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Friday, October 16, 2009

Curling Clubs: Not just ice and rocks

Check out Danny Lamoureux’s most recent Business of Curling blog at the Canadian Curling Association for an amazing article written by the University of Waterloo’s Heather Mair on the role of curling clubs in their communities.

Curling clubMost curlers know that the club is more than just a building with a few sheets of ice, a bar, a kitchen and a club room. It’s the place where wedding receptions and funeral wakes are held, where Stag and Doe parties, bridge parties, and family gatherings take place. Curling clubs – especially in smaller communities across the country – are often the hub around which the local social scene turns.

Dr. Mair has been travelling across the country visiting clubs and talking to the people who use them. Her research seems to indicate that in Canada, curling is more than a sport; it’s a culture. We knew that. And it’s a culture worth examining.

(Photo: jhembach Creative Commons)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Dominion Curling Club Championships

51 - DSC_0647 Coming to St. George’s Golf and Country Club in west Toronto the first week of November, The Dominion is the first-ever national championship for club curlers – yes, regular league curlers, not the teams that make it through zones and regionals to the provincials and beyond.  Eligibility rules allow each team to include one player with recent national or Grand Slam experience, but the intent is to give ordinary curlers an opportunity to taste the big time.

We’re talking about club teams from every province and territory in Canada that dominate the league, triumph at the end-of-season championship, or win the big club prize.  Gander’s Scott Davidge will be there.  So will Whitehorse’s Helen StrongBC teams are on their way.  Ontario will finalize its provincial winners at the end of October. 

The CCA will have end-by-end scoring for those fans who want to follow their team.  Check out The Dominion championship – a new way to celebrate grassroots curling at its best.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Handshakes on the way out?

Today’s Globe and Mail reports that athletes at the Vancouver Olympic Games will be advised to avoid touching other athletes, especially shaking hands or giving high fives. The picture accompanying the article showed Shannon Kleibrink high-fiving one of her teammates, but even the recreational curlers (at left) know the drill.

This non-contact initiative is an effort to combat the spread of flu. Makes sense, but…

Since every game starts and ends with handshakes, are curlers going to be the first ones to defy the “rules” and opt for the standard sign of respect in our sport? Just wondering.

(Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)