Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Braehead curlers in charity wheelchair push

photo - Aileen Nielson]
Bob Cowan reports that members of the Braehead WCC held a sponsored 10 mile wheelchair push to raise funds for Erskine Hospital.

Michael McCreadie said, "For the past five years we have raised money for our own club. However, this year we felt it appropriate that another worthwhile organisation should benefit."

Gaudet and Forrest honoured by their community

Ina Forrest and Sonja Guadet
[photo - Jesssica Schwitek/Morning Star]
Team Canada teammates Ina Forrest and Sonja Gaudet were co-winners of the North Okanagan Athlete Of The Year Award in Vernon sponsored by Dan and Jamie Currie of Tim Hortons.

“The (award) committee took a long time to make their decisions. The choices were not easy," chair Mel Briggeman told the Vernon Morning Star, "but in the end we went with the best front-end curlers in the world."

Forrest, a mother of three who lives and runs a business in Armstrong, said she appreciated getting some exposure at home.

"It's very nice recognition from our community," she said following the outdoor ceremony at Tim Hortons on Highway 97. "We don't often play in our own community on our national team so it's nice to be recognized in your community for accomplishments away from your community."

Gaudet, who won the award last year, echoed that sentiment. "No, it doesn't get old, but you appreciate the support and being noticed by your community. It's just as special (as last year) definitely. Ina and I are great teammates and we bring the best out in each other so I'm happy that we got this award together."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Promising start for Aussie program in Melbourne

Glen Bond gets into position at Melboune's Ice House June 21, 2010

The Victorian Curling Association followed up its successful initial give-it-a-go session last month by attracting ten wheelchair users onto the ice for what will become regular learn to curl sessions leading to wheelchair users joining regular play.

The sessions are being held at the Ice House in the Docklands area of Melbourne. James Oastler, who has been a long-time advocate for Aussie curling, reports: We worked on weight control and then played an 8 end game. Next month we'll use the video camera on their delivery with time out to view and discuss their approach. If we can maintain interest we will run the sessions fortnightly.

For more information contact James Oastler.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hopes dashed for Team Canada discussion at CCA's AGM

Bruce Cameron reports that the topic of team selection for Team Canada was not discussed at this weekend's AGM of the Canadian Curling Association.

While disappointing to those hoping for at least an acknowledgment of the issue, it was not surprising given the administrative hurdles involved in bringing a topic to the floor without months of preparation and due notice.

Athlete empowerment, bringing wheelchair curlers into the decision making process in all areas of the sport, takes organisation and effort, even when there is broad agreement on goals. Wheelchair curling is no more than a pimple on the backside of the sport as a whole, and it will take a lot for the CCA to change present processes that bring reflected glory via podium success.

There has been a very productive discussion in earlier threads about the issues and possible ways forward. For those wanting change, ignore the naysayers who claim nothing can be done; ignore those who call dissatisfaction with the present system mere whining.

Change can come if athletes force it. So, form a wheelchair curling association within your province and affiliate with your provincial association (PA). Set your policy about Team Canada selection. Make your policy known to your PA and find out how to make it provincial policy, at a minimum by making it a topic for their next AGM.

If most wheelchair curlers are represented at the provincial level, a national association might be a next step.

If enough provincial associations have, as policy, a change to the Team Canada selection process, then there will be the support necessary to put it on next year's CCA agenda.

There are delegates to the CCA's AGM who are willing to help. They need the tools, and only action by wheelchair curlers themselves can supply them.

I've added Bruce Cameron's report to the comments, which are open to positive suggestions for ways forward. If your point of view is that nothing can or should be done, this thread is not the place to express it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Halifax's Mayflower CC to be made wheelchair accessible

The Mayflower CC in Halifax NS has been awarded a grant of $20,000 towards making the club accessible to wheelchair users.

“We have provincial, national and world titles and soon enough we hope to have a wheelchair curling title,” Paul McDonald, past President of the club, told the Metro News.

Wheelchair curling is huge now across Canada, and Mayflower wants to be able to offer it;  McDonald added in an interview with The Chronicle-Herald.

A ramp and accessible bathroom are the first improvements planned, with a lift from the main floor onto the ice shed level.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A letter from Team Bradford (Ontario)

Hi Eric,
Team Bradford would like to thank you for all your hard work in gathering and keeping up to date the latest news, headlines and information on wheelchair curling in Canada and around the World.

We have come to depend on your web page and have found it to be the leading web site for anything to do with wheelchair curling.

The Bradford Team would like to show our appreciation to you and recognize all your hard work in managing Wheelchaircurling.com.

We would like to donate $100.00 towards supporting your web site. We would also like to challenge all other teams to match our donation and to request that individuals who continually use this site, take a moment and make a contribution, large or small, to you and to the wheelchaircurling.com website.  We believe these contributions will ensure the ongoing success of this great web page.

Thank You

Team Bradford

Richmond (BC) International Bonspiel Dec 1-4, 2010

The Richmond Centre for Disability has been very active in its support for wheelchair curling over many years. This year they are celebrating their 25th Anniversary and are planning the 2010 International Bonspiel to be the biggest yet.

The competition runs from December 1 - 4, with practice ice available November 30th. Entries are $250 for up to 12 teams with half payable by the registration deadline of September 30.

They are currently negotiating hotel accommodation, and would appreciate an expression of interest in attending ASAP.

For more information and a registration form contact Rich Green.

Ontarians favour national champs in Worlds the following year

The results of the Ontario Curling Association's survey on the Team Canada selection process produced a large majority for Option 3 - the Canadian national champions representing Canada at the World Championships the following year.
This option allows up to a year of preparation time and has been used previously at the Junior level. It was chosen by 68% (19 of 28) of the respondents to the survey.

Full survey results (options are detailed in the previous post).

Option 3 - 68% (national champs go to following year's Worlds - 19/28)
Option 2 - 18% (use Brier/Scotties system - 5/28)
Option 4 - 10% (best of 5 playoff for Worlds - 3/28)
Option 1  - 4% (present system - 1/28)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ontario seeks input on Team Canada selection process

The Ontario Curling Association has polled their competitive wheelchair curlers and coaches on their views on their preferred method of Team Canada formation.

The poll asked for four selection methods to be ranked, and promised that the results would be tabulated and shared with the other provinces at the CCA's Annual General Meeting next week. We now know that this issue is being raised by at least two provinces.

Option 1: Continue the current selection process as run by the CCA with their National Coaching staff selecting the 5 members of Team Canada from any province.

Option 2: Have the winner of the Canadian Wheelchair Championship represent Canada at the World Championship in the same season that the World Championship is held. Note: this option requires changes in scheduling of Provincial and National Championships.

Option 3: Have the winner of the Canadian Wheelchair Championship represent Canada at the following year’s World Championship. Note: this option allows the winning Canadian Championship team to receive additional coaching/training and competition for up to one year before competing at the World Championship.

Option 4: Have the winner of the Canadian Wheelchair Championship play a best 3 of 5 games playoff against the “selected” Team Canada for the right to represent Canada at the World championships.

If you haven't already done so, you might want to browse the opinions expressed in the thread "Team Canada - time for a change?" to familiarise yourself with some of the issues. Then please add a comment  and your ranking, with any explanation for your choices, to the comments below.