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Where did the summer go??

Wednesday Sep 12 2007

by Resby Coutts

Summer?s gone and curling season is all but upon us. Last weekend, curlers were on the ice at a High Performance Camp at West Kildonan and two weeks from now, the first bonspiel of the year takes place at the same club.

But there has been a fair bit of curling news over the four months since the end of last curling season ? so we kickoff the new season with a new look for and a review of the summer?s curling news.

The following news highlights have been brought forward from archives, as well as from the Canadian Curling Association (CCA), World Curling Federation (WCF), and World Curling Tour (WCT) websites.

4th: Jeff Stoughton's 1996 World Curling Chaampions are announced as one of this fall's inductees into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

29th: The CCA introduces Greg Stremlaw as the new C.E.O. Stremlaw is short on curling background but long on professional credentials and experience. He talks about a vision of running the sport as a business with sound financial practices.

26th: Manitoba?s Sandra Schmirler Golf Classic raises over $15,000 for curling?s favorite charity and the Children?s Hospital Foundation.

6th: The WCF extends congratulations to the Russian city of Sochi for its selection as host of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and announces that Olympic curling in 2014 is expected to take place at a new national curling complex which will be constructed for the competition.

4th: The CCA announces the team lineup for the 2007 Continental Cup. The four Canadian teams will be those of Kelly Scott, Jennifer Jones, Randy Ferbey and Glenn Howard. Their US teammates will be skipped by Todd Birr and Debbis McCormick. The European teams will be skipped by David Murdoch of Scotland, Germany?s Andy Kapp, Switzerland?s Andreas Schwaller, Denmark?s Angelina Jensen, Scotland?s Wood and Russia?s Ludmila Privivkova. The event will be played in Medicine Hat, December 13-16.

19th: TSN announces the teams for the return of the popular Skins Game ? to be played December 8-9 under the sponsorship of Casino Rama. Teams will include Brad Gushue, Glenn Howard, Wayne Middaugh and Kevin Martin.

18th: The WCF announces that Hans Wuthrich of Gimli, Manitoba has been named Head Ice Technician and Dave Merklinger of Vernon, British Columbia has been named Assistant Head Ice Technician for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

16th: The CCA Annual Meeting elects Manitoban Mitchell Tarapasky to its Board. Tarapasky joins Georgina Anderson of Glenboro, giving Manitoba a pair of votes on the Board of 10. Tarapasky says the Board has adopted a new board-driven governance style as opposed to the previous staff-driven style.

16th: The CCA announces a loss of nearly $1.3 million for 2006-2007. The explanation (a number of unanticipated circumstances developed which resulted in championship revenues not meeting projections. The championships area actually sustained a loss, two projected sponsorship positions were not attained and a final settlement was reached in an external disagreement) is included in a CCA news release that also announces the temporary suspension of most activity in the CCA?s curling development area. At the same meetings, the member associations voted in favour of increasing the per sheet assessment to each curling club in Canada to $85 (from $65) per artificial sheet of ice and also voted to implement a junior competitor fee of up to $10 per person if deemed necessary to assist in the operation of the Canadian junior championships.

2nd: The MCA introduces four Honourary Life Members - Brandon Curling Club member Don Campbell, Victoria CC member Mitch Tarapasky ? MCA Past President, and Dauphin Curling Club member Bev MacKenzie, and Ray Gudmundson of PaceSetter SportsWear.

2nd: The MCA Annual Meeting in Hamiota hears reports indicating that 2006-07 revenues were $915,849.00 ($31,202 over budget) while total expenses were $1,024,809.00 ($107,545.00 over budget.). Plans are announced for a re-structuring of the MCA Men?s Bonspiel and the MCA Women?s Bonspiel in 2009. The Scotties berth bonspiel this season will be a triple knockout. The Manitoba Curling Tour Berth in the Safeway Championship will go to the highest-finishing eligible team in this year?s MCT Championship.

8th: CCA C.E.O. Dave Parkes, announces that he will move up his planned January retirement and will make way immediately for the implementation of governance and organizational priorities reviews set to take place in June. Parkes joined the C.C.A in 1988 and gets credit for much of the growth of the sport of curling in the past two decades but has also drawn considerable criticism in recent year for his handling of controversial issues including television contract negotiations with CBC and TSN.

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