Club curlers living out dream in Charlottetown

Al MacLeod
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Larry Richards, mate of the P.E.I. team in The Dominion Curling Club Championships, keeps an eye on the sweepers during play Wednesday in Charlottetown with Quebec.

For star professional athletes competing at a national level in their sport is almost a given but that opportunity for the average and non-professional player is usually something that only happens in a dream.

A number of club curlers across Canada are experiencing that dream this week as they compete for a national title at the Dominion Club Curling Championship at the Charlottetown and Cornwall curling clubs.

The tournament, which does not allow professional players to compete, is in its second year and includes men’s and women’s teams from every province and territory vying for a national championship. To qualify, each club team had to first win a tournament in its respective curling club and go on to win a provincial club title.

Jim Waite, head official and member of the tournament advisory committee, said the tournament was the brainchild of Dominion CEO George Cooke.

“He just saw the fact there was no event for the club curler, for the average Joe, and so that’s what he tried to put together with this event,” Waite said.

“None of (the participants) ever would be able to wear their provincial jacket and you only get those if you win a provincial championship and go to play in a national championship. None of these people would have ever experienced that and they would never have experienced a national championship like they’re doing here this week.” Jim Waite, head official and member of the tournament advisory committee

In the first year, the tournament saw a 42 per cent participation rate from the various curling clubs in Canada and this year, it is expected to reach 60 per cent.

The appeal of the event is it gives the average curler a chance to represent their province at a national level, Waite said.

“None of (the participants) ever would be able to wear their provincial jacket and you only get those if you win a provincial championship and go to play in a national championship,” he said.

“None of these people would have ever experienced that and they would never have experienced a national championship like they’re doing here this week.”

No more is that true for the teams from Nanavut as the territory does not typically compete at national curling events on any level.

 

Organizations: Dominion Club, Jim Waite

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Canada

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  • The Curling News
    November 25, 2010 - 09:20

    HOW IT IS is correct, Jill. As the gap between recreational (fun) curlers and high-performance (Olympic level) curling athletes continues to widen, this national club championship is a long-overdue way to celebrate the skills of the "best" of Canada's average rec players... which makes up some 90 per cent of ALL curlers around the world, believe it or not. Cheers!

  • How it is...
    November 25, 2010 - 08:57

    No Jill, this is a championship for teams that don't compete in cash leagues/curling tours and don't finish within the top few teams in their Province at their provincials. There's a pretty big divide between the teams that play extremely competitively and try to go to the Brier, and the teams that play regularly but for whatever reason (be it work restrictions, age, excessive high level competition) wouldn't ever get the chance to make it to a national event, to play and win a Provincial event and compete at a national level against teams of the same caliber. They're still good, just not quite at the same place as the Martins, Gushues, Howards, etc...

  • Jill Macdonald
    November 25, 2010 - 05:14

    So, this is a championships for curlers who are no good?