Firing back

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Don't worry, Colleen Jones. Some women are hard at work trying to ensure a brighter future for their side of curling.

The Women's Curling Tour, on which the sport's reigning queen does not participate, simply has more important lawns to mow than ensuring the Scott Tournament of Hearts champ has her pockets padded.

But Jones, opining on the Canadian Curling Association's new distribution of the $100,000 purse at the Scott Tournament of Hearts, said on the weekend the women aren't doing enough.

"The men have done all the fighting for this sport and the women haven't done anything," she told Canadian Press from her perch as five-time national champion.

"We are very passive about what we're getting out of it. The men are trying to make it into a profession and a career and the women are busy juggling their careers and motherhood."

Not so fast, toots.

Women's Tour prez Cheryl Bernard sees it differently.

Matter of fact, while on course to win the tour this season, Bernard has been working with her 13 executive members and the men's World Curling Tour to see if a merger is possible.

"Colleen doesn't even play in any of our spiels," Bernard said of Jones, who spends the cash season toiling on the men's circuit in Atlantic Canada.

"She's not involved in the tour at any level so as far as women being passive about it ... yes, there are certain women who are passive about it and it's odd where the comment is coming from."

Bernard and her executive want their tour on the same level as the men's.

She does agree many women curlers are busy juggling the sport, a career and their families.

"We do have less women on the tour that do it as a sole profession," she said. "The men have a lot more players who ... well, that's all they do and so, of course, their sport is going to progress a little faster.

"I don't know if we'll ever get to the men's level but we are moving in the right direction."

Joining the two tours under one umbrella would give them more "clout," she said.

"The CCA wants to deal with one body and it would be easier when it comes to negotiating for sponsors, hotels and flights," Bernard noted.

"For the sport, it's a good move but it's a lot of work and all the people who are doing it are volunteers. It takes time to get it where it should be."

Maybe Bernard can convince Jones to join the battle at the Canada Cup of Curling in Kamloops, B.C., March 15-20.

In the meantime, Bernard, who got the berth when Ontario's Sherry Middaugh pulled out, is also busy planning the second annual Curl for a Cure at the Calgary Winter Club, April 1-2. The event needs six more teams to play such pros as Bernard, Guy Hemmings and Marilyn Bodogh for the Bernie Bernard Memorial Award and to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Interested? Call the foundation office at 209-2220.

ON THE ROCKS: Ontario's Wayne Middaugh joined wife Sherry in withdrawing from the Canada Cup, citing time commitments. He's been replaced by Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton ... Edmonton continued to take titles away from Calgarians as NACA rep Neil Waters beat Calgary's Art Assman 8-6 in Sunday's provincial masters final at North Hill club. Mary Lynn Oats beat Arthena Fleming 11-10 in an all-Calgary women's final.


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