University, college curling misses the button in Canadian curling scene


Within the aftermath of lacking the playoffs in February’s Winter Olympics, Jennifer Jones and her teammates mentioned why different nations have develop into so sturdy in worldwide curling.

The dialog planted an thought within the head of Jones’ second Jocelyn Peterman. She was nonetheless in Beijing when she messaged her curling membership’s director about establishing varsity curling groups for the College of Calgary.

A U of C alumnus, Peterman seemed north for her reasoning. The College of Alberta in Edmonton graduates a few of high curlers within the nation and the world.

Nationwide champion skip Brendan Bottcher is the poster youngster for a powerhouse college curling program.

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Curling Canada runs annual nationwide college and school championships, with Sudbury, Ont., the host metropolis of the 2023 tournaments.

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Simply 16 of the 56 U Sports activities faculties discipline varsity curling groups, nonetheless. One other 9 function the game at a membership degree and the opposite 31 don’t have curling groups.

Of the 98 faculties within the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Affiliation, there are simply 14 males’s groups and a dozen ladies’s groups taking part in this season.

Calgary by no means had Dinos curlers earlier than Peterman’s pitch to athletic director Ben Matchett made it straightforward for him to say sure for 2022-23.

“We bought it as pretty hassle-free from their finish,” Peterman mentioned. “I’ve been placing in numerous volunteer hours to get this program going.

“We bought it that approach, that there wouldn’t be numerous monetary danger to them, that we might do numerous fundraising and that we might get the help from the curling neighborhood in Calgary.

“Curling Alberta has been making an attempt to get one thing stepping into Calgary on the college degree for awhile in order that they had been wanting to assist in no matter approach they might.”

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A fundraising golf event produced $15,000. Peterman and husband Brett Gallant, a world and nationwide champion, will coach the groups at Calgary’s Glencoe Membership.

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They’ll prepare for visitor coaches once they’re away competing both with their respective groups or collectively in blended doubles.

“It was a chance so as to add one other sport in a mannequin that was very low danger to the college, however to supply that chance for student-athletes to compete in a sport that’s fairly important on this nation,” Matchett mentioned.

College students have wished to curve for Calgary earlier than, however the college wanted an overseer like Peterman to make sure the Dinos might ice groups yr after yr, he mentioned.

Peterman has chosen five-man and five-woman Dinos groups from tryouts. She hopes to ascertain junior varsity groups sooner or later.

College curling groups don’t play convention video games. U Sports activities curling is proscribed to convention championships and the Canadian championship.

There are college curlers taking part in full time on males’s or ladies’s groups on tour and in provincial playdowns. They cobble collectively a college foursome for the convention championship.

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College and school curling is only one piece of the developmental puzzle for Curling Canada.

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Golf equipment run junior leagues and provincial associations run junior playdowns en path to the Canadian junior (under-20) championship.

A extra strong post-secondary curling scene might assist retain that aggressive roller between the ages of 21 and 24, in line with Curling Canada’s youth and NextGen supervisor Helen Radford.

“This explicit age group is a excessive precedence for us,” she mentioned. “Jocelyn’s initiative with the College of Calgary has been accomplished quite a few occasions by different folks throughout the nation. There must be a champion in that college or school that leads it.”

The calls for of faculty, beginning a brand new job, and transferring away from house for each, can knock curling down or off the precedence checklist of an individual of their early twenties.

“That’s the place we lose numerous curlers,” Peterman mentioned.

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Each Peterman and Radford say they’re starting to see under-25 leagues and bonspiels.

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By means of top-down encouragement, Curling Canada staged an inaugural Below-25 NextGen Traditional in Edmonton final month for groups and blended doubles.

“In that occasion, we did have some college groups,” Radford mentioned. “We’d love each college and school to supply curling whether or not it’s on the varsity degree, membership or leisure. Get extra youthful folks uncovered to the game.”

Curling Canada additionally ran a event in Ottawa final month to find out the nation’s representatives for the 2023 World College Video games in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Alberta’s Abby Marks and Dalhousie’s Owen Purcell will put on the Maple Leaf in January with Purcell skipping an Atlantic convention group at these Video games for the primary time.

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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