Monday, November 1, 2010

Team Canada news

Team Canada members will get together the weekend of November 19-21 in Richmond BC for the first time as a group since their triumph at the Vancouver Paralympics. Chris Sobkowicz and Gerry Austgarden have also been invited to attend the training camp.

While there is inevitable speculation about the eventual status of Jim Armstrong  given his legal predicament, the CCA's chief executive officer Greg Stremlaw confirmed with me today that Jim remains a member of Team Canada and eligible for selection to the national side.

"I can relay that the process related to Jim Armstrong and our review with multiple stakeholders is on-going," Stremlaw told me via email.

"If and when there is information which is to be shared with the public about this review, we will advise in a timely fashion.

"That said, I do not expect any developments in the next few days (so) therefore there is no change until such time as these procedures, as a minimum, have been taken."

Stakeholders in this context include Sport Canada, who fund the carding system, and Own The Podium who contribute money to the national program.

Jim has been taking the occasional practice at the Richmond CC, and is expected to partner with teammate Darryl Neighbour at the 3rd Annual Stick (2on2) Bonspiel at the Golden Ears CC in Maple Ridge BC November 13-14.

Speaking of Darryl, he joined coach Wendy Morgan in Winnipeg this past weekend for the second of Team Canada's nationwide tour of talent identification and development camps. Team Sobkowicz and Team Thiessen were joined by Northern Ontario champs Team Ficek for the weekend tryouts.


Anonymous said...

Why the hell does the Canadian program keep going backwards. And if they choose to do so why do they not look to producing athletes?

Why would you invite Gerry Austgarden to a Team Canada camp???? He has failed to produce or even keep it together for years.

We need to look at new people or poeple who have produced in the pass Cormack or for that matter even Daw now he is in Vancouver.

These 2 guys have solid tracks records which have produced and they keep getting over looked. WHY!!!!!!

Daw as been blackballed worse than guys who have 5 year bans from sport. Give the guy a chance to come back or at least take a look at him at a camp. Same goes for Cormack. Cormack has huge results over the last year and nothing.


People should be given a second chance, god knows you are all rooting for JIM to come back and he broke the law!!!!!!

Cormack or Daw never did and they are out!!!!

Seems regardless of what Gerry or Wendy states the progam is to do. It is more who you know than a real chance of being looked at.

New , old or much for transparence

Bruce Cameron said...

I agree 100% with the comments made by the last poster. What is wrong with the people at the CCA? They seem to looking for some loop hole that will allow Jim to continue in the program......this after reportedly admitting at the time of arrest that he knew what he was doing was wrong and now a plea bargain of admitting guilt. Does one not have to sign a "contract/agreement" when entering a funded program that though shalt be squeaky clean? If he is allowed to continue in the program that is a huge slap in the face and insulting to the rest of the wheelchair curlers in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Come on, Bruce:

Your disdain of Jim has been well documented since he threw his first rock.

The CCA has produced a program that has enjoyed huge success to date. If they are going to continue with selection, like EVERY OTHER COUNTRY does, you have to allow the coaches and staff to do their job.

As for Gerry and Chris invited to this camp, it is also the decision of the staff. I do agree, though, that giving Cormack and Daw another look makes sense, since they DO have the credentioals.

Anonymous said...

I understand that Darry and Jim will be having their look at Chris and Gary next week at Maple Ridge(?).

I am sure the staff will at listen to their comments.

In fact, I believe Gary plays with Darryl in an able-bodied league, so he gets a great look all the time.

Anonymous said...


You have resented Jim from the start. You have forgotten how much he has given to the sport as we developed. Is there a problem now? Damn right. Is there another side? Let's find out.

Put your knife back in your pocket. It seems that everyone close to him is prepared to see how this rolls out. An "admission of guilt" in the polarized US is simply a bargaining chip that may or may not have to be used.

For your own future credibility, perhaps you should stand back, too.

I await your response.

. said...

I hope he ignores anyone who feels it necessary to remain anonymous while writing personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

No personal attack. Simply a comment on his comments regarding Jim for the past few years.

Anonymous said...

People have to realize that Cormack and Daw had their hay-day four or five years ago, virtually ONE HALF of the time the sport has been around.

The game MAY well have passed them by.

Anonymous said...

That's why Gary won nationals last year right. and Chris continues to develop the sport at the grassroots level and coach international teams.

Chris in fact worked with China, US and a couple of other teams as an advisory. When ask to coach the international teams he turn the the opportunity to remain loyal to Canada

God knows why Canada seems to have turned it's back on him not only as a player and gold medalist but as a guy who has trained or started half the players playing in Canada. Shitty break for a guy that has done so much in the background.

Anonymous said...

Let's not turn this into a Daw attack as well. However, I don't think his exit from Team Canada had anything to do his ability. Can you imagine a team with Jim, Darryl and Chris?

A team cannot win without team dynamics, and I think when Chris left, that was a real issue in his life. Perhaps he has grown enough, but who knows? No one was prepared to take a chance in an Olympic year, but MAYBE now? I for one, would like to see him get a shot.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it is almost a new team since 2006, so likely there is not as much baggage regarding Chris. Has Chris even indicated if he has a desire to be considered? What about Gary, is he still interested?

Would Team Canada even know? Apparently, since Gerry and Chris are going to camp, they have made some initial inquiries.

Anonymous said...

Who said Chris is helping to coach the US, China and others. I call bs to that, Chris.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, Chris and Jim got along well. Any chance we could see Chris back in the mix? I think Jim could teach Chris a lot regarding strategy and game management. Remember, it took Jim two seasons to get a handle on the wheelchair game. He has tutored Darryl to the point where he would have to be one of the best back-end players in the world.

Anonymous said...

Does Chris even want to be considered?

Remeber, Joe and Wendy are still the decision makers.

Don S. said...

Hi All;

I would like to state the follow as fact. I can appriecate people comments on here. Truely I do, it is a great resource. As for who Chris has or has not been coaching well maybe we should ask him!!!!!

Chris has done allot and I mean allot of work behind the scenes for years now on all of our behalfs. I know for a fact Chris was interviewed for the head coach of GB, I know Chris work with China. I know for a fact we has done some consulting with some US players not to mention all the AB teams he has work with.

I think people need to look at what that guy has done for the sport both at home (Canada) and a far. He got us $450000 from the TSX to support our program direcly and all we do is knock him down or say what "bs" it is that he has work with these teams.

This guy left the program on his own, has not really been in the lime light for years and yet when it is possible, just possible he has made REAL contributions to the sport of wheelchair curling either at home or across the seas; all of a sudden it is BS.

Well, BS on you guys for not supporting a guy who has really done llot for the sport, been shit on by most of us and none of us real knows anything about what he has been doing.

He should be given a look at either as a player or even as a coach. Why? because the guy deserves it. You all jump to support Jim regardless of what he has done, legal or illegal. Maybe you should do the same for Chris.

Thank about it maybe Chris and Jim with a few other players would be what we need for both the present and the future.

Don't knock some who is and has been giving the shirt off his back for this sport and asking for nothing in return!

Anonymous said...

I don't know who you are, Don, but there is some validity to what you have to say.

We know that Chris did cause problems. We also know that this was some time ago. I think everyone who has even talked to him lately knows that he seems to be a changed (MORE MATURE) guy, anf that he is not the middle of the wheelchair curling world. We also understand that Chris and Jim have a bit of a positive relationship, and that Chris views Jim as a mentor.

How about the program ramping up for 2014.......Jim as player/coach, Chris as a player? I have to think that the scars with Chris and staff run too deep to allow Chris a real comeback.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Chris caused as many problems as every one thinks. I think a clask of egos happened between him and Joe and Joe won.

I think regret is something he feel now but pride for the sport as anyone how has taken the basking he has over the years and stays on working to make it better has to be given some major credit here.

Chris had bad infulences and really bad relationships all the way across the board when he was in the program. Talks occur and he left of his own free will. The program continue with success but only once Jim joined the program.

Is Chris changed? I think so and I think we need to let water go under the bridge give him a shot to see if the change is real. That is everyone needs to give him a shot, not only as a player but as a person.

I have take the opportuntiy to get to know him and he really is a nice guy willing to give the shirt off his back for you. He has a ton of knowledge and it shows considering he wrote the coaching guide book on behalf of the CCA.

So even the CCA must trust he to some extent.

We need to look pass his past and see what if anything he can bring to the table now. God knows other countries talk to him......

Maybe we should!!!

Anonymous said...

Point taken, and let's give Chris a look.