By Devin Jones
Ryerson athletics has a new club to add to their roster, as it was announced Monday that students will be able to try out for men’s and women’s curling teams starting in September.
The two teams will be coached career NCCP certified coach Perry Mitchell and are slated for season-length competitive play and tournaments, in the hopes of fielding teams for Ontario University Athletics (OUA) competition.
“I noticed the absence of curling and so I asked [athletic director Ivan Joseph] if there was any interest, and he expressed ‘well maybe sometime in the future’, so I left that sitting in the back of mind,” said Marshall. “Then as I continued to participate in the junior circuit, some of the athletes that attended Ryerson expressed interest in creating a team, so then it was about figuring out how to make that work within the Ryerson sports model.”
Marshall said the spark that kick started the process of bringing the curling club to fruition really began last year when various Ryerson students voiced their enthusiasm for an organized team. In a previous article, The Eyeopener spoke with Stuart Leslie and Alex Champ about the prospects of a curling team, after they submitted an application to athletics.
“We didn’t have a [curling] team, but we knew other schools did. So we explored our options to see how it could be done. Once we sat down with [varsity operations coordinator Nick Asquini], a few times and submitted all the paper work, we just waited to hear back,” said Leslie. “Athletics got back to us a few weeks ago and told us the club was approved and that’s where Perry came into the picture.”
As a competitive curler at the local and provincial levels, Marshall is also a former two-sport athlete having coached baseball and hockey in the past. Currently Mitchell coaches curling teams participating in the Ontario Curling Association (OCA) provincial championships.
The club will train and compete out of the Leaside Curling Club, currently home to over 900 members, which the two teams will participate against in preparation for the annual OUA championships hosted in February.
According to a press release, interested students should “have experience as or the desire to be a competitive curler,” as well as meeting the academic standards required of all Ryerson student-athletes.
“I think we’ve been pretty clear about the type of athlete we’re looking for, it’s not only a blend of experience but also desire. There are some really good athletes out there who can transcend into the sport pretty easily,” said Marshall. “If you’re ready to put the effort in, ready to commit to both the on ice and off ice training, then there is an opportunity for someone who is relatively new to the game.”