Sweeping changes in Ottawa

JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:52 PM ET

OTTAWA - There have been some summer changes in the local curling scene.

Longtime Rideau manager, Audrey Frey, has changed careers and has been replaced by Pierre Mondor. Navan's new manager is Charles Calve.

The Navy's Ann Campbell retired. Rene Boucher has taken over. They also have a new ice technician, Dan Nakita.

Urban clubs have some openings in prime-time evenings and weekends, but are generally well subscribed. Rural clubs are experiencing some decline as population pressures diminish their markets. The Ottawa Valley Curling Association has a chart on its website (www.ovca.com) that indicates which facilities have open spots. Interestingly, the former mainstay for a lot of clubs has been daytime curling, but all report openings.

SHORTY RESULTS: In Brockville on Sunday, what many perceived to be the Ontario Scotties final preview saw Team Sherry Middaugh from Coldwater combat Team Rachel Homan. Both teams easily won their semi-finals and then played it close to the vest in a squeaker of a final. Middaugh edged Homan 4-3. Middaugh second Lee Merklinger, who resides in Ottawa, had said: "Yeah, we really want to play Homan in the final." On the men's side, Toronto's John Epping defeated Chad Allen from Brantford 8-3 in a game that went all Epping's way. Epping's lead is Ottawa's David Mathers. With this year marking the first year of the Olympic cycle, both Ottawa players report that their respective teams are committed to playing in lots of events. Mathers has had to quit school to pursue his team's aggressive 10 weekend pre-Christmas schedule.

WINNERS CIRCLE: The rink skipped by Lauren Horton with Melissa Gannon, Leigh Gustafson and Jessica Armstrong won both the Carleton Heights women's spiel and junior bonspiel early in September. Jeff McCrady and Brian Lewis captured the Scotch Doubles title, while the boys' side of the junior event went to Lewis' son Chris, with David Staples, Scott Chadwick and Geordin Raganold.

CURLING THIS WEEK: The first major local curling event of the season begins Wednesday at the RCMP. The Moosehead Fall Open is divided into a men's and women's section with plenty of men's team from La Belle Province. The usual local powerhouses are in attendance -- Bryan Cochrane, Chris Gardner, Howard Rajala and Greg Richardson. The women's side is headlined by Jenn Hanna (re-united with Pascale Letendre), Tracy Samaan and Cheryl McBain. The men's event begins at 4 p.m. with the women's at 6:30 p.m. The finals are Sunday at 6.

YOGA FOR CURLERS: The RA Centre is offering yoga for daytime curlers -- taught by Linda Cartwright, who is a curler and has taught yoga for seven years. The weekday sessions will focus on building strength, balance and functional flexibility. There are gentle options for beginners as well. Call 613 733-5100 for information.


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