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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Biggest playdowns starts tomorrow

Tomorrow will see the start of the Ontario playdowns.

Wheelchair curling started in Canada in Ontario in 2001 when a bunch of athletes got together to be selected to represent Canada at the first World championships. The sport found its foundations here and now continues with the biggest playdowns in the country. We will see 6 teams via for a spot at the Nationals in Thunder Bay.

Club Name
Ilderton Curling Club
Mark Ideson
RA Curling Club
Bruce Cameron
Ilderton Curling Club
Gil Blancette
RA Curling Club
Richard Fraser
Bradford & District CC
Ken Gregory
Toronto Cricket Skating & CC
Chris Rees

Each team has a number of strengths they will draw from. An interesting point is that for the majority of curling in the province we have never real seen any different team from any other region develop. Add this to the fact that is has really always been 5 or 6 teams it makes an interesting observation regarding curling in the province. Also of note, we have always seen the same player’s form 4 of the 6 teams. A few small changes but it has always been Rees, Gregory, Cameron, and Fraser. The teams out of Ilderton are from the rebuild work of Ernie Comerford after me and the other players left Ilderton to move on towards other things.

Another note of interest is the lack of a few keynote players which resident the province like Jim Armstrong. Jim moved from BC to Ontario over a year ago but not one of these teams approached Jim to play, WHY?

Other notable players are in the province as well but no recruiting seemed to happen to gather the knowledge, or experience these players had or have to offer. Curling is about bettering yourself and maybe a shakeup in Ontario is what needs to happen to help develop growth. AB Teams do it all the time, why not wheelchair teams, interesting.

It should be very interesting to see if the newbie’s to the provincials and national pool Mark and Mike out of Ilderton can keep their winnings ways when it counts the most. They cleaned up in bonspiels so far and I being a locate boy have to throw my hat on the band wagon and cheer for them. No disrespect to another other team which I respect and hope them all well.

On that note, we will have full coverage here and will be trying to bring a new article at the end of each day, when I speak with a player or 2 and get there thoughts on how the day went and the tournament is going.

Look for coverage to begin tomorrow at 10 am when the first game gets under way.

Good luck Mark, Gil, Ken, Bruce, and Richard

Team Rees - 2011 OCA Champions

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