Saturday, August 29, 2009

Team USA recruiting in California

Vacaville, CA  3pm  September 5, 2009

Steve Brown and Goose Perez, coach and skip of Team USA, will be visiting team member Pat McDonald's home turf when they put on a demonstration and clinic at the Labour Day Weekend Crush Bonspiel in Vacaville, California.

McDonald is a member of the Wine Country CC who are hosting the international event. Vacaville is close to Berkeley, long a magnet for wheelchair users with its tradition of inclusion and accessibility, and an excellent choice for recruits to what has been a geographically limited American sport. The clinic begins at 3pm on Saturday September 5th at the Vacaville Ice Sports Centre.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"I'll be ready for Vancouver 2010," says Jim Armstrong

Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong, after a stay in hospital at UBC undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff (first reported in TCN) is undergoing what promises to be a lengthy rehab of his non-throwing left shoulder.

"It was a more severe injury than anticipated," he told me today, "and I was not able to travel to the camp that began just after I came out of hospital. But I have begun three times a week rehab now, and I'm sure that I will be ready for the Paralympics next March.

"Though my return to the ice will be delayed, we have an excellent team, as technically good as any I have seen. And over the past season or two their knowledge and understanding of the game has grown. It's easier to throw well when you not only know how to throw, but also why you are being asked to play a particular shot.

"There were some interesting developments at the last Worlds, especially with players getting really low to play up-weight shots. But although some, especially the Koreans, can throw big weight, we have some time before we have to deal with teams throwing multiple 8 second takeouts accurately enough to pose a threat."

Team Canada's third training camp will be in BC at the end of September, and they leave for a ten day trip to Norway and Scotland on October 13.

Other events on the competition schedule are the Richmond Invitational November 3-7 in BC and the Cathy Kerr in Ontario, November 26-29.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tomas Nordin, 3-time World Champion, to coach Team Sweden

Tomas Nordin
Coach Team Sweden

Team Sweden, silver medallists at the 2009 Worlds, have a new coach, Tomas Nordin, who  played in five World finals, winning 3 times at 3rd for  Peja Lindholm.

"It's interesting to enter a new role, and take on a new challenge," said Tomas. "I know regular curling, and think I have things to add also to wheelchair curling."

Hans Säfström, head of sports at the Swedish Handicap Sport Association, added: "It's exciting to work across borders; when a excellent able-bodied player steps into the role of coach, we are taking a step into something new."

Jalle Jungnel, long time Swedish skip, who won bronze in Torino, took a year off and then resuscitated the Swedish program through qualification in 2008 before losing to Canada in the 2009 final, said that his team is inspired by what feels like a new beginning. "We are already training," he said, "Just us and Anette Norberg's team, though it feels strange to be on the ice when it is 25 degrees outside."

As for his team's Prospects in Vancouver: "As you know, it's impossible to predict results, but we have said in team meetings that our goal is to be serious and prepare as well as we can, but still have fun all the way to Vancouver. No joy - no results, that's the way we think.

"Vancouver.... well, Canada are obviously huge favourites, but we would like to join the group of 6-7 teams that are chasing them. We are set to go to play in Denmark, September 11, and later this fall we will compete in Norway, Switzerland and Prague."

The 2009 silver medal team have been pre-selected to play in Vancouver. Lead Anette Wilhelm, second Patrik Burman, and third Glenn Ikonen will be skipped by Jalle Jungnell. The alternate player will be chosen from a candidate group of four players late this fall. [source]

Friday, August 7, 2009

Canada's tournament season begins in Osoyoos Sept. 12-13

The first competitive event of the coming season will be the Olson Curling Supplies Two On Two Wheelchair Spiel in Osoyoos BC the weekend of September 12-13. Team Canada members will be competing.

Entries are $50 per person (plus food) and entries close September 2nd. For more information and to register contact Gerry Austgarden by phone 250-979-3030 or email.