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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Hundreds turn out for annual wheelchair curling tournament



REGINA – The First Steps Wellness Centre held its 3rd annual Funspiel Saturday, with more than 30 teams from across the province turning out to play the classic game with a twist.
“The rules are pretty much the same as regular curling but everyone’s got to throw from a chair,” said participant Jessica Frotten.

Every player uses a throwing stick to shoot the rocks across the ice and into the house.
“It puts everyone on the same level playing field,” explained the executive director for First Steps Wellness Centre, Owen Carlson.
 
 
The Wheel Chair Curling Funspiel is held every year by the First Steps Wellness Centre in hopes of raising funds for spinal cord injury therapy and rehabilitation, which helps people like Frotten.
She was paralyzed in a car crash in 2009 and upon hearing about the Regina program, relocated to Saskatchewan from her home in Yukon.

“When I was hurt and went through traditional rehab, I really wanted something more than that, and I found First Steps and moved out here to participate in the program,” she added. “It’s an amazing program and it completely changed my life.”

Organizers are dubbing the event the largest one-day wheel chair curling game in the world and said they continue to see it grow each year.

Carlson said the game gives everyone, with or without a disability, a chance to play one of Canada’s most loved past times regardless of their skill set.

“Just cause you’re in a wheel chair doesn’t mean your life stops right? So they want to participate and show the community that they’re still around.”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event begins & an explaination


Lillehammer Curling Club will host the WWhCQ event Photo: Mark Callan
The World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event will take place from 1-6 November in Lillehammer Curling Club in Norway.

The event is open to mixed gender teams from WCF Member Associations that have not already qualified for the next World Wheelchair Curling Championship (WWhCC).
The winner and runner-up qualify for the WWhCC.
To find out which teams are competing at this event and see the schedule, click on one of the tabs below.

 Playing Schedule
DateTimeSessionSheet ASheet BSheet C
Saturday 1 Nov15:301JPN - CZEKOR - DENISR - LAT
19:00ALLWelcome Reception - Lobby Haakons Hall
Sunday 2 Nov10:002GER - SLOBUL - NORSUI - ITA
16:003KOR - ISRLAT - CZEJPN - DEN
Monday 3 Nov10:004BUL - SUIITA - SLOGER - NOR
14:005DEN - LATJPN - KORCZE - ISR
18:006NOR - ITAGER - BULSLO - SUI
Tuesday 4 Nov10:007LAT - JPNDEN - ISRKOR - CZE
16:008ITA - GERNOR - SUIBUL - SLO
Wednesday 5 Nov10:009CZE - DENISR - JPNLAT - KOR
14:0010SLO - NORSUI - GERITA - BUL
19:00TBOne round of tie-breaker games (if required)
Thursday 6 Nov10:00PlayoffsA1 v B1(winner qualifies for WWhCC) and A2 v B2
15:00PlayoffsLoser (A1 v B1) v Winner (A2 v B2) (winner qualifies for WWhCC)
19:00ALLClosing Banquet - Radisson BLU Lillehammer Hotel (player's hotel)

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Spruce Grove club opens doors to wheelchair curlers

 

By Thomas Miller, Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter

Warren Fleury lets a rock fly down the sheet in the Spruce Grove Curling Club’s first bonspiel, Sept. 27. - Thomas Miller, Reporter/Examiner
Warren Fleury lets a rock fly down the sheet in the Spruce Grove Curling Club’s first bonspiel, Sept. 27. - Thomas Miller, Reporter/Examiner
            
The Spruce Grove Curling Club’s first bonspiel of the year had a different look.

On Sept. 27, a pair of wheelchair curling teams rolled onto the ice for the first time.

Dwaine Schupac and Warren Fleury, a wheelchair curling team out of Jasper Place in Edmonton, said that though the facility wasn’t fully wheelchair accessible, there were ramps to get onto the ice and overall it worked for them.

Fleury said he got into wheelchair curling when the bumps and bruises of his old sport — wheelchair rugby — started to be a bit much for him.

“It was getting a little rough,” he said with a chuckle prior to their first game of the bonspiel. “So I was looking for something a little more mellow.”

Now Fleury curls competitively and hopes to head to nationals in Richmond, B.C. There’s just one team standing in his way.

“Our rival right now is Calgary,” said Fleury, who curls three times a week. “We have to beat Calgary for provincials to make the nationals. We haven’t beat them for a number of years in a row. This year is going to be different hopefully.”

Schupac, on the other hand, was just getting back into curling at the season-opening bonspiel.
He curled for nine years but decided to “shut it down” last year and rest.
He’s also taken to flying south in the wintertime, where he notes there isn’t as much curling as there is in Alberta.

There are a few key differences between wheelchair curling and able-bodied curling, but they’re mostly simple courtesies.

Because there were only two wheelchair teams in the Spruce Grove bonspiel over the weekend, they had to face able-bodied opponents in every game. Without the ability to sweep their rocks, they simply asked that their opponents not sweep their rocks out of the house.

And if they didn’t mind holding on to the back of their wheelchair while they shot, that’s helpful, too.
Wheelchair curlers line up at the hog line and slide their rocks down the ice with a stick.
The precision required, particularly without sweepers, is incredible.

Kim Harapchuk, Spruce Grove Curling Club manager, said it was amazing to see just in that first weekend how diverse and accessible a sport curling can be.

In their Friday night league, they had 10-year-olds playing on a team with their parents. The next day: wheelchair curling.

There’s also a seniors’ league, and Harapchuk has seen players as old as 92 in Spruce Grove.
“Curling is so versatile,” she said. “Young kids are in there with their families having a blast, learning the sport, getting some exercise, all the way to their grandparents playing with them, or if you’re handicapped. The game doesn’t change. I think that’s pretty amazing.”

Harapchuk said that after the success of this first bonspiel with wheelchair curlers that she would look into the potential to host them more often. “Both teams said, ‘Put us down for next year,’ ” she said.

“I think they were a bit hesitant (before the bonspiel). They have a league in Jasper Place … they said, ‘We can recruit more to come now that we know.’ I think that will be great.”

Those interested in learning the game, regardless of age or ability, can sign up for the new to curling league on Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“We want to see families coming together and juniors having fun getting into the sport, getting that competitive feel for it and adults who are afraid to get into it because they don’t have a team,” Harapchuk said, adding that this gives them the chance to get some experience under their belts in a non-competitive environment.

The league costs $100 and runs from November to February.

For more information call Kim Harapchuk at the Spruce Grove Curling Club at 780-962-3222780-962-3222.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tom Killin retires from curling, becomes GB coach

To All

By way of this post I would like to bring you up to date with regards to my curling career.

 As many of you will know I have always intended retiring after the Winter Paralympics in Sochi and today my contract comes to an end whereby I have officially retired from competing in wheelchair curling.

I've had a wonderful ten years, competing all over the world as far flung as South Korea & Russia to the east and Canada & USA to the west, with most of Europe in between. I'v...e also had the honour of winning Paralympic silver, World gold & World silver medals, six British titles, Scottish titles and winning the British pairs twice and many international titles throughout the world. 

 However, this has opened another opportunity in my sporting career as I have been given the huge privilege to support the Great Britain coach Tony Zummack as his assistant, helping him in coaching the GB squad and mentoring the new players in their progress as they go forward in their curling careers. This is a wonderful opportunity that Tony has entrusted to me, both to learn from him as well as to broaden my coaching skills. 
 
This is a chance for me to put something back into a sport that has been so good to me over the years.

Monday, 29 September 2014

2014 Chuncheon International Wheelchair Curling Championship



2014 춘천국제휠체어컬링대회 최종결과 안내

춘천의암빙상장에서 4개국 6개팀 초청으로 열린 춘천국제휠체어컬링대회는 러시아 국가대표팀의 우승으로 마무리되었습니다. 준우승은 대한민국 국가대표팀, 3위는 강원도의 바우스톤이 차지했습니다.
한편, 우리나라 휠체어컬링 국가대표팀은 11월 1일부터 6일까지 노르웨이 릴레함메르에서 열릴 세계휠체어컬링 선수권 출전자격전(Qualification)에 참가하는데요, 대한민국 국가대표 휠체어컬링팀에도 지속적인 관심 부탁드리겠습니다 : )

2014 Chuncheon International Wheelchair Curling Championship final result guide
 
Chuncheon's cancer at the invitation of the four countries in six teams skating at Chuncheon international wheelchair curling tournament Championship of Russia national team finish. Runner-up is the third largest national team, Korea has won the bow of stone in Gangwon-do.




 

 Meanwhile, the Korea wheelchair curling national team on November 1-6 will be held in Lillehammer Norway World Wheelchair Curling Championships from qualification (Qualification), Korea national wheelchair curling team also sustained attention please:)
 







 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Top Sochi athletes, team and coaches celebrated at Canadian Paralympic Committee 2014 Sport Awards Ceremony


 


NOTE TO EDITORS: High Definition video available for download at www.sendtonews.com
TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Athletes in para-alpine skiing, para-Nordic skiing and wheelchair curling took centre stage today as stars of the Sochi 2014 Canadian Paralympic Team and the broader Canadian Paralympic movement were fêted at the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Sport Awards ceremony.

The Paralympic Sport Awards celebrate top athletes, recognizing their achievements from the most recent Paralympic Games, in addition to honouring and recognizing the contribution of coaches.
"There were so many outstanding performances in Sochi and plenty of deserving athletes and coaches for these awards," said Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "I'd like to congratulate today's recipients as well as the entire Canadian Paralympic Team for an outstanding performance in Sochi."

The Canadian Paralympic Team placed third in the gold medal count in Sochi with 16 medals – seven gold, two silver and seven bronze.


"The commitment, dedication and spirit shown by our athletes in Sochi are an inspiration to all Canadians," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "We are proud to support the Canadian Paralympic Team and celebrate its remarkable achievements."
The 2014 Sport Award recipients are:
  • Best Games Debut: para-alpine skiers Mac Marcoux (Sault-Ste-Marie, Ont.) and guide Robin Fémy (Mont-Tremblant, Que.) blazed to a brilliant debut in Sochi, winning one gold and two bronze medals in visually-impaired para-alpine skiing; Marcoux was just 16 years old.
  • Best Team Performance: The Canadian Wheelchair Curling Team won its third straight Paralympic Games gold medal with their win in Sochi, setting records along the way for most points and largest margin of victory.
  • Best Male Athlete: Brian McKeever (Canmore, Alta.) and guides Erik Carleton (Canmore, Alta.) and Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse, Yukon) combined to win three gold medals in visually-impaired para-Nordic skiing in Sochi; McKeever was Canada's most decorated athlete at these Games.
  • Best Female Athlete: Two-time Paralympian wheelchair curler Ina Forrest (Armstrong, B.C.) used her trademark accuracy and mental focus in her position as Second to help Canada win the wheelchair curling gold medal in Sochi. Forrest also won wheelchair curling Paralympic gold in Vancouver 2010.
  • Para-Development Coach: Teacher Mari Ellery (Toronto, Ont.) has been coaching parasport for over 30 years; her work at the development level in para-canoe has translated in to national and international success for several of her athletes.
  • Tim Frick Paralympic Coach Excellence: Head coach of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team, Jean Sébastien Labrie (Plessisville, Que.) built a strong culture of performance on the team and guided his squad to eight medals in Sochi, representing half of Canada's total medal haul at the Games.
 
Biographies and photos of Sport Awards recipients are available here: http://paralympic.ca/2014-sport-awards-recipients
Videos of each recipient can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/CDNParalympics
FLASH QUOTES

I'd like to thank my brother BJ [Mac's original para-alpine ski guide, who could not race in Sochi due to injury]. It's been a long road and we brought ourselves here and I'd also like to thank Rob [guide Robin Fémy]. If it weren't for Rob, we wouldn't be standing here today. It's pretty awesome.
- Mac Marcoux –Best Games Debut with guide Robin Fémy

I get the prize today, but it's more like a team prize. BJ, Mac's brother, brought him all the way here. He unfortunately injured himself before the Games, so I had to step in. I'm the one that competed, but this one goes to BJ too.


- Guide Robin Fémy - Best Games debut with Mac Marcoux
This really is more of a team award. Although it ultimately comes down to throwing the rock, there is a lot of team effort that goes in to it before that happens. I have tremendous teammates and staff, and everything is there to make the athletes play the very best they can be.
- Ina Forrest - Best Female Athlete award

Sochi was a great experience. Our whole team came together really strongly, everybody did a great job, from coaching and support staff wax techs, everybody raised their level. The fact that we had two excellent guides certainly made my job much easier. I know they're going to give me their best. It's a team effort as opposed to individual, so this award is more about coaches, our wax techs and our guides than it is about me.

- Brian McKeever – Best Male Athlete with guides Erik Carleton and Graham Nishikawa
This truly is a pleasure and a real honour. Wheelchair curling has only been around 14, 15 years but we have been well adopted by the Canadian Curling Association and all the sponsors. We've developed a presence that far exceeds our numbers in the way we've been embraced by the curling community and the community at large. It's been a thrill. Here's hoping there's enough tread on these wheels to last another four years.

- Jim Armstrong - Best Team Performance: The Canadian Wheelchair Curling Team
It's a real honour to receive this, especially for the team. In alpine ski racing, it takes a lot of people behind the team to help them perform. I would like to share this award with the four coaches we worked together especially the two years leading to Sochi. I'd like Sven Pouliot, Lasse Ericsson and Jocelyn Huot to share in this beautiful moment.

- Jean Sébastien Labrie Head coach of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team - Tim Frick Paralympic Coach Excellence award

I started coaching parasport at Variety Village, coaching track and field. That's where my love of coaching was fuelled. We do this for the athletes. It's all about them. As coaches we share the same commitment and passion in creating sport opportunities for athletes with a disability. We try to inspire each athlete to be the best they can be.

- Mari Ellery - Para-Development Coach award

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca
 
SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

Training To Extremes - Exercise Addiction and the Importance of Rest Days


Training To Extremes - Exercise Addiction and the Importance of Rest Days

Many wheelchair users, particularly if they are athletes who need to keep themselves in top physical condition for sports like curling, can take their fitness regimes to unhealthy extremes if not careful. While fitness and the preservation of muscle tone is vital if you want to stay at the top of their game, there is a growing tendency for people to overdo it. This is particularly pertinent for wheelchair users, who often (erroneously) believe that they need to work twice as hard as an athlete without a wheelchair in order to gain a physique capable of playing sports like curling. For some, exercise and fitness can become an overriding obsession, which – far from bringing body and mind into peak condition – has an extremely detrimental effect upon both. An association called ‘ABIDE’, which studies and combats issues people have with body image has spoken with concern about the growing trend for people to attempt to control their bodies and define themselves through the sport they play, and the exercise they do to aid that sport. Of course, any sportsperson naturally takes a pride in their team, their involvement in the sport, and their athletic ability – but when taken too far it can have a seriously negative effect. ‘Exercise Addiction’ is a growing problem, and one which has claimed the career of many a promising curler.

Rest And Fitness

Everybody, from academic human biologists to experienced personal trainers at gyms agree that, while exercise is an absolutely vital part of the fitness process, its effects are processed during the body during rest-hours. Exercise involves the stretching and contracting of the muscles, which causes micro-tears in the protein strands from which the muscles are formed. When healing these tears, the body takes care to increase the density of the protein strands to in order to decrease the likelihood of such injury happening again. In so doing, of course, it also metabolize fat to ease the process. Thus muscle mass grows, and the body becomes leaner, trimmer, and fitter. However, this only occurs during times of rest. Similarly, when exercising the brain takes in a lot of information regarding what it is being asked to do, and how it is achieving this – what works, what does not work, and how performance can be improved. This information it stores, ready to go through, arrange to its satisfaction, and learn from at a more convenient moment – i.e. when you are at rest. The implications are astonishingly clear – without adequate rest, not only will your body be unable to replenish and improve its physical condition, your brain will lack the opportunity to develop the kind of motor skills and reflexes which are especially vital for a sport like wheelchair curling. Most fitness gurus and authors recommend at least one day of rest between particularly strenuous workouts - during which the athlete should try to obtain massages, take in plenty of nutrients, and sleep as long and well as they can in order to aid the fitness process.

Exercise Addiction

If the notion of taking a rest day is troubling to you, however, it may be a sign that you are overtraining, and becoming dependent upon or even addicted to exercise. This is a troubling syndrome which is still but poorly understood by science and psychiatry – but reports suggest that it is on the rise. Nobody is entirely sure what causes it. Some suggest that the ‘natural high’ caused by exercise triggers opioid receptors in the brain – a reaction  to which excessive exercisers may become addicted, just as they would to substances like heroin which cause the brain to react in similar ways. Others argue that there is insufficient evidence for this. Some researchers and psychiatric professionals point instead to body image issues and feelings of potential inadequacy – exercise may be seen by the suffering individual as a means of self-improvement or validation, and may be undertaken excessively and compulsively in order to offset perceived bodily imperfections. Wheelchair users may be particularly vulnerable to body-image issues, putting wheelchair athletes and fitness aficionados at risk of developing an exercise dependency.

Symptoms of Overtraining

It is hard to categorize an exercise addiction. One particularly pertinent warning sign is if the individual in question seems to find a lack of exercise extremely stressful, yet does not seem particularly fulfilled by the exercise itself. Addicts may also have perpetually sore muscles, their physical performance will decrease, and, contradictory though it may seem, they might put on weight as their body attempts to protect itself from the exercise onslaught. Similarly, muscle mass may actually diminish as muscles are worn away by overuse and a lack of time to replenish. Exercise addicts will appear drained, and may well find themselves vulnerable to all kinds of bugs and infections as their body sucks resources from the immune system in order to keep itself going. If this sounds familiar – then treat yourself to a rest day. A good rule of thumb is to take one rest day for every two high-intensity training sessions. Your body, your mind, and your sport will all thank you for it! 

Submitted by Imogen

Sunday, 7 September 2014

8th Annual Wheelchair Curling Danish Cup Results





 8th Annual Wheelchair Curling Danish Cup.

Congratulations to the medal winners;

1.Czech - Gold

2. Russia - Silver

3. Norway - Bronze.

4. Scotland