport from grassroots to elite level. It is also
one of a number of sports which can be played on an equal basis,
alongside and with, non-disabled people. The club will provide trained
coaches and any equipment needed; just wear layers of clothing, gloves
and a hat if required. Should I not be available when you come, please
ask for Morven Marwick, Curling Development Officer, or Ron Wynton,
For further information on wheelchair
curling or to book a Come and Try place please contact Mo Simpson at
email@example.com or tel: 01463 716227 or 07798 710404.
The Callie Commitment
As part of its commitment to bring new
participants into the club, Regina's Callie CC is continuing its
wheelchair curling program. If you use a wheelchair or know someone who
does, join the fun. Contact Bob Capp at (306) 789-0367 or contact the
Entry deadline for 4th Annual
Wetzikon (Zurich) Open is Sept. 30
The 4th Annual Wetzikon tournament will
take place October 22-23 at the Wetzikon Curling Centre, near Zurich
Competition details, including fees,
accommodation and map can be found
HERE along with an entry
form to be completed by September 30.
October 14-16. Registration deadline August 19
This year's Norway Open will be held at
the Halden Curling centre from October 14-16. The registration deadline
for this event is Friday August 19 and full details including cost,
transportation and accommodation can be found
Anne Grethe Bremnes for more
Nova Scotia loses
a skip. New Brunswick gains a mentor
Nova Scotia skip Mike Fitzgerald, who
shares with Colleen Jones a record of four consecutive provincial
titles, is retiring from his job and moving to New Brunswick where he
and his wife Anna spent their childhood.
“I depart with mixed feelings," said
Mike. "Loss in leaving a team that had success from a great work ethic
and good coaching. Then there is the excitement of retiring and moving
home knowing I have plenty of time to help the New Brunswick program
“I have learned a great deal about wheelchair curling. In the beginning
there was little instruction. Now I can use all that knowledge about
skill development and team dynamics to assist others who are just
Friend and teammate Laughie Rutt said, “It's sad to see him move on but
it is something Mike had planned for years. Mike took us very close to
the big prize. He remains one of the premier curlers in Canada.”
Fitzgerald was known in Lakeshore Curling Club as the ultimate
competitor. He could be found at the club at least six times a week
either practising or playing. He also worked with new curlers to improve
their skills. Quiet and reserved off the ice, you would never find him
talking of his accomplishments.
Good luck, Michael. We'll be looking forward to New Brunswick
challenging at future Nationals.
Deadline fast approaching for
5th Annual Kinross International 8/8/2011
One of Scotland's most successful
independently organised wheelchair spiels is the Kinross International,
held this year between October 18-20th.
The Scottish national programme will be
fielding two strong sides looking to impress the home fans and Canada,
Russia, Norway and Switzerland have expressed interest in attending.
Application deadline is September 3.
Stevenson for more information.
News from team Canada 8/8/2011
There is very little news from Team
Canada other than "Team Canada has been meeting and practicing on a
There had been hopes to organise an
Albertan summer camp for individuals who caught the attention of
national coaches during last season's tour. This did not materialise
because of unspecified "challenges" but it is hoped that a camp (details
have not yet been circulated) can take place at the end of September in
I am told invitees will be those who
displayed the most promise based on (the) various camps from last season
or as a result of observed performances and success at the Canadian
Jim Armstrong update: Jim's son Greg has
been moved to a federal prison in Mississippi. Jim tells me there "are
some interesting scenario's developing" but his son's present situation
prevents him from making good on his promise to tell his side of the
story in public. It is a story that the CCA have apparently heard and
accepted for Jim to remain on the programme.
More from the
Cape Cod Summerspiel 8/8/2011
Quesnel resident Alison Duddy features
prominently in a report by
Percy Hebert of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer. She talks about her
team's performance at last month's Cape Cod Summerspiel where her
provincial team placed second in a field that included teams from
Scotland Russia and USA.
The report, which includes game
situations, strategy, tips and lots of credit where it was due, is the
kind of reporting that we need to encourage if wheelchair users
unfamiliar with the sport are to be enticed to try it.
Alison has featured several times here,
never with a view to self-promotion, and sets an example that other
curlers and coaches in general and Team Canada personnel in particular
might consider emulating as part of a low cost, high benefit campaign to
publicise the sport.
Invitation to compete at
Lausanne International December 3-4 8/8/2011
An invitation to compete at the 5th
Annual Lausanne International at the Lausanne Olympique CC can be found
HERE. The field will be
limited to 12 teams and the attached registration form should be
returned by September 30.
Open call to try out for Team USA 8/8/2011
The US Curling Association has issued an
open call for athletes interested in representing their country at the
2012 World Championships in South Korea.
The trial will be held in Wisconsin at
CC from October 20 to 23rd. The top eight candidates, chosen on both
on and off ice criteria, will be required to compete in the USA Open in
Utica NY and the Cathy Kerr Bonspiel in Ottawa. Expenses will be covered
for those events.
From that group, five athletes will be
chosen for the mixed gender team that will compete at the Worlds.
With two retirements from the US national
team already announced, there is an excellent opportunity for ambitious
wheelchair users prepared to put in the practice to make the team.
Full details of the camp including
registration and costs are available
$50K grants available from
Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund 8/6/2011
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF)
supports community-based projects across Canada that improve
accessibility, remove barriers, and enable Canadians with disability to
participate in and contribute to their communities. Grants up to $50,000
per project are available to improve the “built environment.”
If your curling club is looking to enhance its accessibility by:
• Constructing an interior or exterior ramp
• Installing wider doors or automated door openers
• Building an accessible washroom
• Installing an elevator or lift
• Enhancing interactive speech capability on a public-access computer
HERE for more information on how to access funds but act quickly,
the deadline for proposals is September 23, 2011.
BC residents can contact
Penny Bartel for assistance in putting together a proposal.
6th Annual USA Open Utica NY
November 11-13 8/6/2011
Marc DePerno, team leader for the USA
national team, has issued invitations to compete at the 6th Annual USA
Open International taking place at the
November 11-13th, 2011.
Full details, including special rates on accommodation and
transportation, are available
Registration deadline is October 10th.
The field will be limited to 10 teams. More info from Marc DePerno.
Russia beats Cormack's BC team to
win Cape Cod Summerspiel 7/21/2011
Russia beat BC's Team Cormack 8-6 in the
final of the 2nd Annual Cape Cod Summerspiel in Falmouth, MA topping a
field that included the Scots "A" squad's first appearance under new
Canadian coach Tony Zummack, as well as Team Quebec, and players in the
USA national squad.
Vince Miele, BC's 2nd, said: "It was a close game [and] we're pretty
proud that our team with our teammates spread out around the province
having little time to practice together, and no coach, can hold our own
against provincial teams like Quebec and national teams like Scotland
"And what fun we're having!"
Russia, still relative newcomers to international wheelchair curling,
continued the form that took them to their first semi-final appearance
at the 2011 Worlds. With three seasons still to go before they host the
2014 Paralympics, they will be serious medal contenders in Sochi.
Miele reports the 3-4 game between Quebec and Scotland was won by Quebec
9-3 and the USA - USA/Canada game was won by USA by a score of 10-2.
"Our hosts and all the volunteers at this small club of about 250 have
been fantastic, providing everything we needed, from transportation, to
meals and even a bit of a tour. Overall, an experience we're glad we
didn't miss and would be happy to come back to next year,' said Miele.
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer published a report prior to the 1 vs 2
game. It can be read
Worlds Qualifying Tournament
deadline approaching 7/19/2011
August 15th is the registration deadline
for wheelchair curling teams representing a
WCF Member Association wishing to compete at the World Wheelchair
Qualifying Competition in Lohja Finland between 5 and 12 November 2011.
The top two qualifiers will join the top eight finishers at the 2011
Worlds: Canada, China, Korea (host), Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden
and USA, at the World Championships in Chuncheon City, South Korea,
18-25 February 2012.
Germany and the Czech Republic are the two teams who competed at the
2011 Worlds in Prague but will have to travel to Finland to attempt to
rejoin the chase for 2014 Paralympics qualifying points.
Invitation to 5th Annual Danish
Open, Taarnby September 9 to 11 7/12/2011
Per Christensen, the Danish national
wheelchair curling coach, has issued an invitation to compete at the 5th
Annual Open International taking place at the Taarnby CC.
Eight teams have already accepted,
including the full 8 person Scottish squad, and teams from Finland,
Norway, Germany, the Czech Republic and Denmark.
Full details, including special rates on
accommodation are available
HERE or you can
contact Per directly by email.
Tony Zummack talks about
developments in Scotland 7/8/2011
Great Britain coach Tony Zummack took
advantage of six weeks of summer ice to hold intensive training sessions
for British curlers interested in competing for an eventual place on the
2014 Sochi Paralympics squad.
"We had a series of all day Wednesday sessions in May and June where we
had the opportunity to look at a lot of athletes, including some who
came up from England," he told me today. "This year's emphasis will be
on technical development; helping the 8 players selected for the
training squad develop their mechanics, throw more accurately. I don't
see why wheelchair curlers can't hit the broom as consistently as the
best able-bodied curlers.
"We have divided the group into two squads: an A squad skipped by Aileen
Neilson with Tom Killin, Gregor Ewan and Angie Malone; with Michael
McCreadie skipping the B squad, Jim Gault, Ian Donaldson and Gill Keith
who have less international experience. Each team will have different
development goals with the aim of producing a very competitive team in
time for the 2012 Worlds.
That's not to say that others will not emerge before Sochi in 2014, or
that all of the present 8 will stay the course, and Zummack promises to
keep an open mind on future prospects.
"What I believe," he said, "is that we are on the cusp of a significant
advance in shot execution and overall standard of play. While it is true
that wheelchair curling without sweeping can never be as accurate as
high performance regular curling, efficiencies in delivery combined with
increased understanding of what is and is not possible to throw
accurately, and what shots are likely to bring the biggest likelihood of
success, should raise stats into the 70s."
He may be right, and the adoption of the off-side brace long advocated
here, and other delivery refinements will help. I would, however, be
more persuaded if I had not heard similar claims from both Canadian and
European coaches for at least the past four years.
Zummack is taking one team to Cape Cod (Jim Gault replacing Michael
McKenzie from the Prague team). There will be a high performance camp
from August 26 through September 4 and then several European spiels
before the Scottish team is chosen for the 2012 Worlds.
Invitation to the 5th Annual Rolli
Trophy cashspiel in Berne SUI 7/7/2011
This year's Rolli Trophy cashspiel will
be held in Berne, Switzerland from Friday November 11 to November 13,
The field will be limited to 8 teams.
Entry fees are 300 Swiss francs for a guaranteed six 6-end games with
7,000 francs of prize money to be won.
Closing date for entries is October 17.
Read the flier (English version page 4)
HERE or contact
Nadia Roethlisberger for more information.
2nd Annual Cape Cod Summerspiel
draws international field
Teams from Russia, Scotland, Canada and
the USA will be competing in the
2nd Annual Cape
Cod Summerspiel July 17-20 in Falmouth, MA.
Russia is sending the team that just missed the podium when they
finished 4th at the 2011 Worlds in Prague, though with a different
coach, Alexandra Ryzhkova.
Tony Zummack, Great Britain's new Head Coach of Wheelchair Curling with
his first competitive team selection, is bringing four of the five
Prague silver medalists, Jim Gault replacing Michael McKenzie.
Canada will be represented by Team Lessard, Quebec provincial champions
looking to rebound from a disappointing 2011 Nationals, and by British
Columbia's Team Cormack.
USA national coach Steve Brown will be guiding both a new-look Team USA
with Patrick McDonald at skip, and a mixed USA/Canada team featuring the
return to action of Bob Prenoveau at skip.
Full details of the event, draws and teams can be found
N. Ontario's Chester Draper wins
the Manitoba Marathon
Chester Draper, who plays 2nd on Wayne
Ficek's No. Ontario provincial championship team won the Manitoba men’s
full wheelchair marathon with a time of 1:57:26 beating that benchmark 2
hour time that marks a great performance.
Congratulations to Chester, who is 71 and lives in Dryden, ON. And no,
he didn't use a souped-up power wheelchair.
Video coverage from the 2011
Canadian Nationals in Edmonton
AccessibleMedia were filming at the 2011 Canadian Nationals in
Edmonton. Coverage included comments from Cathy Craig, Joe Rea and Bruno
"Come and Try" Wheelchair
Curling in Melbourne, Australia
Wheelchair users in the vicinity of
Melbourne, Australia are invited to a "come and try" session June 27 at
7pm and 8pm and onwards at the Icehouse.
Members of the Southern Cross Rollers, Australia's first wheelchair
curling team, are competing at the Australian Championships this
September. Read what they have to say about their sport and get more
information about the event
Additions to the events calendar
There have been some additions to the
international events calendar page.
Invitations have been sent out for teams to compete in the Norwegian
Open at the Halden Curling Center from October 14-16, 2011. Details can
be downloaded from
Also the 5th Annual Richmond Center for Disability International Spiel
will be held November 2-5, 2011 at the Richmond (BC) Curling Club. You
can download details
USA searching for next year's team
USA are searching for the combination of
players who will bring them back into contention after a disappointing
2011 World Championship brought to an end a very promising run of
competitive results that had suggested medal success was close.
With two members of last year's team already announcing their retirement
there was plenty of incentive for aspiring curlers to learn about the
sport and perhaps impress Steve Brown, the National Team Coach, during
four days of on and off ice instruction this weekend at the Green Bay
Reporter Beth Jones of Fox station WLUK-TV was on hand to speak to
some of the participants.
US Trials in Green Bay WI June 2-5 5/26/2011
A National Wheelchair Curling Camp is
being held at the Green Bay (WI) Curling Club from June 2-5 with the
goal of increasing the athlete pool and improving medal prospects at
future World Championships and Paralympic Winter Games.
The camp schedule is as follows: Thursday, June 2: Noon - 6 PM Friday,
June 3: 9 AM – 5 PM Saturday, June 4: 9 AM – 8 PM Sunday, June 5: 9 AM –
One of the athletes attending will be Tim Kelly, a resident of Rockford
IL who has been travelling to Green Bay to learn from National Coach
Steve Brown, and also play on an able-bodied league team. Tom was
recently profiled in the Rockford Register Star. [read]
Michael McCreadie back in
Scotland's plans for 2014 5/16/2011
When Michael McCreadie stepped down as
British and Scottish skip after the team's disappointing run of
performances up to and including the Vancouver Paralympics, he said he
hoped to rejoin the program at a later date.
McCreadie continued to compete with some success on domestic teams
skipped by partner Aileen Neilson, and the promise of significant
changes to the national team's approach to the game under new National
Coach Tony Zummack, prompted him to apply to the 2011-2012 Wheelchair
The eight athletes selected are Aileen Neilson, Tom Killin, Angie Malone
and Gregor Ewan from the 2011 Worlds silver medal team, Michael
McCreadie, and newcomers Jim Gault, Ian Donaldson and Gill Keith.
2011 World's silver medallist Michael McKenzie missed out but will have
an opportunity, along with the other unsuccessful applicants, to be
considered for the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association's 'Spokes'
The talent identification and development effort promises to be an
on-going process, providing incentives not only to current members to
develop their skills, but to those who may yet challenge for a place on
the Sochi Paralympics team in 2014.
Debbie Earle nominated Nova Scotia
Female Curler of the Year 5/16/2011
Debbie Earle, lead on Team Nova Scotia,
was nominated for Female Athlete of the Year at the Annual Awards
banquet of the Nova Scotia Curling Association.
Debbie was voted All Star lead at the 2011 TSX National Wheelchair
Curling Championships in Edmonton where she helped her team to a bronze
medal, her Province's first podium appearance.
Debbie, who like Team Canada 2nd Ina Forrest was recruited while
shopping, has just completed her second year of curling and gives most
of the credit to her team mates who worked with her to develop her
skills and commitment to the game. She balances work, curling, and
raising a teenage daughter.
CurlBC names Gary Cormack disabled
athlete of the year
Gary Cormack, curling out of the Marpole
CC has won CurlBC's annual award for "Athlete With A Disability." He
skipped Team BC to a 4th place finish at the 2011 National Championships
in Edmonton, and will be recognised at the AGM on June 11th.
Team Canada to get their banner
Team Canada will receive their World
Championship banner during a presentation at the CurlBC AGM at the
Richmond CC, Saturday June 11.
Canada's national team coach Joe Rea will be on hand to give brief
remarks and answer questions at 11.45am.
Four of the five members of the team plus the coach live in BC.
A full schedule of the day's events, which will also be available online
via webcast, can be found HERE.
Open call for June Wisconsin Team
USA camp 4/23/2011
Team USA manager Marc DePerno has issued
an open invitation to any American wheelchair user who has the interest
and desire to explore wheelchair curling, to attend a summer training
camp in Wisconsin June 2-5.
The camp will be held at the
Green Bay Curling Club, and will be directed by Team USA coaching
staff. Wheelchair users may attend for one or more days, with the
program building each day on what has previously been covered.
With two members of the 2011 team
retiring, there are opportunities for athletes with the desire to
represent their country at a Paralympic sport, to discover what
wheelchair curling is all about.
Registration deadline is May 23. You can
view the information sheet
DePerno or call him at 315-737-2459 for more information
Nationals more than just the
curling - BC's Alison Duddy 4/22/2011
BC's lead Alison Duddy, while expressing
disappointment at her team's 4th place finish, mentions an important
fact: competing at a national championship is about more than just the
curling. You can read the interview she gave the Quesnel Cariboo
Armstrong's fake Viagra drama ends
without restitution 4/14/2011
At a hearing before US Fedral Judge
Ricardo Martinez in Seattle WA Tuesday, Jim Armstrong and his son
Gregory were not ordered to pay the $44,000 restitution requested by the
manufacturers of Viagra and Ciallis pills, fake versions of which formed
the basis of the
Armstrong's convictions last February.
Defense lawyers argued that restitution was not appropriate as the fake
pills had been seized from Jim Armstrong before they could be smuggled
into Canada and sold by Gregory in Vancouver nightclubs.
Jim has said in interviews that he has a full explanation for his
actions, but has not yet felt able to present it, in part out of concern
for the welfare of his son, who is in an American prison serving a 12
Upcoming events 4/13/2011
The competition calendar is becoming
increasingly congested especially in October and November, and event
organisers are beginning to make an effort to coordinate schedules to
encourage travelling teams to attend more than one event.
Several events last year were
over-subscribed which is a great tribute to the organising committees,
but a warning that wheelchair curlers must start to make plans further
There is a list of competition dates on
the calendar page which will be updated as
information becomes available. Looking at last season is often a good
indication of what may take place next season.
Today the Norwegian Open and the Kinross
spiel were added to October dates.
If you know of an event that is not
me with the details.
Varsity curler turned wheelchair
coach Thomas Matheson profiled 4/7/2011
Thomas Matheson, a varsity curler with
the Laurentian Voyageurs, was asked by TC coach Wendy Morgan to work
with Sudbury's rookie wheelchair curling team, an effort that earned
them second place in the Northern Ontario provincials.
a report by the Laurentian University's Department of Athletics,
talks about being given the opportunity to coach, the progress of his
team and sharing that feeling of deflation at coming up short in the
Neilson skips her Breahead rink to
season finale Tunnock Trophy 4/7/2011
The 3rd Annual Tunnock Trophy sponsored
by cookie maker Tunnock's of Uddingston, was hosted by the South
Lanarkshire WCC at the Lanarkshire Ice Rink in Hamilton last week. A
full complement of twelve teams including one from England meant that
applications were turned down from teams from Germany and Denmark.
Aileen Neilson's Braehead rink, last month's Scottish Champions, took
the Trophy with Jim Sellar's local rink finishing second.
You can read a report of the event
HERE and watch video of the inaugural (2009) event
GB's Head Coach for Wheelchair
Curling on his way April 16th 4/7/2011
Alberta's Tony Zummack has finally
received all the paperwork necessary for him to take up residence in
Scotland as Great Britains Head Coach - Wheelchair Curling.
He will be leaving on April 16th and staying in the Stirling area. His
wife will join him in July and his daughter hopes to be accepted into
A lengthy delay in processing the paperwork for his change of residence
meant that he was unable to take over the Scottish team in time for the
2011 World Championships in Prague. He was able to meet many of the
players at the recent Scottish Championships, won by
Aileen Neilson's rink, present skip of the National Team.
Curlers interested in being considered for the British national team
training program have been asked to submit applications, and the next
8 member national squad, which presently includes the
five who won silver in Prague, plus Rosemary Lenton, Jim Gault and
Jim Sellars, will be selected from those applicants based in part on
performances at the regular on-ice training sessions Zummack intends to
hold at least once a week in Stirling and at other venues if available.
Zummack will be Team Scotland's coach for the Worlds, and Team Great
Britain's coach for the Paralympics in Sochi in 2014. Though only Scots
have made the British team, Zummack says he will ensure that all
Britain's wheelchair curlers have access to an opportunity to
demonstrate their ability.
"Giving as many wheelchair curlers as possible the opportunity to learn
and improve will create long term growth in the entire program," he told
Aussies rolling over able-bodied
Jim Oastler reports that his Melbourne
based Southern Cross Rollers were the first Australian wheelchair
curling team to enter a state curling competition.
They competed in the Victorian Curling Association summer league,
finishing 4th out of 12 teams; a great result over able-bodied
opposition that they hope to build on as they approach their winter
league play leading up to the 2011 Australian Nationals.
If the team continues its current progress they hope to be able to
compete in the World Wheelchair Qualification round in 2012. The team
relies on and thanks the Victorian Curling Association, Disabled
Wintersports Australia, and Disabled Sport and Recreation for their on
Northern Californians gain more
ice time 4/2/2011
Skatetown in Roseville, just up the
freeway from Sacramento California, is offering ice for curlers starting
Monday April 4. There will be four weekly clinics in April followed by
curling drop-in nights on Mondays from May through July, run in
conjunction with Wine Country Curling of Vacaville.
This is the venue used for sled hockey so wheelchair access should be
good. Read the story by Kayla Nix of the Roseville Press Tribune.
Cost: $20 per person
Registration: Online at www.skatetown.biz or in person.
Information: Susan Sweetser at (916) 783-8550, ext. 115.
Thank you -
I would like to express my thanks to Dan
Janidlo, Johanne Poulin and Patrick McDonald who have all very
generously shown their appreciation for the work involved in publishing
this website by making a recent donation.
More changes for wheelchair
curling in the USA 4/2/2011
Jim Pierce has also announced retirement
from Team USA after the disappointments at the 2011 World Championships
in Prague. telling his teammates he is giving up the sport.
Jim Pierce 2011
Jim was a founding member of the USA wheelchair curling team, playing in
66 games including five Worlds and two Paralympics, and finishing with a
2008 Worlds bronze medal and a 31-35 record.
Patrick McDonald, who missed almost all of last season with a shoulder
injury, aims to step up and take more responsibility next season,
assuming he regains competitive fitness.
"The shoulder is coming along ahead of schedule. I'm feeling really
happy about having a complete shoulder replacement. From what the
doctor's told me after my MRI it was most likely broken in Vancouver at
the Paralympics," he told me.
"I'm moving my family to Madison, WI. so I can curl full time and work
with the coaching staff. I will also be helping find new athlete's to
make the sport grow here in the States."
Perhaps he will be able to infleunce the wheelchair users curling out of
Duluth MN who have so far stubbornly resisted approaches from Team
USA coaches because they want the WCF rules of play rewritten to allow
them to deliver while their chairs are moving forward.
Learn to coach wheelchair
curlers the WCF way 4/2/2011
The World Curling Federation has included
a Learn to Coach Wheelchair Curling course on July 2nd in Füssen,
Germany as part of its summer camp series.
The course will be led by Sheila Swan, who was in charge of Team
Scotland when they won their silver medal at the 2011 Worlds in Prague.
Cost of the 4 hour course is 30 euros and will include coverage of the
sports background, rules, safety, communication, assessment, equipment,
delivery techniques, buddy-system, access to and exit from ice, movement
on ice, warm-up routines, discussion, a DVD and a on-ice practical
More information can be found on the
Let's curl again, like we did last
The 2nd Annual Cape Cod Summerspiel will
take place July 17 - 20 in East Falmouth MA.
Last year six teams entered, including Team USA, Team Quebec and a
team from Germany. This year Russia and Scotland have already signed up.
You can find information and entry forms
HERE and teams are asked to enter by May 1st to allow the club time
to guage demand for accommodation and transport.
USA lead Jaqui
Kapinowski announces retirement 3/31/2011
Team USA lead Jaqui Kapinowski has
announced her retirement from wheelchair curling.
In an email sent to friends and supporters she said that though it was a
very difficult decision, she had decided it was time for her to return
the support of her husband over the past 20 years of a sports career
covering wheelchair athletics and curling, by making a permanent move to
their home in Florida.
"Please know how much I truly care for each of you, everyone has been so
supportive over these years. Marc (Deperno), I owe you so much for
getting me involved in this sport. It has been one of the greatest
experiences of my life. I want to end by thanking the USCA for their
sponsorship & most of all the friends I made..... I'm truly sorry, I
love you guys so much!"
Jaqui joined Team USA in 2007 and earned a bronze medal as lead at the
2008 World Championships. A performance drop-off at the 2011 Worlds was
in part due to her difficulty in finding practice ice time. She
maintains an interest in wheelchair marathons and rowing.
Her retirement opens the door for Wisconsin's Penny Greely, who was Team
USA's 5th player at the 2011 Worlds.
Scot Aileen Neilson scoops two
more awards 3/31/2011
Scottish skip Aileen Neilson scooped up
two more awards at the East Kilbride Sports Personality Awards ceremony
last week. “This is a proud moment for me and my family and it was very
special to have my partner Michael McCreadie, my mum Daisy and my sister
Libby Marshall all there to see me collect the awards," she told the
East Kilbride News.
Aileen won in the adult female category, then was declared overall
You can read a full report
2011 National Championship
There were no official stats taken at
this year's Nationals, so each team was balloted for their choice of the
best players at each position.
The winners were:
Mike Fitzgerald - Nova Scotia skip
Dennis Thiessen - Manitoba 3rd
Trendal Hubley-Bolivar - Nova Scotia 2nd
Debbie Earle - Nova Scotia lead
The Sportsmanship Award went to Frank LaBounty - BC with an honourable
mention to Joanne MacDonald - Newfoundland-Labrador.
McArthur Island CC in Kamloops
to host 2012 BC Provincials 3/24/2011
McArthur Island Curling Centre in Kamloops has been selected to host
the 2012 BC Provincials next February 2-5. It is a 6 sheet club within
reasonable reach of the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan where most of
the province's players live.
BC switched from a selection process to a Provincial Championship in
2009 in Vernon that attracted four teams and the 2010 event in Kimberley
saw three teams.
Canadian Nationals mid-way
An innovation introduced at this year's
Canadian Nationals are the coloured tubes placed at each end of the ice
to hold equipment, delivery sticks and skips' brooms, not in use. This
is a great idea and should be adopted at future events.
The ice has held up well, is keener than many teams will have played on
at their home clubs with draws running around 14 seconds hog to hog.
There's about 3 feet of swing. Manitoba skip Chris Sobkowicz reported
that there was some frost on the edge of the outer sheet when he
defeated BC in Draw 5.
“You had to believe what you saw and go with it!” he told Lisa Shamchuk,
writing reports for the CCA's website.
Ontario rookie Alec Denys had led the "cover the pin" $1,000 challenge
with a draw that finished 35.8cm from the pin before the start of Draw
2. He was deposed by Frank LaBounty, whose rock before Draw 5 ended just
34.7cm away. But they both bow to Chris Sobkowicz's 3.3cm at the start
of Draw 6.
The $1,000 prize has been donated by R. Vallee Home Rentals and will be
split if here is a tie. $200 goes to the runner-up.
Despite the relative unfamiliarity with time clocks, there have been few
problems. The most frequent complaints are caused by the throwers not
moving away after their throw. Until they cede the delivery position to
the other side, their clock will continue to run.
The rules state time will continue to run for the delivering team until:
-all stones have stopped
-the moving stones have crossed the back line
- the skip of the delivering team has relinquished the house to their
-players from the delivering team have moved to the side.
Players have to get used to not admiring the path of their shots and
travel down the side of the sheet, thereby not obstructing their
opponent's view, for their clocks to stop. "We're trying to get them to
behave as regular curlers do in competition," Head Official Linda Kirton
The teams are playing under the "old" timeout rules, where clocks stop
at a called time out, and restart when the coach has had 60 seconds to
talk to the team. (Current rules do not stop the clock at coach
This was a factor in the Draw 4 match between Alberta and BC, played
with a lot of rocks in the house and needing an extra end to decide it.
Umpires were at the ready to make quick decisions if necessary as both
teams ran their clocks close, but were able to use time-outs to ease the
Ice Player Assistants (IPAs) have been volunteering from local High
Schools (Bellerose High School, St Albert) and doing an excellent job
that is greatly appreciated by the curlers, many of whom would not be
throwing cleaned rocks without assistance. The students have also been
volunteering as meal servers.
Cathy Craig has been juggling 3 hats - club manager, event manager and
Host Team coach. Her team would be sitting top of the table had they not
twice given up 4's in the 8th ends of games in which they had 7-3 leads,
and lost in the extra. They are still on track to make good on her
prediction that they would make the playoffs, an extremely impressive
performance from a team who have not played against this opposition
It's probably no coincidence that local publicity brought out local
government inspectors. The club's renovations, completed two years ago,
have been inspected, and the fire marshal wanted in on the action to
test fire alarms, but was persuaded to wait until the club did not have
to test evacuate 50 plus wheelchairs.
In past events Day 4 is the test of stamina for the teams unused to
playing twice a day for three consecutive days. With Draw 6 now under
way, we'll see.
You'll find daily recaps of each Draw on
Blog and full statistical coverage in our
Aileen Neilson captures Scottish
Aileen Neilson completed a very
successful season with a win over her national teammate Gregor Ewan in
Sunday's final of the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Championship in
Aberdeen. It was sweet revenge for Nielson, who lost 6-5 to Ewan in the
British Open final last November.
The current Scottish national side was divided between the two
finalists, with Aileen joined by Tom Killin, plus Michael McCreadie and
Ian Donaldson. Gregor Ewan played with national teammate Mike McKenzie,
plus Jackie Cayton and Jim Gault.
It was a cagey game, with three blanks before Ewan put the first point
on the board just before the break. Whatever was in Team Nielson's water
bottles, it worked as they returned to score 4 in the 5th then stole 3
more in the 6th on their way to a 7-3 win.
You can find semi-final and final line scores
The 8th Canadian Nationals ready
to roll 3/21/2011
Edmonton's Jasper Curling Club is ready
to showcase the 8th Canadian National Wheelchair Curling Championships.
The ice is reported to be fast, about 13 1/2 seconds hog to hog for a
t-line draw and with between 3 and four feet of curl.
The rings and lines are true, something that was brought to public
attention when BC's Kelly Scott was caught out by an imperfect circle at
this year's Scotties.
Games will be 68 minutes, metered using time clocks, with each team
allowed two 60 second time-outs, the clock to stop until the coach
reaches their team. In an extra end, each team would be allowed one time
All teams are mixed gender, rocks are thrown from stationary wheelchairs
and placed within 18 inches either side of the centre line at delivery.
Hammer will be decided by a single throw to the button at the end of
each team's pre-game practice. This year there's an extra incentive for
the thrower, a $1,000 prize to cover the pin. Teams can choose who they
want to throw that draw, but every team member must, over the course of
the nine round robin games, throw at least once.
The club will be using five sheets so there will be no byes. Each team
gets to rotate across each sheet during pre-championship practice with
NL, MB, NO, SK and HOST taking first practice and AB, BC, QC, NL and ON
After the 2011 Worlds, Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong felt that some
teams had progressed to the point that matching rocks made sense. I
don't know whether any of the coaches in Edmonton have spent time doing
that. You can read an excellent article on curling rocks and how they
differ and why that matters
"We should make it to the
playoffs" - Host Team coach Cathy Craig 3/19/2011
Cathy Craig is manager of the
CC in Edmonton and the event manager for the Canadian Nationals that
begin there on Monday. She is also coaching the Edmonton Host Team,
skipped by Cliff Nuspl.
This is Craig's first year coaching a wheelchair team but she sounded
confident of their prospects, telling the
Edmonton Journal: "We should make it to the playoffs. They're solid.
They just have trouble in big games."
The Host team open with games against Ontario and BC and finish against
the Calgarian provincial champions.
"Whenever there's a national championship, no matter the sport or the
level of play, a national championship is a national championship,"
Craig told the
Edmonton Examiner. "You're representing your province, you're trying
to win for the country."
The championship will feature the "Tire Patch", offering live
entertainment in the club's lounge on Friday and Saturday night.
The Edmonton Journal reported that Jasper Place agreed to stage this
year's Nationals after Brandon MB backed out. It is a huge undertaking,
and a good sense of what is involved can be gleaned from this
blog entry by Lisa Shamchuck who will be compiling scores and making
entries on the
CCA's website as well as tweeting on each day's events.
BC's Alison Duddy in the news 3/19/2011
Quesnel resident Alison Duddy tells the
Quesnel Cariboo Observer that she's "looking for redemption" after
winning a provincial title last year, but losing the national final to a
BC Host Team.
This year she and teammate/coach Frank LaBounty join defending champions
Gary Cormack and Vince Miele in a joint challenge for gold. “It’s kind
of like if you can’t beat them, join them,” Duddytold reporter Percy
Her team defeated Jim Armstrong in the
BC Provincials to earn their ticket to Edmonton, though she gives
full credit to LaBounty for his coaching skill, and to her sponsors for
making it possible for her to travel to the Kimberley Provincials.
Read the full profile
BC's Team Canada members get
their own day - March 20, 2011 3/19/2011
BC's Deputy Premier Kevin Falcon
has announced that Sunday March 20 be proclaimed “Ina Forrest, Jim
Armstrong, Sonja Gaudet and Darryl Neighbour Day” to celebrate Canada’s
Wheelchair curling team as part of a program to recognize British
Columbia’s medal-winning athletes from the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
No mention of making omitted Calgarian teammate Bruno Yizek an honarary
British Columbian for the purposes of the proclamation.
Team Ontario in the news 3/19/2011
Dale Clifford of the
Peterborough Examiner interviewed Team Ontario members veteran Carl
Bax and rookie Alec Denys, who has been persuaded to add wheelchair
curling to his athletic interests alongside his Paralympic level skills
"Carl tried to get me interested in curling and eventually talked me
into it," said Denys with a smile. "Curling isn't like other sports.
It's more individual in archery while you are part of a team in curling.
It's unique and I enjoy it. But like all sports, a big thing is the
mental aspect and you have to stay focused. You can't allow any
A (non-Canadian) national coach told me recently that his recruitment
would focus on athletes with established reputations in other sports. I
Denys represents the direction wheelchair curling at the high
performance level is headed.
Coaches are looking for recruits who have demonstrated the ability to
perform at an elite level, feeling that while technique in wheelchair
curling is relatively easy to master, the mental toughness, desire, the
willingness to sacrifice and dedicate yourself to a specific ahievement
goal that marks the elite athlete, is less easy to find.
Read the full article
Scottish Wheelchair Curling
Championships this weekend 3/19/2011
Eleven teams are competing at the
Scottish Wheelchair Curling Championships this weekend in Aberdeen, and
new British National Team Coach Tony Zummack is in Scotland watching the
action. He is on a scouting visit and also looking at accommodation for
a more permanent move which he hopes will be in May.
The teams played their round robin games from two groups, with the top
two teams in each group playing in Sunday's semi-final/final.
After round robin play, Aileen Neilson with World silver medallist
teammate Tom Killin, along with Michael McCreadie and Ian Donaldson will
face a team skipped by Allan Spence.
Aileen's Prague teammates Gregor Ewan and Michael MacKenzie, with Jim
Gault and Jackie Cayton, will face Jim Sellar's team in the other
You can see results
HERE and also view a large selection of photos from the event on Bob
Skip Cottage blog.
$1,000 to cover the pin in draw to
the button at Nationals 3/19/2011
At the Canadian Nationals which begin
Monday in Edmonton, hammer for each round robin game will be decided by
a draw to the button during the practice ice-time.
R. Vallee Home Rentals has donated $1,000 for the throw that ends
closest to the button. If two or more throws cover the pin, the prize
will be shared. The second place throw will win $200.
Canadian Nationals begin in
Edmonton March 21 3/16/2011
The 8th Canadian National Wheelchair
Curling Championships are due to begin at the Jasper Place CC in
Edmonton Alberta on Monday March 21, running through Sunday March 27.
I have begun to receive emails asking whether the website and blog will
be covering the event. As of today neither the CCA nor the organisers
have contacted me about establishing a permanent record of the daily
events as I have been doing since 2006.
National Championships involving 50 plus wheelchairs are expensive and a
hassle to organise and I am sure that everyone involved is working hard
to make the event itself a success. There is a
Championship section on the CCA's website where you can download the
draw schedule, and I am told they will also record the scores.
As for coverage here, I will do what I can with whatever information I
can gather. You can help.
If you are on a participating team, please send me a team photo,
preferably with your coach and in your provincial jackets, and give me
the names and positions of the people in the photo. If you don't yet
have a photo, at least send me the names and positions of the people on
the team. If you can supply a sentence or two of biographical
information, so much the better.
If you know someone who is competing, ask them if their team has sent me
If you are attending the event. email me any reports and impressions or
anything you think may be of interest to a generally well-informed blog
and website audience.
If you take photos of the event that you can share, upload them to
dropulous.com and email me the link so I can access them. That is a
better method than attaching them to an email. Please add names to
The website has a fairly detailed archive of major wheelchair curling
events going back to 2006, and with your help the Edmonton Championship
can be added to it.
Any sport deserves a permanent record, something that has not always
been considered a priority by those organizing it. It is not my record,
it is your record. Until someone else steps up, I'll continue to do what
I can, with your help.
Japan's National Championships
Update - Saturday
I am now told Japan's National Wheelchair Curling Championships have
been cancelled because of the devastation caused by this week's
Original post: Japan's National Wheelchair Curling
Championships had been scheduled for next weekend in Ninohe, Iwate - one
of the areas most devastated by yesterday's earthquake.
Yayoi Mashimo, a friend who lives in Tokyo and had intended to travel
north with a photographer to watch the championship, tells me that she
is sure the event will have to be re-scheduled if not cancelled. She has
been in contact with the Japanese Wheelchair Curling Association and
they are trying to gather information. Apparently the damage is so
severe in the north that it is hard to gauge what is happening.
Our best wishes go out to Yoji Nakajima, Takashi Hidai, Katsuo Ichikawa,
Ayako Saitoh and coach Katsuji Uchibori who played in Vancouver a year
ago, and Kazuyuki Mochiki, Aki Ogawa and Teruo Moriizumi who competed in
the 2010 Qualifying Tournament in Finland last November. We hope they
are safe and able to regroup in time for next season's Worlds Qulifying.
Canada's sledge hockey team began an international invitational
tournament yesterday in Nagano, a central mountain area, but play was
halted. It may resume on Sunday.
Sudbury's Team Daniel dress for
skip Steve Daniel tells
Laura Young of the Sudbury Star: "It's a belief of mine that in
order to play well, you've got to feel like you're a professional ...
some of the teams look at our uniforms and say, 'You guys look like
you've been doing this for awhile, (like) professional curlers.' "
It seemed to work at the N. Ontario Provincials at the Fort William CC,
as the team overcame a late arrival, fire alarms the night before, and
two early defeats, to
challenge champions Team Ficek in the final.
Daniel, a Beijing Paralympian, and his team all play for Sudbury Rolling
Thunder, the local wheelchair basketball team. Sarah Lashbrook was the
only female basketball player with the Rolling Thunder.
"We begged and pleaded with her to come out (and she) got us through
Saturday. She was probably (my) tournament MVP," Daniel said.
Sudbury CC has been very supportive, Daniel told Young. "They've
really opened their arms to wheelchair curling. They make sure that
every time we go there the club is accessible.
"We're very, very thankful for the support. We want to continue to build
(wheelchair) curling. Just because we have a competitive team doesn't
mean that's the end all and be all of curling. I'd like to see it grow
(over the next few years) to a league so that we can have several teams
that play for fun on weekend."
For Daniel, all the support, especially from Norm Gervais, owner of
Sudbury and the team's major sponsor, meant they could compete. "We
had to have all those elements in place in order to be successful. I
think everyone is excited to see how we progress in the next few years."
You can read the complete article
Team Canada talks about Prague
For Sonja Gaudet the 2011 World
Championships in Prague were her sixth consecutive year on a world stage
and her fourth gold medal.
"Obviously we couldn't be happier about the result," Canada's lead told
me. "Everything was very well organised, and the Prague (Curling Hall
Roztyly) curling rink is a very accessible and friendly place. The ice
conditions and the rocks were great - as was the accomodation, food and
transportation. So with all these details taken care of and once the jet
lag was managed, we only needed to concentrate on our performance and
that makes all the difference in the world."
Darryl Neighbour agreed with Sonja that the facility in Prague was
excellent. "They put up a heated tent to accommodate all the wheelchairs
at mealtimes," he said, "and though the temperatures dropped to below
freezing outside, it didn't snow. The hotel was just a few minutes away
and there was no messing about. We had our own van, five wheelchairs
inside and it was hold onto each other and we're off."
Team 5th Bruno Yizek had more of a spectator's view of the facility and
was also impressed.
"I spent the majority of the time watching the games," he said, "and the
facility had great viewing from the upstairs lounge. Also each sheet had
a big flat screen to see the houses. Both houses could be seen by a push
of a button. At the end of the day's matches I had the opportunity to go
on the ice and practice for 15 minutes. This gave me a feel for the ice
and rock conditions, so I would not go into a game cold when called to
play. The ice was super and (everything) was very well organised."
Darryl acknowledged that Canada's first game against China was a wake-up
call. "We were lucky to steal that win, and I think it woke us all up."
Jim Armstrong agreed. "Our toughest game was China, for two reasons:
first game with the rocks and ice, and secondly, we got down 3 early,
and they can hit with big weight."
But the difference for Canada was the play of Sonja and front end
teammate Ina Forrest, according to Armstrong. "They were just simply
better than any other front end last week, and not by just a little bit
In my opinion they both had a series that truly has reset the bar in our
sport for front ends."
Both Jim and Darryl Neighbour mentioned how much easier it was to play
their positions when the ends were being set up so well for them. "We
took advantage of the teams whose front end players were not as strong,"
said Darryl, who though 62 is still looking to be defending his
Paralympics title in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
"It is a big commitment," he told me, "and the travel can be tiring. But
I am in the fortunate position of being able to dedicate the time, and I
still love the game and love playing."
What was the surprise of the week? "The play of Scotland," said
Armstrong. "Aileen (Nielson) looked considerably more comfortable
skipping this year."
Neighbour agreed. "Scotland's my pick for strongest challenger next
year," he said, wondering whether they would go the whole way and throw
both takeouts and draws from the hogline." (My bet is they will,
Darryl also felt that China, Korea and Russia were teams to watch,
especially as they gain the experience needed to call a competitive
game. "Some teams hit every Canada rock they could see, regardless of
the game situation or the scoreline," he said. "We have such an
advantage with Jim's experience calling games."
Jim saw Prague as more of a re-build year for many teams. "Our big
advantage was experience throughout our team, and particularly compared
to some of the teams on "rebuild." Darryl had a great week as well (as
Sonja and Ina). Where it showed to me, was that I was never left with a
"circus shot" for a save. When the entire team is playing well, there is
no need to gamble, and the game simplifies itself. Then the trick is to
keep it simple."
(But that's also how I remember the play during the 2009 Worlds.)
"All the major players (Norway, Scotland, China, Korea, in particular)
have a great future," Jim continued. "They have intensity, generally
good technique, and are only lacking experience, which, of course, takes
"Generally, what I saw as a whole, was a very healthy sport with a
future that continues to get brighter."
Ina Forrest made a point that had not been noted before: "I think it is
a credit to all female curlers to note that three out of the four top
teams, Canada, Scotland and Russia, had two females and two males on the
ice in the Bronze and Gold medal games.
She added: "Having not seen the Russian team for several years it was
great to see them do so well in Worlds. Given they are the hosts for
2014, I expect they will continue to improve and be a strong contender
Sonja concluded: "It is always a great opportunity to re-connect with
athletes and friends from all over the world that we have competed
against in the past - and wonderful to see many new faces and entirely
And that is a statement in the true spirit of curling.
Scots skip Aileen Neilson wins Worlds Sportsmanship Award
Aileen Neilson skip of the Scottish
wheelchair curling team, has won the 2011 World Wheelchair Curling
Championship sportsmanship award.
Neilson was nominated by her fellow competitors who were all invited to
nominate a player at the event who, in their view, best exemplified the
traditional values of skill, honesty, fair play, sportsmanship and
Scots publish draft criteria for
high performance selection
Dave Crosbee, British Curling's
Performance Director and the person to whom Tony Zummack will report,
has issued a draft of the athlete selection for next season's High
Performance Training Program. This is NOT selection criteria for the
You can download the draft document from
2011 World Championships wrap-up
That fact that it was not unexpected
should not diminish the achievement of Team Canada's successful defence
of their World Championship in Prague. They are the first wheelchair
team to go undefeated at a World level event, and though their first
three wins were by single points and rested on the games' final stone
breaking their way, they never looked in serious difficulty once they
settled in. They also had the most steals (24) and gave up the fewest
Read the rest of the wrap-up
It's all about inclusion - video
coverage at N. Ontario Provincials 3/2/2011
Thunder Bay's Nerwswatch TV programshowed
a segment on the Northern Ontario Provincials, won by the Ficek rink.
Watch the video
It's all about inclusion, says Dave
Kawahara, the driving force behind getting wheelchair established in
Rookie skip Steve Daniels, an eloquent
new voice for the sport, explained: "In Northern Ontario it's very tough
to get out in the winter for people with disabilities. So to be able to
come out and partake in curling is great for the sport aspect but also
for the social aspect and .. I think it's making a big impact in the
Canada's oldest wheelchair
curler joins the Capitol WCC in Ottawa
Ottawa's Capital Wheelchair Curling Club
has welcomed Cliff Chadderton, CEO of War Amps, to its membership.
Cliff, who will be 92 in May, was an enthusiastic and quick learner,
soon able to throw normal rocks the full length of the ice with some
Chadderton lost his right leg below the knee in 1944 while in command of
a company of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, battling for the Scheldt Estuary
in Belgium and Holland during the Second World War. You can read his
He has said he would like to do a documentary on wheelchair curling to
motivate and encourage others to take up the sport. He certainly sets a
Ontario provincial champion skip
Cris Rees profiled 3/2/2011
Chris Rees, who led teammates Carl Bax,
Alec Denys and Shauna Petrie to victory in the Ontario Provincials last
InsideToronto.com: "Home ice advantage was a significant advantage
this year. I was able to sleep at home, hot showers, comfortable."
Chris talks among other things, about his previous record at the
Nationals, including what he remembers as a narrow defeat by By BC's Jim
Armstrong in 2008.
"I had a good chance three years ago, you know. I had the (winning)
points in the house and it came down to last rock, and Jim Armstrong,
who is the current skip of Team Canada, he made the shot and it won the
"It was heartbreaking because I did everything I could and I wasn't in
charge of my own destiny at that point because he had last rock.
"He made the shot and he won the nationals. I won a silver."
You can read the full profile
Team Ideson from London ON to curl
at the Brier 3/2/2011
Ilderton Curling Club's Team Ideson, the
mostly rookie team who made the semi-final at the Ontario Provincials,
will take to the ice during the 5th end break of the Brier 1 vs 2 game,
March 11 at the John Labatt Centre in London Ontario.
Mark Ideson, with teammates Mike Munro, Tony Reynen and lead Jacqui
Kinahan will demonstrate a variety of shots to what coach Ernie
Comerford epects to be 8-10 thousand spectators.
"They'll be representing all of Canad's wheelchair curlers," said
Comerford. "and I think the crowd will be impressed by their skill. It's
great publicity for this wonderful sport in Ontario and across Canada.
The London wheelchair curling program has doubled its membership this
year and expects even more participants after this appearance.
You can read a LONDONER article by Chris Montanini on the program, its
coach and players
Ernie Comerford, Coach and League Coordinator can be reached at
Team Lessard repeat as Quebec
Benoit Lessard brought his Magog CC team
to the Victoria CC in Quebec City this weekend to compete in a best of 5
Provincial Championship series against a home side skipped by
Jean-François Sylvestre. He added Sébastien Boisvert to last year's team
in place of Denis Grenier, who is now alternate.
Lessard had beaten Sylvestre comfortably last year, and quickly
established a 7-1 lead at the break in the first game. Sylvestre fought
back, taking 2 in the 5th and then posting steals in each of the final 3
ends, but falling just a point short in the 7-6 final score.
In the second game, Lessard led 9-1 after 5 and finished more
convicingly to win 10-3.
Lessard started Sunday's game 3 with a two with hammer, then gave up a
3, scored another two with hammer and the stole 4 on the wway to a third
and decisive victory 9-6.
Line scores are available at a llink on
Team Lessard will represent Quebec at the
Nationals in Edmonton March 20-27.
Team Ficek three-peats as N.
Ontario champions 2/27/2011
Wayne Ficek's Kenora/Sudbury squad won
their third consecutive provincial title when they beat Sudbury
newcomers Steve Daniel's newcomers 5-4 in the final of the Shoppers Home
Health Care NOCA Wheelchair Provincial Championships at the Fort William
The teams exchanged singles with hammer through 5 ends, but Ficek then
stole in the 6th and 7th to go ahead 5-2. In the final end, sitting two,
Daniel had a draw for a third point to force an extra but came up short.
(Thank you Michael Alberg.)
Team Ficek will now represent Northern Ontario at the TMX Canadian
Nationals in Edmonton March 20-27.
Line scores are
HERE. An event poster, team rosters, schedule and information is
Defending champions versus the
rookies for N. Ontario title 2/26/2011
Defending champions Team Ficek of
Kenora/Dryden went undefeated during round robin play and by rule will
have two opportunities to add a third consecutive Northern Ontario title
when they face Sudbury rookies Team Daniel in the final of the Shoppers
Home Health Care NOCA Wheelchair Provincial Championships at the Fort
William CC on Sunday Feb 27.
Ficek posted their third round robin win, over Sonego 11-4, on the
strength of consecutive 4s either side of the break. Steve Daniel's
Sudbury team beat home side Levesque 10-9. They opened with a 4 but gave
up 3 in the 8th and needed a single in the extra end to force a series
of tie-breaks to decide who played Fiek in the final.
In the first tie-break game Daniel again went to an extra end against
Sonego, this time stealing 2 to win 8-6. Daniel then played Levesque for
the second time today, taking a 7-1 lead into the break. Levesque took
two in the 5th end and stole 3 more to pull within one with an end to
go, but Daniel claimed his place in the final with a single point in the
8th and an 8-6 win.
Game 1 of the final starts 10.30AM local time, and Ficek will clam the
title if his team wins. If they lose, there will be a rematch at 2.30PM
with the winner of that game going on to Edmonton Nationals in March.
Line scores are
HERE. Despite detailed instructions I haven't been able to find the
UStream video coverage from the club. Your luck may be better than mine.
William CC website for details.
An event poster, team rosters, schedule and information is available
Ficek takes early lead at No.
Ontario Provincials 2/25/2011
Defending champions Team Ficek needed
every part of the 4 he put on the board to draw level after 7 ends
against home club favourite Carl Levesque in the opening draw of the
Shoppers Home Health Care NOCA Wheelchair Provincial Championships at
the Fort William CC.
Though ahead 5-1 at the 4th end break, Levesque ended on the losing side
of the 8-7 final score.
Steve Daniel's rookie Sudbury squad must have been wondering what all
the fuss was about as they stole their way to a 5-0 lead after their
first 3 ends of serious competition. The bubble burst, however, when
Fort William's Sonego rink bounced back with steals of their own in the
second half to force an extra end, which they stole to win 8-7.
The second draw was a dose of reality for the rookies as Ficek's
experienced squad put 11 unanswered points on the board before Daniel
posted a consolation single in the 7th and shook hands after the 11-1
Levesque scored a narrow 8-7 win over clubmate Sonego in the afternoon
draw. He started with a 3 but was down a point after 6 ends. Another 3
in the 7th gave him the victory.
Line scores are
HERE and I'm told the club planned to webcast the games, though I
wasn't able to find a working link. Did anyone else have better luck?
An event poster, team rosters, schedule and information is available
Fort William CC hosts Northern
Ontario Provincials Feb 25-27 2/24/2011
The Shoppers Home Health Care NOCA
Wheelchair Provincial Championships begin Friday February 25th 1030AM at
the Fort William CC in Thunder Bay.
Defending champion Team Ficek, out of Kenora and Dryden, are hoping for
a third consecutive appearance at the Nationals in Edmonton in March. He
admitted his team underperformed last year, going 3-6 after making it to
a playoff tie-break game the year before. This year, after a couple of
warm-up wins over Manitoba, he says his team is raring to go.
To win he will have to get past home club Team Levesque, coached by Dave
Kawahara who was instrumental in bringing wheelchair curling to Northern
Ontario. Carl Levesque skipped the first provincial team, which included
Wayne Ficek and Mark Wherrett, now his competitors. Fort William CC is
also fielding a team skipped by Gino Sonego.
Sudbury joins the oarty this year, sending a team of rookie curlers but
experienced athletes skipped by Steve Daniel.
Tournament format is a round robin with the top two teams playing in the
final, 10.30AM Sunday February 27.
The club has installed webcams - try the
website. You can also follow scores on
An event poster, team rosters, schedule and information is available
South Korea to host 2012 Worlds,
Qualifiers go to Finland again 2/22/2011
Chuncheon City, in South Korea will host
the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship. The event will be held
in the Uiam Ice Rink, Chuncheon City, Gangwon Province between 18-25
The World Championship Qualifying
tournament, open to all countries not in the top seven teams (excluding
Korea) at this
year's Worlds in Prague, will be held as last year, at the Kisakallio
Institute in Lohja, Finland from 29th October to 5th November 2011.
Canada begin Worlds title defense
against China 2/21/2011
Team Canada begin their defense of their
2009 Worlds title in Prague 9.30AM local time Tuesday February 22
against China, one of the two teams that a gained a spot through the
Qualifying tournament in Finland last November.
With not much activity this season to guage how Canada might fare, I
asked the CCA's Program Director, Gerry Peckham, for his assessment.
That the team would do its best and hope for a place on the podium was a
Here's what he had to say:
This is a new quadrennial but 2014 is not that far away and this will
be our first real opportunity to compare our current performance levels
against the old and new line ups from other countries.
We'll be analyzing current and potential levels of play among the other
countries; in particular those that have challenged for the podium in
the past along with those we expect to challenge going forward. We're
oredominately interested in execution percentages and score board
We'll also be establishing what the current performance standards are
internationally as they relate to draw execution, take out execution,
strategy, managing playing conditions and ice reading skills. Are there
any new techniques or approaches being employed?
We're hopeful Team Canada can maintain their form and achieve new
performance benchmarks individually and collectively. This will,
however, be influenced by ice conditions.
This Championship will be a very challenging time for Jim considering
his personal circumstances. Hopefully this will provide him with the
opportunity to focus on the task at hand, which is also his passion. He
will be well supported by team mates and coaches.
You can follow the Championship at our special
Worlds section with the schedule, scores, tables and regular
The schedule is available for download
HERE. The sheets
do have webcams, though we'll have to see whether they are operating.
Line scores are promised
Minnesotans want to know why
they can't roll and deliver 2/20/2011
Shawn Corbin and Scott Anderson took up
wheelchair curling when they visited the Duluth CC on a Courage Center
Duluth sponsored learn to curl night.
“There was no one here to teach us how to shoot from a wheelchair [so
we] kind of developed a way to simulate their sliding release,” Shawn
Eric Gullickson, FOX 21 News.
Watch the video report HERE.
“We tried several different methods of delivery,” says Anderson, “We
didn't realize there was one standard way to do it. And we came up with
this method and thought this is really the best method or most practical
way to do it.”
They feel the WCF rule mandating a stationary wheelchair needs to be
changed but have been told the rule exists to make the sport as
inclusive as possible.
Shawn is skeptical. "I don't know who exactly wrote the rules, who they
were writing them for,” he said.
“If curling from a stand still position worked the best the able bodied
curlers would do it too,” added able-bodied teammate Jeff Anderson. “It
imitates actual curling much more than a stationary delivery and pushing
Watching the video, both delivered sones with impressive weight and
direction, but the front of their chairs moved considerably during
release. They should find that a stationary delivery, once practiced,
would produce far greater accuracy and weight control than propelling
their chair and rock before pushing, unbraced, at the target.
Scotland's Aileen Neilson to be
first female skip at World event 2/20/2011
Aileen Neilson, a 39 year old primary
school teacher is set to become the first woman to skip her national
side at a World Championship when she leads Scotland against Russia
Tuesday afternoon in Prague.
“Last year, I was used to throwing the last stone for the team, but now
I’m skip I’m having to make all the big decisions as well for the team,
so there’s a bit of pressure that comes with the role," she told Paul
Thomson of the
East Kilbride News.
“But, hopefully, I can use all the skills and knowledge I’ve gained over
the last year to our advantage.
“We want to be at the business end of the tournament so as long as we
qualify for the semi-finals we won’t be too disheartened.
“But we want a place on the podium – that is our goal for this
The team competed in an
international spiel in Lanarkshire in January, losing to Canada in
the final, and were in Perth for some training, game practice and team
bonding last week.
While Sheila Swan will coach the team in the place of visa delayed new
National Coach Tony Zummack, Aileen says: “The team feel good about our
chances, so hopefully Tony likes what he sees and we can come back to
Scotland with a medal round our necks.”
Thank you Team Germany 2/19/2011
I would like to express my thanks to
Jochen Merkt and the members of Team Germany for their generous donation
in support of the website and blog.
Their donation helps make both possible.
If you would like to contribute to the running of the website and blog,
you can do so by making a contribution of any amount through PayPal
using the DONATE button on the front page of this website, or by writing
to firstname.lastname@example.org for my mail address
Who will make the
podium in Prague? 2/18/2011
Take our weekly poll on the blog
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to Prague
we go 2/18/2011
Read the 2011 Worlds preview in our
special section HERE.
In newspaper interview Armstrong
denies he did anything wrong 2/17/2011
Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong was
interviewed for almost three hours yesterday by The Province, and in
today's paper reporter Ethan Baron writes: Armstrong, 59, said he did
nothing wrong, but agreed to a guilty plea because authorities told him
that if he didn't, his son wouldn't be able to get his plea agreement
for a year and a day in jail.
The U.S. prosecutor's case was riddled with inaccuracies, Armstrong
claimed in the interview, but was told Gregory would have faced a
10-year prison sentence unless he agreed to a package plea.
"They put a gun to my head by putting it to Greg's head," Baron reports.
On Tuesday, Armstrong said he opened the box because it was large,
looked beat-up and had been wrapped with a lot of tape.
"If I knew what was in the box, why would I have opened it in plain view
of everybody?" the retired dentist said.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Special Agent Jim Burkhardt pounced
before Armstrong had a chance to call his son to ask about the contents
of the box, Armstrong claimed.
"There's not a chance in the world that I'm taking this across the
border," Armstrong said. "I know it's got to be illegal."
Asked for a response, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Emily Langlie
told The Province Armstrong needs to live with the statements he made.
"That's what he told law enforcement. It's unfortunate that having
entered a guilty plea that he is now interested in disputing the facts
of the case," Langlie said, adding that Armstrong pleaded guilty "freely
You can read the full interview
I have been in contact with Jim who told me that his "intent would be to
let the facts speak for themselves," and that The Province "didn't get
it completely right."
UPDATE: Thursday 3PM - Since then a
friend has reported claims by Jim of Prosecutorial misconduct, the fact
that his son was under investigation prior to Jim's arrest, and mention
of a polygraph test. (You can read them in the 6.53PM comment to
None of that goes directly to what is for me the key question: was Jim
coerced into making false statements in his plea agreement admitting
guilt for sommething he did not do, in order to have his son's sentence
reduced from ten years to one year?
Jim had agreed to make a statement here, however the last email I
received from him stated that he was on his way to the airport. "By the
time we arrive in Prague, some desicions will be made regarding
absolute, full disclosure, and any potential risk to Greg's wellbeing
I have asked Jim six pointed questions intended to cut through the
inuendo and supposition. Though public interest is obviously high now, I
think we should probably give Jim time to decide what is in his and his
son's best interests before he makes a more definitive statement.
CCA response to Jim Armstrong
After the details of the sentence that
Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong received from US District Court Judge
Ricardo Martinez became public yesterday, I offered Greg Stremlaw, the
CEO of the Canadian Curling Association, Gerry Peckham, head of the
national program, Joe Rea, coach of the national team, and Jim himself
the opportunity to make a public comment.
None of those individuals owes me a comment personally. They do all
realise, however, that what is said here will likely be read by everyone
with an interest in wheelchair curling.
Here is the reply I received from Greg Stremlaw.
The CCA is aware of the outcome of yesterday’s court proceedings with
Jim Armstrong. We monitored this very closely and have been formally
At this time, there was no new information which came forth.
As you have indicated, the sentencing judge actually reduced the
recommended actions and fine accordingly.
Given there have been no new facts or information which came forth which
were relevant to this situation, the CCA has remained consistent with
its disciplinary actions which were already handed down, including the
specific conditions, that came out of the comprehensive review by the
designated review committee.
The Canadian Curling Association continues to have the right to review
or revisit this issue should any further information come forth which
was not learned as part of our review and investigation.
The athlete is continuing to train and compete as part of the National
Team Program at this juncture.
Team Canada skip sentenced in fake
Viagra case 2/14/2011
Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong appeared
before US District Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle's US District Court
at 2PM this afternoon to be sentenced for selling and dispensing
counterfeit Viagra and Cialis drugs with the intent to mislead or
Judge Martinez told Armstrong that as a retired dentist, “you are a
trained medical professional... you knew better,” than to provide
Jim to a $30,000 fine and a year of supervised release that must
include 75 hours of community service. This was $20,000 less than had
been recommended to the judge in the signed
agreement that avoided a trial.
The fake pills were to have been distributed in Vancouver by his son
Gregory, who also faced sentencing today. Gregory was sentenced to a
year and a day in jail, a $5,000 fine and two years supervised release,
and was taken into custody immediately.
The judge will determine on April 12th whether the men owe restitution
to the drug companies whose products were counterfeited.
The Province published a report
Toronto Sun reported on background to the case last Sunday.
Given that there were no surprises at today's hearing, it is not
expected that Jim will be the subject of any CCA sanction beyond what
Greg Stremlaw had previously announced: "disciplinary actions taken
and specific conditions imposed; but that the athlete is still a part of
the National Team program and will continue to train and compete as such
at this time."
Jim departs with the rest of Team Canada on Thursday to defend their
World Championship in Prague February 21 - March 1.
News from Phoenix Arizona 2/11/2011
Team Alberta lead Bridget Wilson has been
visiting Phoenix and contacted the four sheet
Coyote Curling Club, who play on the ice used by the Phoenix Coyotes
She was looking for some practice ice. She found the true spirit of
curling alive and well in the desert:
I had contacted the Coyotes Curling Club about possibly getting out on
the ice to do some training for the up coming Nationals. Not only did
they comp me the ice time, the staff and all the curlers welcomed me
with open arms, all greeting me and introducing themselves.
They all came on the ice with me to practice and then proceeded to ask
me to stay and play on one of their teams. Which I did and had an
absolute ball...they were all so nice and very good curlers.
After we went to the bar in the facility and the food and drinks just
kept on coming along with lots of laughs and new friends made. The have
invited me back out on Feb 25 to curl again. They even blew up our Team
Yizek provincial championship photo we had just had taken, asked me to
sign it and posted it up in the curling club.
I would really like to thank ex-Calgarian Darryl Horsman and the Coyotes
curling club for arranging this. He is hoping to start a wheelchair
league here as well. Here's hoping and hats off to all the wonderful
people here ...talk about INCLUSION! It's a wonderful club and is so
wheelchair accessible it's unreal!
If you use a wheelchair and live near Phoenix, contact the club via
CCA camp for Ontario in Grimsby
Feb. 11-12 2/10/2011
The CCA is holding the final regional
camp in its talent identification and high performance development
series, this weekend at the Peach King Centre in Grimsby, during the
Ontario Men's Championship.
All 16 of the available slots were taken
at the two day $50 a head camp, run by national team coaching staff
member Wendy Morgan with Sonja Gaudet and Darryl Neighbour.
Sonja and Darryl will be in Toronto on
Saturday evening to accept
an award at the
Annual Great Valentine Fundraising Gala at the Royal York Hotel.
Minnesota Veterans learning to
curl at St. Paul CC 2/10/2011
The Courage Center sponsored a group of
US military veterans on a learn to curl visit to the St. Paul CC in
CBS Channel 4 was on hand to watch. (video)
“Now I just need to work on being able to have some strength, and
pushing it down there and trying to get to the house, I’m learning new
terminology today,” said veteran Todd Kemery.
“This is something that I never thought I would do, but this looks like
it’s a lot of fun. I would like to do this again,” said veteran Edward
News from Kenora, No. Ontario 2/10/2011
Wayne Ficek, skip of Team Kenora/Dryden,
says his team is "chomping at the bit and ready to go... As under
achievers last year (3-6) none of our team was happy with the results
and would love the opportunity to compete in Edmonton."
Congratulations go to two team members, Mark Wherrett and Denise Miault
who qualified for full carding under the OCA/NOCA Quest for Gold
Last Saturday they played Chris Sobkowicz's Manitoba team winning the
first 7-6 when Chris wrecked on a guard looking at three in the four
"The second game was a blow out 9 -1 win after six. While the first
game's ice was good, we played on the same sheet after a 45 minute lunch
and things had tightened up," Wayne said. "I think we caught them off
guard with the ice and this is the first wins the team have had against
Manitoba ever, so kudo's to Mark, Chester and Denise who are all playing
better than ever.
"We're hoping we can get back to Nationals and truly believe three times
Young-Walker of CurlBC's Adaptive Outreach Program 2/8/2011
The CCA's website has an article on the
programme assistant for CurlBC's Adaptive Outreach initiative, Elisabeth
Young-Walker, a 4-time Paralypiam swimmer and Assistant Chef de Mission
for the London 2012 Paralympic Summer Games. She is currently developing
an adaptive program to get children with disabilities involved in
curling. While the goal is to promote the sport through fun games and
not focus solely on wheelchair curling, many of the concepts can be
adopted for on-ice play.
Elisabeth Walker-Young hopes to reach 50 to 70 children and youth this
year. A retired Paralympian with a background in adaptive sport and
sport administration, she strives to increase awareness and
opportunities so that one day others may follow in her footsteps;
whether by pursuing an active life or achieving success at the
international level. For more details about the program or if you have a
fun title for the program, please contact her directly at
The program is funded through CurlBC's share of 50/50 money raised
during the Olympics and Paralympics.
You can read what she has to say HERE.
Team Sudbury funraising gala
February 17 2/8/2011
The Sudbury CC is holding a fundraising
gala for its wheelchair curling team on Thursday February 17 between 7
Sudbury is fielding a team at the Northern Ontario Championships in
Thunder Bay Feb. 25-27. Tim Phillips, for NortherLife.ca, reports
"Skip Steve Daniel, along with mates Rick Prudhomme,
Sarah Lashbrook, Dennis Duclos, coach Thomas Matheson and assistant
coach/sponsor Norm Gervais from the Sudbury club, have been busy gearing
up for the event.
The team has been practicing two and three times per week, sharpening
their skills in hopes of capturing the prestigious event. The Sudbury
club is holding a fundraising gala for the team Feb. 17, from 7 to 10
Tickets are $5 and available at the club. To get involved in wheelchair
curling, phone 705-673-5601."
Wheelchairs take the stage at
SaskTel Tankard 2/7/2011
Players competing in the men's provincial
championships for the SaskTel Tankard and a place at the Brier, took
some time out to try wheelchair curling with members of Team
Saskatchewan on Saturday.
"I hogged at least three. I hit the boards, like, three times and I
threw the wrong turn three times," Chadd McKenzie told Kevin Mitchell of
Mackenzie's team of able-bodied curlers lost 11-2 in six ends to the
wheelchair squad. "That just shows . . . I've curled for 11 years, but
going into this is completely different. It's a different game," he
Read the full report HERE.
National champ Cormack adds BC
provincial title 2/6/2011
Gary Cormack had a second chance at a
national title last year, when his second place at the 2010 BC
Provincials allowed him to skip the Host Team to last season's national
This year, he retained Vince Miele at second, and added 3rd Frank
LaBounty and lead Alison Duddy from last year's BC championship side,
hoping to get to the Edmonton Nationals in March through the front door.
After two wins in round robin play at the 2011 BC Provincial
Championships in Kimberley his team went straight through to this
afternoon's final, though not against their expected opponent. Bob
Mcdonald, playing with just Bill Lindstrom and Samantha Siu as 3rd Sonja
Gaudet was unable to travel, upset the multi-medalled Armstrong team in
the semi-final, and looked to continue an extraordinary run into the
They started well, with Cormack facing four with his last stone on the
1st end, and only able to limit the damage, giving up a single. But
Cormack quickly regrouped, scoring 2 in the 2nd and then posting steals
of 2 in the 3rd and 4th ends for a comfortable 6-1 lead at the break.
Mcdonald fought back with a single, and a steal of a point to pull
within 3 after 6 ends, but Cormack's 2 in the 7th allowed him to run
Mconald out of stones, and claim his first national title since 2006
when he was a member of Team Canada.
Cormack * 0 2 2 2 0 0 2 X - 8
Mcdonald 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 X - 3
You can read a full report by Matt Coxford of the Cranbrook Daily
The 2011 Nationals are scheduled for March 20-27 at the Jasper Place CC
in Edmonton, Alberta.
Mcdonald upsets Armstrong in BC
And that, as my wife says, is why they
play the games.
When Bob Mcdonald faced Jim Armstrong on the first day of the BC
Provincials, he was unable to get on the scoreboard in a 10-0 drubbing.
Just after 9AM this morning, he stole the opening point of the game.
Seven ends later he had stolen 3 more ends and made a game saving last
rock takeout to win 6-5.
Kimberley had experienced rain on Saturday which had made the ice very
slow, and particularly challenging for Mcdonald's lead, Samantha Siu.
This morning the ice was much faster, and Samantha set up the ends to
enable her team to win.
After taking 2 in the 3rd to go ahead 3-1, Mcdonald posted three
successive singles before giving up 2 in the 7th.
In the 8th end, Armstrong's team had the rocks in the house to force an
extra end, but with the last rock of the game, Bob Mcdonald threw a
takeout that though it rolled out, was enough to limit the damage to a
steal of just 2.
Armstrong * 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 - 5
Mcdonald 1 0 2 1 1 1 0 0 - 6
Mcdonald, who is playing without Team Canada's Sonja Gaudet, is back on
the ice at 2pm where he will attempt to give Gary Cormack his first
loss, and take the provincial title.
Edmonton's Mike McMullen
Mike McMullen. who will be playing 3rd
for Cliff Nuspl's Host Team at the 2011 Nationals in Edmonton March
20-27, is profiled in the
Injured in fall 26 years ago, McMullen took up sports about ten years
after his injury, first playing rugby and then curling.
“It keeps you active, keeps you motivated, gets you out in the public,”
There's one topic that he and Calgary's Jack Smart agree: the insistence
that teams be of mixed gender is hindering the devlopment of the sport.
"“It’s not holding the sport back in any way due to their skill levels,
just there’s not a lot of them out there,” he maintains.
You can read the full profile
Cathy Craig, the Host Team coach and manager of Jasper Place CC where
the Nationals will take place, has agreed her team can live at home
during the Championship.
“What people don’t understand about wheelchair athletes when they travel
is it’s hard work. It’s a challenge getting in and out of bed and going
to the bathroom and getting out of the tub because most hotel rooms
aren’t well equipped,” said Craig.
“Our team has chosen to stay home. By the end of the week when everyone
else is tired because all their daily tasks are just so difficult, we
should still be rested,” said Craig. “I just think it’s a huge advantage
Do you agree?
BC Provincials - Day 2 2/5/2011
In the second Draw of the BC Provincials
this morning, Bob Mcdonald faced Jim Armstrong without his most
experienced player. Team Canada lead Sonja Gaudet, who was to play 3rd
for Mcdonald, was unable to travel from Vernon because of road and
Playing with a three member team, they were overrun 10-0 by Team
Armstrong, giving up steals in each of the 6 ends before handshakes.
Mcdonald did get on the scoreboard in his afternoon match against
Cormack, taking one with hammer and then stealing a point. He held
Cormack to one in the 3rd, but the lead was short-lived, as Cormack
stole the next 9 points to win 10-2 in 7 ends.
Line scores are
Tomorrow's 9AM semi-final is between Armstrong and Mcdonald; the winner
playing Cormack at 2PM for the provincial title.
Cormack beats Armstrong in
opening draw of BC Provincials 2/4/2011
Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong faced
National Champion and ex-Team Canada teammate Gary Cormack in the first
round of the three team BC Provincials at the Kimberley CC this
Cormack stole single points in the first two ends, then gave up single
point steals in ends 4 and 5 to fall behind 3-2 after 5. He then
levelled the scores with a single in the 6th, stole one in the 7th and
two more in the 8th.
The final commentary entry on
Playdowns.com said: Armstrong's final rock is not hard enough to
clear the house and Cormack ends the game with 2.
Armstrong is playing with his TC 3rd Darryl Neighbour, past TC skip
Chris Daw and 3 time national champion Jacqui Roy.
Gary Cormack has Vince Miele and two of last year's BC champions, Frank
LaBounty at 3rd and lead Alison Duddy.
Armstrong is back on the ice 10AM tomorrow morning when he plays Bob
Mcdonald. Mcdonald, playing with Team Canada's Sonja Gaudet, Bill
Lindstrom and Samantha Sui, plays Cormack at 3pm.
Results and line scores are available
Toronto's Chris Rees regains title
at Dominion Provincials 2/4/2011
Chris Rees, playing on home ice at the
Toronto Cricket and Curling Cub, defeated previously unbeaten Ken
Gregory 8-3 to reclaim the Ontario provincial title he last held in
Rees, with Carl Bax at 3rd, Alec Denys 2nd and lead Shauna Petrie, had
given up an opening end 5 to Gregory in a 13-5 round robin defeat. The
final began more quietly. The teams were tied at 3 after 5 ends, but
Rees turned the tables on the Bradford team with a big 4 in the 6th,
forcing Gregory to gamble, and allowing Rees to steal a final point in
Gregory, playing with Collinda Joseph 3rd, Frank Cannarella 2nd and Jim
Primavera at lead, were behind in only 3 of the 34 ends they played
during the round robin.
The semi-final between Rees and Ilderton's Mark Ideson was played
earlier this morning. Only Jacqui Kinahan on Ideson's rink had more than
a year or so's experience but the team, with Mike Munro and Tony Reynen
became London's first to reach a provincial playoff. They earned their
place by defeating reigning champion Bruce Cameron's Ottawa team in
round robin play.
Facing home-ice favourite Chris Rees in the semi-final, perhaps, like
nervous mountaineers, they looked down. After holding Rees with hammer
to one in the first, they gave up steals of 3 in the second and a
further point in the third, and could not recover. Final score 8-3.
Full line scores are available
BC Provincial Championships
begin Friday February 4 2/3/2011
Three teams are scheduled to compete in
the BC Provincial Championships in
starting tomorrow, February 4th at 4PM.
Defending National Champion Gary Cormack brings Vince Miele from last
year's team and adds Frank LaBounty and Alison Duddy who played on the
2010 BC Championship team skipped by Gerry Austgarden.
Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong will be hoping to reclaim his Provincial
title by teaming up with national team 3rd Darryl Neighbour, past Canada
skip Chris Daw and lead Jackie Roy. Each of the men have won Paralympic
curling gold medals and each have skipped a national championship team,
while Jackie Roy won three national titles; in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Bob McDonald has Team Canada's Sonja Gaudet at third, with Bill
Lindstrom and Samantha Sui.
Results will be available from
Kimberley CC President Steve Tersmette is an enthusiastic supporter of
wheelchair curling, and hopes the money invested in making the
facilities accessible to attract a provincial championship will result
in local wheelchair users trying out the sport.
Kimberley is close to the Alberta border while all but Sonja Gaudet will
be travelling from the lower mainland, a distance factor that prohibited
some of last year's competitors from registering this year. While
CurlBC's policy of distributing championships across the Province has
much to commend it, for a sport that is still attempting to become
established as a recreation opportunity for wheelchair users, placing
the championship such a long way from all current participants has meant
a small field. Luckily, there is no snow in the immediate forecast.
Dominion Provincial Championships
- Ontario Day 3 2/3/2011
In the final round robin draw of the
Dominion Provincial Championships, Bradford's 2009 Champion Ken Gregory
maintained his perfect record and headed straight to Friday's final,
defeating current champion Ottawan Bruce Cameron 10-2. Cameron started
well, stealing a point in the first and holding Gregory to one in the
second; but a series of steals put Gregory 7-1 ahead, and a 3 in the
seventh sealed the win.
Ilderton's Mark Ideson, who had beaten Cameron yesterday, started slowly
against clubmate Dal Wrigley, giving up single point steals in the first
two ends. The game quickly returned to form however when Ideson posted 4
in the 3rd and stole the rest of the way to an 11-2 win that puts him in
the semi-final against Chris Rees.
Richard Fraser improved his record to 2-3 when he took Rees to an extra
end, taking a single with hammer for a 9-8 victory.
In the morning Draw 4, held over from the previous day because of bad
weather, Ken Gregory defeated Ilderton's Mark Ideson 8-5 on the strength
of steals in the 4th, 5th and 6th ends. Chris Rees bounced back from his
first loss yesterday to trounce Dal Wrigley 10-2, and Bruce Cameron beat
RA Ottawa clubmate Richard Fraser 8-5.
Tomorrow's semi-final between Rees and Ideson is at 10AM, with the
winner playing Gregory in the final at 2.30PM
Table after Round Robin
Ken Gregory 5-0
Mark Ideson 3-2
Chris Rees 3-2
Bruce Cameron 2-3
Richard Fraser 2-3
Dal Wrigley 0-5
Full line scores are available
Dominion Provincial Championships
- Ontario Day 2 2/2/2011
In Draw 3 at the Dominion Provincial
Championships in Toronto, Ken Gregory was the big winner, taking out
previously unbeaten Chris Rees to maintain his own perfect record. His
Bradford team took 5 in the first end, only to give back 4 on a three in
the second and a steal of one in the third. Gregory's 4 before the break
settled the team who went on to win 13-5 in seven ends.
Defending champion Cameron came unstuck against Ilderton's Mark Ideson
when down 4-3 in the 6th, he gave up successive steals to lose 6-4. In
the third game of Draw 3, Ottawa's Fraser beat Ildeton's Wrigley 10-2,
posting his first win.
A significant winter storm meant that only one draw was played, with
Draw 4 put back to Thursday morning, and Draw 5 to be played Thursday
Full line scores are available
Dominion Provincial Championships
- Ontario Day 1 2/1/2011
Victories went to the more experienced
teams in the first Draw of the Dominion Provincial Championships at the
Toronto Cricket and Curling Club.
Chris Rees, looking to regain his title after a couple of years, beat
Mark Ideson's Ilderton 1 by 8-3 with three consecutive steals for 6
points in the middle of the game.
Bruce Cameron gave up a 3 ender in the first, but stole the last 8
points to win 12-4 against Dal Wrigley's Ilderton 2.
Ken Gregory got off to a perfect start, scoring 4 in the first end on
the way to a 8-2 win over Ottawa's Richard Fraser.
In Draw 2 this afternoon, home ice favourite Chris Rees overcame a 6-4
deficit to post a 3 in the 8th for a 7-6 win over Ottawa's Bruce
Ilderton's Mark Ideson gave up single point steals in each of the first
three ends playing Ottawa's other rink skipped by Richard Fraser, before
steadying to win 8-3 in 7 ends.
Bradford's Gregory defeated Dal Wrigley's Ilderton 2 side 15-0.
Table after 2 Draws
Full line scores are available
Six Ontario teams competing in
Dominion Provincials Feb 1 - 4
Six teams will be competing at the
Toronto Cricket and Curling Club this week for the Dominion Provincial
Wheelchair Curling Championship and the right to represent the southern
part of the province at the Nationals in Edmonton, March 21-27.
Defending champion Bruce Cameron of Ottawa returns with Doug Morris,
Jamie Eddy and Christine Lavallee. Fellow RA Curling Club skip Richard
Fraser has two females on his team; Joanna Bos at 3rd and Clare Argo at
lead, while Don Stinson plays 2nd.
Chris Rees will play on home ice with Carl Bax, Alex Denys and Shauna
Petrie. Bradford is represented by Ken Gregory, with Collinda Joseph
playing 3rd, Frank Cannarella and Jim Primavera (who was part of the
very first Team Canada squad.)
Ilderton CC is bringing two teams to the championship this year. Mark
Ideson skips Mike Munro, Tony Reynen and Jacqui Kinahan. The second team
is skipped by Dal Wrigley, who moved from Chris Rees's team, Gilbert
Blanchette, and two players born in Africa; Hocine Zenile, originally
from Algeria and Peninah Mutindah, originally from Kenya. Ilderton
coach Ernie Comeford says all but Jacqui Kinahan are fairly new to the
First Draw is 10AM tomorrow (Tuesday February 1) with five round robin
draws being played through Thursday morning. The top team will go
straight through to Friday's final to be joined by the winner of the 2
vs 3 semi-final game.
The timetable, schedule and team list can be downloaded
Daily line scores from the Championship should be available from the
Team Yizek wins 5th straight
Calgary's Team Yizek, playing on home ice
and looking for their fifth consecutive provincial title, went out to an
early 7-0 lead over Edmonton's Cliff Nuspl in today's final of the
Alberta Wheelchair Curling Championship at the Ogden Legion CC. After
the break, Nuspl took a single in 5 and stole 1 in the 6th, but gave up
4 in the 7th. Yizek won 11-2.
Team Yizek, with Jack Smart, Anne Hibberd, Bridget Wilson and Martin
Purvis, is a talented team that has been working together since Ernie
Comerford started the program in Calgary in 2004.
Bruno Yizek is a Paralympic gold medallist who will be in Prague
defending Canada's World title in Prague in three weeks. Both Anne and
Bridget have also worked with the Team Canada squad, and their
experiences have been integrated into the teams practices.
Now coached by Andy Jones, for the past two plus seasons they were
guided by Tony Zummack, newly appointed British national coach. He told
me the team prepares just as hard as Team Canada; the only diference is
lack of access to the specialists and off-site resources that the
national team enjoys.
Team Yizek's experience and the time and effort they put into preparing
for championships, made them heavy favourites to repeat as provincial
champions. In seven weeks they will know if they are good enough to go
one better than in 2007 and 2009, and break BC's stranglehold on the
Calgary's Yizek and Edmonton's
Nuspl in Alberta Provincial Final
Five time defending champion Bruno
Yizek's rink reached the finals of the Alberta Provincial Wheelchair
Curling Championships at Calgary's Ogden Legion CC, defeating fellow
Calgarian Dale Keith 14-6 with seven unanswered points in the second
half of the game.
Cliff Nuspl beat David Graves 10-2 in the battle to choose which
Edmonton team would reach the final and therefore gain a place either as
champion or host at the Nationals March 20-27.
The Provincial final between Yizek (4-0) and Nuspl (3-1) starts at
10.30AM tomorrow (Sunday January 30)
News from Norway
Norway have been practicing this weekend
at the Halden Curling Centre in southern Norway close to the Swedish
"The ice is keen, with good curl, I like it!" Thoralf Hognestad, their
coach, told me. "We're lookijng forward to playing in Prague, and are
going for the Page playoffs."
In two weeks the team are playing in the Norwegian Cup alongside Thomas
Ulsrud and their nation's other top able bodied curlers.
Team Bradford curl at CPAO
Ken Gregory and his Bradford team curled
in the 2nd annual Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario Funspiel last
Saturday as a practice session for their upcoming competition at the
Provincials, being held in Toronto, February 1-4.
"We only get together at the Bonspiels," Gregory told Miriam King of the
Bradford Times. "This is our big warm-up."
Ken Gregory's Team Bradford has Collinda Joseph 3rd, Frank Cannarella
2nd and Jim Primavera at lead.
Team Canada training in Kelowna
Team Canada made an unannounced
appearance at the Kelowna CC this morning and are on the ice now (noon)
in what is the last opportunity for the team to get together before the
Prague Worlds (Feb 21 - March 3). The BC Provincials are next weekend,
and Jim Armstrong is due to be in Seattle the following Friday. National
Team Coach Joe Rea is leading this weekend's session.
They have ice time booked for 8AM tomorrow (Sunday) for anyone local
interested in seeing them.
Edmonton guaranteed a home side at
Calgary and Edmonton each have two teams
competing at the 2011 Alberta Provincial Wheelchair Curling
Championships being held at Calgary's Ogden Legion Curling Club.
In the opening draw, heavily favoured Team Yizek played against their
2010 alternate Cliff's Nuspl's Edmonton rink. The teams were tied at 2
at the 4th end break, Nuspl pulled ahead 4-2 after 6, but could not hold
on as Team Yizek put three more on the board to win 5-4.
Edmonton posted a win with Dave Graves defeating Calgary's Dale Keith
In the second draw Yizek beat Graves 12-5 and Nuspl beat Keith 7-3, both
games called after 7 ends.
In the last round robin draw the Calgary
teams played each other - Yizek beating Keith 10-1 in 6 ends. They'll
face each other again in the 1v4 semi-final. Nuspl beat Graves 7-3 and
will face each other in the all Edmonton 2v3 semi-final.
Keith's loss to Yizek means the final will have a team from each
community. With two teams to qualify for the Nationals, this guarantees
there'll be an Edmonton team at the Nationals in Edmonton, March 20-27.
Cathy Craig is posting occasional scores via Twitter - account 1CathyC
Jim Armstrong sentencing delayed
until February 11
Jim Armstrong and his son Gregory were to
appear in Judge Martinez US Federal Courtroom tomorrow, January 28, for
sentencing related to their
plea agreements signed last October.
The case has been continued and sentencing rescheduled because the US
District Attorney's Office did not complete in time the paperwork that
the Armstrongs require to be allowed into the United States.
Sentencing is now set for Friday Fenruary 11 at 1.30PM for Jim, and 2PM
A very experienced wheelchair curling
coach suggested to me recently that the up-and-coming team in Canada was
Team Lessard from Quebec. They're young, proven athletes in other
disciplines, who with coaching will be the team to beat in the years to
come. They also won the Cathy Kerr Spiel last November.
They were among the ten Quebec wheelchair users attending the CCA's
Talent Identification and Development Camp last weekend at the
Boucherville Curling Club, receiving guidance from national team coach
Wendy Morgan and Team Canada 2nd, Ina Forrest.
You can view 143 photos from the 'camp fauteuil roulant' gallery on the
Quebec Curling Facebook page.
Quebec's Provincial Championship is scheduled for February 25-27 at the
Victoria CC in Quebec City.
Un entraîneur très expérimenté de curling
en fauteuil roulant m’a commenté récemment à l’effet que l’Équipe
Lessard du Québec, est sans doute la plus prometteuse sur le circuit
canadien. Il s’agit d’une formation jeune, mais en plus, tous les
joueurs pratiquent une autre discipline sportive qui fait d’eux des
athlètes accomplis à tous les niveaux. Avec un bon entraînement, il est
à prévoir que l’Équipe Lessard sera la formation à vaincre dans les
années à venir. Cette formation a d’ailleurs remporté le Cathy Kerr’s
Bonspiel en november dernier.
C’est par l’entremise de Curling Canada, qu’une dizaine de joueurs en
fauteuil roulant du Québec ont participé pour la première fois, à un
camp de développement et d’identification de joueurs potentiels cette
fin de semaine au Club de Curling de Boucherville. Tous ont pu profiter
des judicieux conseils de l’entraîneuse nationale Wendy Morgan et de la
seconde joueuse d’Équipe Canada Ina Forrest.
camp fauteuil roulant"
Le championnat provincial du Québec est prévu pour les 25 au 27 février
prochain au Club de Curling Victoria, Ville de Québec.
Calgary host Alberta Provincials
The Alberta Provincial Championship will
be held at the
Ogden Legion CC in Calgary from Friday January 28 with the final on
Sunday January 30. As last year, four teams will compete; two from
Calgary and two from Edmonton.
Team Canada alternate Bruno Yizek rejoins his Calgary teammates after
Paralympic duty last year. Team Smart 2010 thus becomes Team Yizek 2011
with Bruno Yizek at skip, Jack Smart, Anne Hibberd, Bridget Wilson and
Martin Purvis, the all-star 2nd at last year's Nationals in Kelowna.
Their coach for the past two-plus seasons has been Tony Zummack, now
newly appointed Great Britain wheelchair curling coach. He tells me:
"The coaching duties for Team Yizek are now in the capable hands of Andy
"I look forward to their continued successes knowing their goals and
ambitions. If I am still in Calgary during the Provincials I will be
keeping an eye on them as a fan and a friend.
"The decision was made to have a new coach with the team prior to the
Provincials so that the transition moving forward would be as smooth as
possible and give Andy time to know the players. I have spent the last
month with the team and Andy providing as much insight to their
development and team philosophies as possible. I am confident that all 5
players and Andy are prepared and looking forward to the upcoming
Brian Rivers coaches Team Keith, Calgary's other contenders. They have
Dale Keith at Skip, Karl Meier 3rd, George Assenheimer 2nd, Wanda
Pizzinato at lead with Curtis Junor the alternate.
Edmonton's Cathy Craig is bringing two teams to Calgary. Cliff Nuspl,
who skipped an Edmonton team in 2008 and 2010 and was invited to join
Team Smart as allternate in Kelowna last year, has Mike McMullan 3rd,
Warren Fleury 2nd, and Shawna Walsh at lead.
The second Edmonton team is skipped by Dave Graves throwing 3rd stones,
with Don Donaldson throwing 4th, Dwaine Shupac 2nd and lead Marie
Laframboise. Doug MacEachern is the Edmonton alternate.
The format is a 3 draw round robin (first draw 11AM Friday) with 1 v. 4
and 2 v. 3 semi-finals 2.30PM Saturday, then a Sunday 10.30AM final.
Because there will only be 9 provincial teams competing at the Nationals
in Edmonton, Alberta will field a Host team. That means that both teams
competing in the Alberta final will play at the Nationals.
New Brunswick and PEI not yet
ready for prime time
New Brunswick's first wheelchair curling
event, a spiel this weekend at the Frederickton CC, has been cancelled
because of insufficient entries. Laughie Rutt, 3rd on Nova Scotia's
provincial champion Team Fitzgerald and a long time evangelist for
curling in Atlantic Canada, said that though the cancellation was a
disappointment, several curlers from New Brunswick and PEI were able to
attend the recent Atlantic Development Camp at Crapaud CC.
"There are some promising players in both PEI and NB," he said, "and
they will soon be on the scene at nationals."
The CCA had hoped to add a tenth Provincial team to the schedule for
this year's Nationals in Edmonton (March 20 - 27) but with New Brunswick
and PEI deciding they were not yet ready to compete, Alberta will field
a Host Team to round out the numbers, as has been done several times in
Last year BC's Host Team, skipped by Gary Cormack, won the National
Championship in Kelowna.
I'd like to publicly thank the Calgary
Wheelchair Curling Association for their very generous donation in
support of this blog and wheelchaircurling.com.
Their show of support, along with the others I receive from time to
time, allows me not only to recoup the expenses of runing the blog and
website, but also makes it easier to justify the time that I devote to
keeping up with what's happening in wheelchair curling, both in Canada
and around the world.
Cameron wins Recreation Division
of 50th Ottawa Valley spiel
Team Cameron and Team Fraser of the
Capital WCC competed in this weekend's 50th Ottawa Valley Mixed Spiel at
the RA Cemtre in Ottawa. They were part of an eight team Recreation
Division, both reaching the final rounds.
Bruce Cameron, with Doug Morris, Jamie Eddy and Katie Paialunga (filling
in for Christine Lavallee, who was sailing in a Miami regatta) won the
trophy, beating a team of able-bodied curlers 3-2 in the final.
Michael McCreadie playing for
Scotland in England
located near Tunbridge Wells in Kent, south-east of London, is the only
curling ice rink in England. This weekend it is the site of the Four
Nations Competition (not a wheelchair event) hosted by the English
Curling Association, between teams from Scotland, England, Wales and
Michael McCreadie skipped and threw 3rd stones for Scotland in the Tom
Ballantyne Trophy competition (highest aggregate score over five games
against England in the year). He also skipped a Mixed Team against
Wales. Photos from the event can be seen on
Norway's Tone Edvardsen first to
use power chair at Worlds
Tone Edvardsen, will be the first to take
advantage of the change in the World Curling Federation's rules of
competition, when she plays second for Team Norway at the 2011 World
Championships in Prague using her power chair. Previously participation
in World Championships had been limited to users of manual wheelchairs.
She is one of three changes to the Norwegian team made by coach Thoralf
Hognestad, who returned to the team after their disappointing 3-6 finish
at the Vancouver Paralympics. Tone, 36, is an occupational therapist and
competing in her third season of wheelchair curling. Her major outside
interest is photography, and you can see her photos at
Sheila Swan to coach Scotland at
2011 Worlds in Prague
Because of continuing delays in the
paperwork allowing Alberta's Tony Zummack to relocate to Scotland and
take up his position as National Coach, Dave Crosbee, British Curling's
new Performance Director, has confirmed that Sheila Swan will be in
charge of the Scotland team in at the 2011 World Championships in
Sheila played on Jackie Lockhart's World Champion team in 2002, and is
currently the Royal Caledonian Club's Development Manager - Adults and
Tony is keen to take up his responsibilities and told me today: "I was
very glad to see all eight athletes from the National Squad playing in
the final three games in Lanarkshire.
"To see Scotland reach the final against Canada should give the squad a
sense of confidence heading to Prague.
"While I wish I was there now I have full confidence in Sheila Swan as
she knows the athlete's quite well as she was with them in Vancouver.
Preparations are ongoing and I look forward to the day I am there to
meet the entire team and staff."
Canada beats Scotland to win
Canada posted two 4 enders to see off
Scotland 2 in their morning draw, setting up a final with Scotland 1,
who lost their unbeaten record, falling 6-5 in the morning to Hosts 1
after giving up a 4-ender.
In the final Scotland were behind 5-3 with hammer, but gave up a steal
of 2 in the 7th (final) end and Canada won 7-3, finishing the tournament
with a perfect 5-0 record.
The Czechs played Sweden in the battle of 2nd place teams, going out to
a 4-1 lead and hanging on for a 4-3 victory. Scotland 2 beat Hosts 1 in
the game between 3rd place teams.
Results of the two morning draws and the afternoon finals can be found
A news report is available
HERE and a video can beviewed
Bob Cowan, who took the photos on this page, follows wheelchair curling
in Scotland and attended some of the action on Tuesday. You can see more
of his photos
HERE. He also noted that in the game he watched. Darryl Neighbour
skipped while Jim played front end.
Canada and Scotland 3 for 3 - Day
1 of Lanarkshire International
Team Canada flew to Scotland on Sunday,
and at 9AM on Tuesday were on the ice for the first of three draws on
Day 1 of the Lanarkshire International at the Hamilton (SCO) Ice Rink.
Scottish TV had cameras there at the start of the event. You can see the
Bruno Yizek was ill and unable to travel; his place taken by Manitoba's
Any jet lag did not seem to affect their performance as they posted 3
wins. They fell behind early in the opener against Sweden, but a 3 in
the 3rd put them ahead, and they handed Jalle Jungnell his first loss as
a National Coach, 6-3 in 7 ends. Sweden recovered to win their next two
games, 8-6 over Scotland 2, and 6-5 over Mainhatten.
In Canada's second game Jens Jager's Mainhatten Ice Rollers managed only
a single point in a 7-1 score in 6 ends.
Canada finished a hectic day with a 7-4 win over Host Team 3 from the
South Lanarkshire WCC.
Scotland, still without new coach Tony Zummack, also posted 3 wins: 13-4
over Hosts 2, 6-2 over Marcus Sieger's Germany, and 11-2 over the Czech
Republic. No word about where the Scots are delivering their stones
Line scores of all the games are
Tables after Day 1 are
Team Canada 2011 set for Prague
We have just received official
confirmation that Team Canada for the 2011 World Championships in
Prague, February 21 to March 3, will be:
Jim Armstrong (BC) - skip
Darryl Neighbour (BC) - 3rd
Ina Forrest (BC) - 2nd
Sonja Gaudet (BC) - lead
Bruno Yizek (AB) - alternate
Coach - Joe Rea
Team Leader - Wendy Morgan
Mental Trainer - Dr.Laura Farres
This is the same team that won gold in Vancouver last March. Hopefully a
team photo will be available soon.
In response to a query about Team Canada's low profile this season,
Program Director Gerry Peckham responded: "This has basically been a
year off as it relates to the intensity and profile of Team Canada
activities. Our focus has been on regionally based talent ID and
development and our NTP athletes have been engaged in assisting Wendy
and Joe with that undertaking along with a personal focus on their own
skill development. They are willingly “putting back into the sport” and
have done an excellent job on behalf of the program in the years to
"We will gear up again next year."
It is understandable that after the rigours and the success of last
season, National Team Program (NTP) members were entitled to an easier
year post-Vancouver, and some have been very active in various CCA
sponsored regional initiatives this season.
On the other hand, with interest in wheelchair curling potentially at
its highest after a Paralympic gold medal, more CCA or NTP information
(and dare we suggest photos) on just what the national team has been
doing since March would capitalise on that interest.
While this blog receives responses to specific questions, the best
publicity is proactive. Perhaps it's time for someone at the CCA or the
NTP to be responsible for, and committed to, gathering and sharing
Ten team field for Lanarkshire
International January 18-19
Canada will play in their second and
final preparatory competition before defending their World Championship
in Prague February 21, when they compete in the Lanarkshire
International at the Hamilton Ice Rink (SCO) tomorrow, January 18.
The event has been organised by the South Lanarkshire WCC who include
three local teams in the ten team two pool field.
Club secretary David Morgan told
The Glasgow Evening Times the club, which has 33 players and includes
members of the Great Britain Paralympic development squad, is all geared
up for the two-day event.
“We wanted to invite some good teams to play us. At first, we hoped for
about four teams to confirm, but we have 10 and it will be a great
Recently appointed Great Britain coach Tony Zumack is still awaiting
paperwork for his move from Alberta, so the Scots, who have two new
members, Gregor Ewan and Michael Mackenzie, will be mentored by Sheila
Skip Aileen Neilson comments; “We are really looking forward to the
International competition at Hamilton. It is an exciting start to a new
cycle with a new team. It will be a good trial, and, for me it is a
great opportunity to skip the team and develop and build team dynamics.”
Canada will play four round robin games games beginning against Sweden
at 9AM local time Tuesday January 18. The first 3 teams play across the
pools at 2.20PM Wednesday. Results will first be posted
Mainhatten Ice Rollers - (Jens Jäger)
Germany (Marcus Sieger)
Skip uses wheelchair in latest
The CCA's StartCurling Campaign includes
a skip using a wheelchair in one of the ads in their "shots made on
purpose" series. Watch the video
Sudbury aiming to be new force
in Northern Ontario
Sudbury Curling Club will be joining Thunder Bay and Kenora in a
challenge for the Northern Ontario Provincial Championship. Their team
of skip Steve Daniel, vice Rick Prud'homme, second Sarah Lashbrook and
lead Dennis Duclos practise up to six hours a week at the curling club,
coached by Thomas Matheson.
Skip Daniel is a multi-sport athlete who competed for Canada at the 2008
Paralympic Games in Beijing. His team, in their first year of curling,
hope to join an evening league, but playing at the Thunder Bay
Provincials February 25-27 will be their first time competing against
"All our (Northern Ontario) teams are pretty much evenly balanced," he
Sudbury Star. "We might even have a competitive advantage. All of us
are coming from a sport background. We all play basketball together. The
only thing we have to work on is the strategy of curling."
Program booster Norm Gervais, owner of MEDIchair Sudbury, hopes that the
2012 Provincials will be held in Sudbury.
"The Sudbury Curling Club is wheelchair accessible and very familiar
with wheelchair curling - plus they know how to run and host top-notch
curling events." The idea to host the 2012 Northern Ontario Championship
has been put to club president Bill Sloan and will soon be brought to
the club's board, said Gervais.
Read the full report
Curling around London Ontario
The Accessible Sports Council for the
London Ontario area, reminds wheelchair users that the Ilderton CC is
the base for local curling. The program is run by coach
Ernie Comerford, who was instrumental in establishing the sport in
Alberta before relocating to Ontario.
Sessions are held Sundays from 11AM to 1PM. More details
Atlantic Canada camp at Crapaud
Community CC this weekend
Curlers from PEI, Newfoundland and
Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will be attending a CCA
sponsored development camp this weekend at Crapaud Community CC on
Prince Edward Island. Attending will be members of the national coaching
team Wendy Morgan and Dr. Laura Farres, Helen Radford, executive
director of Curl Atlantic, as well as Team Canada lead Sonja Gaudet.
The Guardian (Charlottetown) reports that it will be the first
inter-provincial competition for wheelchair curlers held on the Island.
Activites run from 2.30pm Friday January 14, through lunchtime Sunday.
Marcus Sieger appointed Munich
2018 bid Ambassador
Team Germany's skip, Marcus Sieger, has
been appointed as an Ambassador for Munich's 2018 Winter
Olympics/Paralympics bid. Munich, site of the 1972 Summer Games, is
competing against Annecy, France and Pyeongchang, South Korea. The
decision will be announced on July 6th, 2011.
"Shared happiness is doubled
happiness" - Jalle Jungnell
On the eve of their tie-break game at the
Vancouver Paralympics, Sweden's Glenn Ikonen, who had been throwing 4th
stones for struggling skip Jalle Jungnell, was suspended for failing a
The blood pressure medication that he had been taking for years across
many tournaments, was through oversight or ignorance, in violation of
the rules, and Glenn was not on the podium when Sweden ultimately placed
"He didn't get a medal, so I cut mine in half, made molds of the halfs
in tin, and glued them together," said Jalle.
"It just felt like the right thing to do. Glenn was so much a part of
our medal team, it felt nice to give him a little piece of recognition.
"Don't misunderstand, I totally understand the decision to suspend him,
and not give him a medal, but as a friend, and as friends, we all
suffered with him.
"He was really happy when he got his half homemade medal, and shared
happiness is doubled happiness."
Amen to that, Jalle.
Fredericton CC hosting New
Brunswick's first wheelchair spiel
Wheelchair curling is arriving in New
Brunswick with the 106 year old
Fredericton CC hosting
its first wheelchaair curling spiel January 28-30. The club is located
on the Exhibition Grounds at the Coliseum.
The field will be limited to 10 teams. Cost $40 per person. Contact
Karen Malone 506-457-9802, or 506-459-3003. Full details on the flier
News from Sweden
Jalle Jungnell, Sweden's long time skip,
announced after Vancouver that he would be retiring from international
competition. Fortunately for those who care about the sport at the World
level, he has returned to his national side, this time as coach.
"Tomas Nordin (coach in Vancouver) would have been the ultimate choice
for coach, we all feel, but he can not be away from work all the time
that would be necessary," Jalle told me. "Tomas is still in the team, as
an assistant coach during our training camps in Sweden."
Thomas Wilhelm, the husband of lead Anette (who also retired after
Vancouver) is team manager.
The team is:
Glenn Ikonen, skip
Patrik Burman 3rd
Patrik Kallin 2nd
Kicki Uhlander lead
Gert Erlandsson alternate
"So, with three players from Paralympics, and me and Thomas as staff,
it's pretty much the same faces, but at least myself in a different
role," Jalle said.
"Kicki is not totally new, as she played for Sweden 2007 and 2008. Gert
also played 2007 when there was a different team representing Sweden at
the Worlds in Sweden.
"Where we stand ....? We don't know, and Scotland (Lanarkshire
International) will be really interesting for us."
Jalle is one of the true gentlemen in our sport, happy to share his
knowledge and insights, appreciating that at this stage of the sport's
development, athletes must be ambassadors and evangelists even while
He has this to say about funding.
"It was interesting to read about the huge funding Scotland and Canada,
had and have. We Swedes are in a totally different league. We got aprox.
$50.000 for preparations for Vancouver, and have a total budget for
$25.000 this year.....and that includes the Prague Worlds.
"We are supposed to be a rich country, but we are definitely not
spending the money on curling."
Despite this comparative lack of financial resources, Sweden have won
two bronze medals at the Paralympics and a silver at the 2009 Worlds.
Penny Greely replaces injured
Patrick McDonald on Team USA
Penny Greely of Green Bay, Wisconsin,
will replace California's Patrick McDonald on Team USA. Patrick
announced he required shoulder surgery shortly after the USA selection
camp last September, and would not be available for the 2011 Worlds in
Greely is a high performance athlete who won bronze at the 2004 Athens
Paralympics at sitting volleyball, but attendance at the selection camp,
which was in her home town, was her first exposure to competitive
Team leader Marc Deperno said: After a series of competitions and skill
events, Penny Greely of Green Bay, Wisconsin has been selected as
Patrick's replacement. Penny is a newcomer to the sport having only
curled since September 2010 but has shown tremendous energy and
commitment to her training regimen. We are excited to have Penny on
board and are confident in her ability to assist Team USA with our goal
of reaching the podium in Prague.
You can watch a WBAY TV feature on Penny at this link. As we reported
last September (before Patrick's announcement) it was the degree of
difficulty that drew her more to the game.
"I'm a really competitive person so this was right up my alley when I
Broken promises and hurt feelings
It was no secret to anyone watching the
2010 Nationals in Kelowna last March that Chris Sobkowicz's Team Manitoba
were an unhappy group.
So it came as no surprise to learn at the beginning of this season that
long time teammates Chris Sobkowicz and Dennis Thiessen had decided to
form their own teams and compete against each other for the right to
represent Manitoba at the 2011 Nationals in Edmonton AB.
Thiessen's teammates, Effie Loubardias, Michael Alberg and Heather Mowat
who travelled over 500kms for each team practice, raised funds to
participate in spiels in Calgary and Ottawa, knowing and agreeing that
this season would likely be a development year.
At the end of November, Dennis told them "I don't feel we as a team are
ready for it yet," and that he would be playing with Chris Sobkowicz
The lateness of his announcement meant there was no time for the remaining
players to find a replacement, and Team Sobkowicz was declared
Manitoba's provincial team by default.
Nothing wrong with wanting to win, but at what cost in broken promises?
The hurt feelings that will be the legacy of preparations for the 2011
campaign are not likely to help development of the sport in Manitoba.
Calgary's Jack Smart chosen as CCA
Male Athlete of the Week
Jack Smart, 46, who skips out of the
Ogden Legion CC in Calgary AB, is this week's CCA Male Athlete of the
Week. He has represented Alberta in both wheelchair basketball and
tennis in addition to winning four provincial curling titles.
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“I would eliminate the mixed-gender rule (for wheelchair teams); having
to field a team with mixed gender can drastically hinder the development
of regional grassroots programs that want to take the next competitive
level. I do not understand why it is part of the game.”
Read the full profile HERE.
Chris Daw: "I sat out Paralympics
for my wife and daughter"
Curious about why Torino gold medal skip
Chris Daw wasn't at the helm four years later in Vancouver? Tonight on
Global TV News, Chris told reporter Mike McCardell that it wasn't
becasue he didn't get along with the coach, or that he had a falling out
with the program.
Daw: I didn't give any explanation why, because it was my, it was
my personal need, you know, to be with my family at the time.
(McCardel: But there was no conspiracy. Why he wasn't at 2010; a
matter of love, and the heart, and family.)
Daw: My wife was pregnant with our first daughter, and my wife
said can I sit 2010 out for the Paralympics, and I said absolutely,
anything for you, and for the birth of our daughter, and that's why we
moved here and took the job.
McCardell: So that's why you weren't in the last Olympics?
Daw: And that's the absolute God's honest truth. That's why I
wasn't in the last Paralympics. It's no conspiracy theory, anything like
that. It's just my wife asked my sit one out and I sat one out for her
and my daughter.
The news report ended with the studio anchor saying Chrs plans to be
back for Sochi, 2014.
There is a video of his Global TV interview
December 10, 2007 - Chris daw asked that he not be considered for
selection for the 2008 World Championships, and requested a "temporary
leave of absence" from the National Training Program through the end of
the season. He cited personal reasons as well as increasing demands on
his time as Development Coordinator for the CCA's Discover Curling
"This is entirely his decision and I have nothing else to say," said
assistant coach Wendy Morgan
December 18, 2007 - Vancouver Sun reports: "I really like this
(2008 Worlds) team ... they're very coachable, very easy to get along
with, they're sponges for information and they're really flexible," said
coach Joe Rea of Prince George. "There isn't an ego on the team and from
a coaching perspective, that's a huge thing for me."
Chris Daw wins gold at 2008 Ontario Paralympics throwing 4th stones for
Ken Gregory's Team Bradford, but loses to Chris Rees in 2008 Ontario
October 22, 2008 - Jim Armstrong declared eligible to compete in
October 30, 2008 - Chris Daw breaks hip in ATV accident.
December 17, 2008 - Armstrong chosen to skip Team Canada at 2009
March 24, 2009 - Chris Daw skips Newfoundland & Labrador at
May 29, 2009 - Canada's Paralympic team has Armstrong at skip,
with Neighbour, Forrest, and Gaudet. Bruno Yizek added at official
announcement October 8, 2009. Wendy Morgan says: "This has been a
three-year journey in a comprehensive selection process. It has been a
difficult process at times, as it is not exclusively a skill-based
decision but encompasses team dynamics, peer assessment, performance in
competition and positional aptitude."
July 2009 - Chris Daw moves to BC as manager of the Vancouver CC.
February 23, 2010 - Chris and Morgan Daw's daughter born.
Frank Duffy's funeral - January
A family member has asked me to post the funeral
arrangements for Frank Duffy.
Frank's funeral will take place this Saturday, January 8th, at 9.30am
in the Falkland Parish church with interment at Falkland Cemetery at
10.45am. Thereafter to Falkland Village Hall for lunch and refreshments
and a chance to all meet up and celebrate his life.