A team that repeated as world champions and a volunteer from Creston who single-handedly manages a junior curling program while also volunteering as a firefighter are among the individuals, teams and businesses that have been awarded one of the 2019 Curl BC Awards.
Team Tardi repeated as the BC Junior Men’s champions, Canadian Junior Men’s champions and World Junior Men’s Champions in the 2018-19 season and were shoe-ins for the 2019 U21 Team of the Year.
Cathy Robinson was one of two 2019 Elsie MacKenzie (Junior Curling Volunteer) Award winners. The Creston curler was described in her nomination as making the junior program fun yet challenging so the youth involved learned to love curling and come back year after year.
Each year Curl BC celebrates and honours those who have made outstanding contributions to curling in BC. As we prepare to mark the 125th anniversary of curling in 2020, we are delighted to celebrate our curlers’ success on the national and international stage, the dedication of club volunteers and administrators towards growing curling in the province, the excellent work done by officials and coaches at competitive events, and more.
This year Curl BC will not be staging an awards banquet as part of our Annual Meeting weekend. We will instead be in touch with each of the recipients to schedule an appropriate time for the presentation of the award at their home club.
Awards Committee facilitator Melissa Sim said: “We hope that presenting a Curl BC Award to the recipient at their home club where their family and friends can celebrate the incredible achievements of the recipient will make the award more personal and meaningful, not only for the recipient but also for the curling club and the wider community.”
U21 Team of the Year – Team Tardi (Langley, Victoria)
Skip Tyler Tardi and third Sterling Middleton, who were world champions last season as well, teamed up this year with second Matt Hall and lead Alex Horvath. The team was once again coached by Paul Tardi. Team Tardi repeated as the BC Junior Men’s champions, Canadian Junior Men’s champions and World Junior Men’s Champions. Tyler was also awarded the Sport BC Athlete of the Year Award for his performance in the 2018 season. Along with their incredible performances at the provincial, national and international levels, the members of Team Tardi regularly give back to aspiring youth curlers.
Anita Cochrane Award for Coach of the Year – Ray Olsen (Team Yamada, Kamloops)
Ray Olsen is a dedicated volunteer who has been coaching junior curling programs in Kamloops (both at McArthur Island and Kamloops Curling Club) for many years. In the 2018-19 season he came back to coaching playdown curlers and worked with Team Yamada with great success. Coaching one of the
youngest teams at the 2019 Junior Provincials, Ray was backing a team that proved they could hold their own and are a team to watch grow. Later in the year, as the representative for Westsyde Secondary, the team won the boys’ competition at the BC High School Curling Championships.
Wally M’Lot Award for Official of the Year – Vonda Hofferd (Prince George) & Terry Bodman (Chilliwack)
Vonda: This year Vonda, from Prince George, took on the daunting task of contributing to four clinics in Quesnel ahead of the 2019 BC Men’s and Women’s Combined Championships. She also helped the club to run a bonspiel in the fall like a test event to help get people certified for the provincials. She was the chief umpire for the 2019 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Best Western, and helped find people in the North to run regional events.
Terry: Terry is a long-time officiating volunteer. For years he has driven from Chilliwack to almost every club in the Lower Mainland to help at provincials. He has been chief umpire at regional events as well. He has also taken on the role of officiating coordinator for several provincials as well as national events. He is well liked by the athletes and respected by his peers. He is knowledgeable of the rules and is an amazing team player.
Sponsor the Year – Barkerville Historic Park and Town & Kootenay Savings Credit Union
As presenting sponsor of the 2019 BC Men’s Curling Championship in Quesnel, Barkerville Historic Park and Town embraced the event. The historic park provided entertainment at the opening ceremonies and banquet and placed their actors at a display location over the course of the week. The actors were also in the stands for the gold nugget raffle prize draw. They invested a lot of resources helping to make the event fun for all.
The Kootenay Savings Credit Union is a major contributor to the Trail Curling Club. Not only do they sponsor a scoreboard and special events, but also they have been the title sponsor of the Thursday night Kootenay Savings Super League. They have maintained this sponsorship every year since its inception in 1997. This league attracts competitive teams from all over the West Kootenays, giving curlers the opportunity to heighten their skills to compete at provincial championships. Their continuous generosity and sponsorship has enabled not only this league to survive, but also enabled the Trail Curling Club to survive.
Curling Centres of the Year – Quesnel Curling Centre and Comox Valley Curling Club
Quesnel: The club did an outstanding job planning and preparing for the 2019 BC Men’s and Women’s Combined Curling Championships. This was no small feat given that the events had not been combined before and there were many learning opportunities. The members of Quesnel Curling Centre brought together the community, not only with the number of volunteers they recruited, but also by working closely with the municipality and local businesses. During January and February, you could not go anywhere in Quesnel without seeing a sign about the event.
Comox: The club on Vancouver Island increased membership by more than 150 curlers in one year. The club was able to achieve this by starting five-week fun leagues that were popular with people new to the sport. The club reinvigorated interest in curling by reaching out to the community, working with local schools, and attracting new sponsors. The club also updated its website with pictures of achievements and news of upcoming events. A fantastic newsletter with information (and humour) was circulated each month to keep all members connected.
Ron Houston Award for Administrator of the Year – Keith Parry (Comox)
Keith Parry, the manager at Comox Valley Curling Club, was key to the successes of the club, described above. He found that one of the things holding people back from taking up the sport was not just trying to find a team, but the daunting prospect of joining a 20-week league. Keith’s solution to this barrier was to offer a series of short, fun leagues. Previously, unless there was a bonspiel, nothing was happening at the club on Friday nights. Now the Friday Fun League (which runs for three, five-week sessions) has three full draws with 36 teams. There is a waitlist to try curling. Keith also started a Sunday Fun League for the spillover. Keith has also focused on refreshing the lounge area by adding games like giant Jenga, changing up the bar’s menu items, and playing more music.
Club Volunteer of the Year – David Mould (Smithers)
David Mould is the face of Smithers Curling Club operations. He has single-handedly managed the operation of the club lounge from 2008 to the present day. He completes a range of tasks including ensuring compliance with liquor licences, pro-shop sales and inventory, opening the club for rentals, collecting league fees and ensuring fire code compliance. Without David’s leadership and dedicated volunteer commitment, the Smithers Curling Club would not be able to survive. He was described in his nomination as being a “pivotal volunteer who is integral to the ongoing operation of our club”.
Janette Robbins Builder Award/Sport BC Presidents’ Award – David McCombe (Oliver)
David became President of the Oliver Curling Club in 2017 and has proved an invaluable asset to the club. He is always at the club and has created an office near the ice so that he is available and visible to all the members. In his nomination, it was written: “His enthusiasm for the club and the game of curling is contagious. He has also set up TVs and is always posting all sorts of fun information on them. He is a wonderful cheerleader for our club.”
Pat Kennedy Long Service Volunteer Award – David Endicott (Sparwood)
David works tirelessly to promote Sparwood Curling Club and ensure it has volunteers it needs to run effectively and the community support it needs to thrive. He has been President of the Sparwood Curling Club since the 1993-94 season, wearing many hats in this capacity. Over the years, he has organized the logistics of ice installation and removal. He also organizes leagues, bonspiels, regional playdowns and lounge rentals. In addition to his off-ice roles, he is often called upon to coach a group who want to rent the club for a social function, to fundraise for the club. David volunteers his time to coach the youth of Sparwood/Elkford. He has worked in many schools in School District #5 delivering curling lessons. Being President of the Sparwood Curling Club is not a job for David, it is his passion.
Elsie MacKenzie Youth/Junior Curling Award – Cathy Robinson (Creston) & Bob Franklin (Nanaimo)
Cathy has done an amazing job of organizing the Junior Program since she took on this role six years ago. In addition to her weekly program, each year Cathy reaches out to the various elementary schools in Creston to raise awareness of curling and arranges for classes to come to the club and give curling a try. Her passion for the sport shines through and that is why she has been able to recruit newcomers to the program and help it grow. This past season, Cathy started a Saturday morning junior league because the young curlers wanted experience playing an actual game and putting to use the skills that they learned in their weekly instruction class. Cathy is also a volunteer fire fighter in her community of West Creston. She is on call some weekends and goes to practices every week for the volunteer fire department. The example she sets is one of a dedicated, hard-working volunteer who doesn’t turn down the opportunity to serve her community wherever she can while still working a regular job.
Bob has been volunteering his time with the Nanaimo Curling Centre’s Junior program twice a week for the past 17 years, with plans to continue next year. Bob is a kind and gentle man who shares his love of the game with the athletes and their parents. Bob treats each athlete as an individual and works with their strengths so they can improve and develop their skills. He is often available for extra coaching sessions if the athletes and their parents are interested. Bob is one of the first people to volunteer with both adult and youth clinics as well as user groups when needed. He has also facilitated intermediate clinics and strategy sessions for leagues when requested. Bob’s love of the game is evident in all the time he spends promoting and championing our sport. Nanaimo Curling Centre members said they were “extremely fortunate to have him share his passion for the game with us”.
Judie Roberts Friendship Award – Irene Endicott (Sparwood)
Irene Endicott (Mum) has been the volunteer bartender for the Sparwood Curling Club for 18 years. At 88 she still bartends three days per week. She is always happy and loves the social aspect of her “job”. She is called Mum by all club members and they have become a part of her family over the years. When Irene began bartending for the club, they were struggling with debt. Irene volunteered to help bartend at numerous extra fundraising functions in the summer and during the Christmas party season annually to help pay off this debt. She continued to do this until last year even when they were in the black. When the Juniors have their biannual Bingo fundraiser, Irene sits in the local mall and sells Bingo tickets all week. She talks to everyone and invites them down to the club for the “cheapest drinks in town.” She has undoubtedly doubled or tripled the amount of money which has been raised for the juniors. Her connection to the community, big smile and her sales ability to attract customers to support the cause has been invaluable.