Dedicated BC volunteer given major honour

curling bc

February 26, 2013, (ISN) –  A curling official from Kamloops has been given a major honour from the Canadian Curling Association.

Curl BC head official Dianne Barker has won the Ray Kingsmith Award for her commitment and dedication to curling.

It is the second year in a row that a BC volunteer has been given the special award. Wayne Braun was recognized during last year’s honours with the Ray Kingsmith Award for his commitment to curling, including overseeing the amalgamation of three regional BC curling entities into one – Curl BC.

Former CCA president Ray Kingsmith was a tireless worker on behalf of curling, and the same description can be applied to Dianne Barker.

She’s a life member of the Kamloops Curling Club who’s participated in curling as an athlete, as an administrator (she served on the boards of the CCA and Curl BC) and as an official, having worked countless national and international competitions, including in recent years being the chief umpire at the 2011 and 2012 world junior championships. She was also the deputy chief of competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and will work as an on-ice official at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The Ray Kingsmith Award is presented on an “as earned” basis rather than an annual basis. Barker will receive a replica of the Ray Kingsmith Trophy in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the sport of curling.

BC curler named to Hall of Fame

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 10:15 AM PST

Paralympic gold medalist and world champion wheelchair curler Sonja Gaudet has been inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

Gaudet, from Vernon, is one of two people to be named Hall of Famers in 2013, along with Cathy King, of Edmonton, the Canadian Curling Association has announced.

Gaudet and King will receive their awards during the CCA’s annual meetings in June.

Canada’s most decorated wheelchair curler is showing no signs of slowing down. Gaudet has won gold medals at the past two Paralympic Winter Games, playing lead both times (in 2006 at Torino, Italy, with skip Chris Daw; in 2010 at Vancouver with skip Jim Armstrong).

As well, this past weekend in Sochi, Russia, Gaudet won her third world wheelchair curling championship gold medal. She also won gold in 2009 in Vancouver and 2011 in the Czech Republic, all with Armstrong as the skip.

“It totally comes as a surprise to me, for sure,” said Gaudet. “I mean, I’ve been treated like royalty by the CCA from Day 1 and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being an athlete on the national wheelchair curling team. I am thrilled.”

Gaudet becomes the first athlete inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame based on her wheelchair curling achievements (Armstrong also is a member, but was inducted prior to taking up wheelchair curling).

“Our sport has just moved forward in leaps and bounds,” said Gaudet. “The gap between the grassroots and our level is nowhere near what it was a few years ago. The skill level of our sport and the awareness of our sport has just grown tremendously. And this honour is definitely an indication of that.”

Cathy King made history in 2012 by becoming the first skip to win Canadian curling championships at the junior (back to back in 1977 and 1978), women’s (1998) and senior levels (2012). A bronze-medallist at the 1998 Ford World Women’s Championship in Kamloops, B.C., King will once again wear the Maple Leaf on the international stage when she plays at the 2013 World Senior Women’s Championship, April 13-20 in Fredericton, N.B.