CCA members granted meeting of the minds

JOE PAVIA -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

No one in curling circles can remember a meeting like this ever happening before.

Tomorrow morning, a special general meeting between the Canadian Curling Association and its 13 member associations will take place in Ottawa. The meeting, however, wasn't called by the CCA.

Seemingly fed up with the lack of communication between the national body and themselves, the members requested the meeting with four items on the agenda:

- The handling of the 2004-05 television deal.

- The legal fees associated with the television deal.

- Bringing the marketing of curling in-house to the CCA.

- And finally, the aforementioned lack of communications between the CCA and its member associations

"I think in the past when we asked for a number of different things, the CCA has hidden behind the confidentiality smokescreen," said Ontario Curling Association GM Doug Bakes.

Will the meeting be confrontational? Every curling body is saying no -- at least for now.

"We're just trying to find out what is going on," said Bakes. "We want to get the trust and confidence factor back in place and make sure this doesn't happen again."

How to get it back in place may just be the bone of contention.

HAMMER COMES IN HANDY: Dave Murphy's rink blanked the seventh end to retain hammer and set up his win against Willie Jeffries at the Dairy Queen Arnprior Cashspiel on Sunday. The 6-3 victory for Murphy (with Scott Linesman, Murray Arkinstall and Ron Reddick) came in a tight, rocks a-plenty final that saw the hammer decide one-point ends in each of the first six ends. Tied in the seventh, Murphy faced two opposition stones with his last shot. He wanted to blank, but he had to execute an angle raise take-out on two Jeff-ries' counters to do so. The down-weight hit worked, enabling Murphy to draw for three in the last frame. The winners collected $3,000, while Jeffries received $2,000. Semi-finalists each earning $1,300 were Greg Richardson and Robyn Mattie. Qualifiers cashing in $1,000 each were Howard Rajala, Guy Hemmings, Christine McCrady and Jenn Hanna, who also won the women's side of the 'spiel.

A TRIP WORTH WHILE: Why a trip "up the line" for the Ottawa Valley Curling Tour? According to the OVCT competitions co-ordinator Jeff Norman, some previous dates were vacant and Arnprior competitive curler Doug Johnston pitched the idea to the Arnprior Curling Club. It seemed to work as Norman felt that "Arnprior exceeded the Tour's expectations." Club President David Chesworth praised his eight-person committee and the 50 volunteers who have toiled since last spring to make their first cashspiel a success. "It's been a total club effort" said Chesworth. "It's increased exposure to curling in the community and brought more people into the club than I expected. Lots of people came to the club who haven't curled in awhile." Organizers got the support of local media and businesses - every team was sponsored for instance. They even published a poster (with Hemmings and Hanna as the stars), provided two meals to all the athletes and even set up spectator bleachers. They also raised close to $5,000 in sponsorship money. A happy president remarked "This has exceeded our preliminary budget expectations and if the Tour wants us back, we'll be here." Indeed the Tour will return according to Norman.

OUT OF TOWN GLORY: Local skips Jean-Michel Menard and the surging Team Charette won coin in the Coupe de Quebec on Sunday. Menard took the event and $5,000, while Charette qualified yet again getting $1,225.

joepavia@sympatico.ca


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