Wednesday, March 19, 2008

University Curling Takes Off

While the big boys were knocking heads in Winnipeg, a bunch of University students were in Guelph, Ont., creating a bit of history. For the first time, there was a sanctioned Canadian University Curling Championship.

It was organized by the CCA with the help of the CIS. I probably wouldn’t have known about it had I not bumped into Danny Lamoureux in the airport in Toronto while making my way from Orlando to Winnipeg. Danny had popped into Guelph to see the action and by all accounts, it was a good show. Two teams from Laurier won the event.

When I was in university, we curled, but it was an Ontario-only thing. Still, there were a lot of good players. In my years of representing the University of Windsor, we played against John Kawaja and Graeme McCarrell (York) and Glenn Howard (Waterloo) to name a few.

I can actually remember the game against Glenn. His team was made up of a guy who I don’t think had ever curled before and another player who was so drunk when we played, he just threw his rocks and then sat on the backboards, well, lay there actually. I believe he finally passed out about the seventh end. And yes, we managed to win. In fact, I think we won the whole thing that year, but my memory is fading and I’m too lazy to go over and look at the trophy shelf.

As you can no doubt tell, in those days, it was a pretty good party. And I’m sure it was in Guelph too, although I think the curling was a little more serious. Seeing as how this was the first year of the event, they ran it like a bonspiel with 19 men’s teams and 17 women’s (sadly, my alma matter, Windsor, wasn’t there. Maybe that ban on curling we caused is still in effect.). There were some pretty talented curlers in the field, too. Charley Thomas skipped Calgary and Cody Maus did the same for Western. There were even coaches with every team! (When we played, our coach was famous curler Peter DeKoning, who was in charge of getting the beer and filling out the taxi chits).

Good on the CCA and especially Danny L. for putting this all together. It’s a noble venture.

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