Dundas Granite Curling Club hosts Scottish visitors

Community Apr 01, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Dundas Granite club blind and vision-impaired curlers gave four visiting Scottish disabled curlers all the curling they could handle last week, as the local team looks ahead to representing Ontario at the Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championships in February 2018.

The Dundas rink skipped by Donna Hawkins, with vice Bill Watson, alternating seconds-sweepers Amelie Beauchamp Grandmaitre and Ryan VanPreat, lead Gary Saxon, coach Mary Malcolmson and on-ice guide Bill Malcolmson won gold in the competitive event at the Ontario Provincial Curling Championships for visually impaired and blind curlers in Waterloo March 25. They earned the provincial title by beating teams from Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Toronto.

It was Hawkins who invited Jim Gales of Springfield, Scotland, to bring his group of blind and disabled curlers to Ontario when the two were in an international vision-impaired golf tournament in Nevada a few years ago.

After arriving on Monday, the four men from Scotland played more than eight games against Dundas Granite's vision-impaired competitive and recreational teams, not only in Dundas, but also in Simcoe and Glendale curling clubs. A trip to Niagara Falls was also on the itinerary.

Hawkins said the four Scottish curlers don't have the same kind of supports the local curlers have developed, particularly on-ice guides and coaching from sighted Granite volunteers like Bill and Mary Malcolmson and Darlene Woods.

Gales, who is blind, said his team includes a visually-impaired member as well as an amputee and a man who suffered a brain injury in a traffic accident.

He said the program began a few seasons ago, and the decision was made to include people with any disability. It's modelled partly on a blind and visually-impaired golf program all four curlers participate in.

Now they take any opportunity they can to meet and play other disabled curlers to continue developing their program in hopes of one day creating a league back home.

"In effect, we're new. It's all a learning curve for us," Gales said.

After more curling and sightseeing, the group headed back to Scotland Monday night, arriving just in time for a two-day golf tournament in Edinburgh a couple of days later.

They've invited Hawkins' and her Ontario champions to visit Scotland and challenge them again on their own ice next January — a month before the Granite team heads to Ottawa for the Canadian championships.

"It's an opportunity to play as a unit for several days in a row," Hawkins said, noting they wouldn't get much ice time at the Granite during that time of year with several leagues operating in the middle of their seasons.

As they wound up play Friday afternoon, the group was planning a trip to the Collins Brewhouse, one of the local team's sponsors, in downtown Dundas for dinner.

Also at the Ontario Provincial Curling Championships, Dundas Granite's recreational blind and vision-impaired team earned a silver medal. The team of skip Bill Harrison, vice Joy Mayer, second Sharon Ladd, leads Keith Doyle and Murdie Campbell, designated sweepers Laurie Gunderman and Phil Howarth and on-ice guide Darlene Woods won all three of their games in the eight-team field. By virtue of their total points, they finished second.


Dundas Granite Curling Club hosts Scottish visitors

Vision-impaired curlers win Ontario title, heading to Nationals

Community Apr 01, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Dundas Granite club blind and vision-impaired curlers gave four visiting Scottish disabled curlers all the curling they could handle last week, as the local team looks ahead to representing Ontario at the Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championships in February 2018.

The Dundas rink skipped by Donna Hawkins, with vice Bill Watson, alternating seconds-sweepers Amelie Beauchamp Grandmaitre and Ryan VanPreat, lead Gary Saxon, coach Mary Malcolmson and on-ice guide Bill Malcolmson won gold in the competitive event at the Ontario Provincial Curling Championships for visually impaired and blind curlers in Waterloo March 25. They earned the provincial title by beating teams from Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Toronto.

It was Hawkins who invited Jim Gales of Springfield, Scotland, to bring his group of blind and disabled curlers to Ontario when the two were in an international vision-impaired golf tournament in Nevada a few years ago.

After arriving on Monday, the four men from Scotland played more than eight games against Dundas Granite's vision-impaired competitive and recreational teams, not only in Dundas, but also in Simcoe and Glendale curling clubs. A trip to Niagara Falls was also on the itinerary.

Hawkins said the four Scottish curlers don't have the same kind of supports the local curlers have developed, particularly on-ice guides and coaching from sighted Granite volunteers like Bill and Mary Malcolmson and Darlene Woods.

Gales, who is blind, said his team includes a visually-impaired member as well as an amputee and a man who suffered a brain injury in a traffic accident.

He said the program began a few seasons ago, and the decision was made to include people with any disability. It's modelled partly on a blind and visually-impaired golf program all four curlers participate in.

Now they take any opportunity they can to meet and play other disabled curlers to continue developing their program in hopes of one day creating a league back home.

"In effect, we're new. It's all a learning curve for us," Gales said.

After more curling and sightseeing, the group headed back to Scotland Monday night, arriving just in time for a two-day golf tournament in Edinburgh a couple of days later.

They've invited Hawkins' and her Ontario champions to visit Scotland and challenge them again on their own ice next January — a month before the Granite team heads to Ottawa for the Canadian championships.

"It's an opportunity to play as a unit for several days in a row," Hawkins said, noting they wouldn't get much ice time at the Granite during that time of year with several leagues operating in the middle of their seasons.

As they wound up play Friday afternoon, the group was planning a trip to the Collins Brewhouse, one of the local team's sponsors, in downtown Dundas for dinner.

Also at the Ontario Provincial Curling Championships, Dundas Granite's recreational blind and vision-impaired team earned a silver medal. The team of skip Bill Harrison, vice Joy Mayer, second Sharon Ladd, leads Keith Doyle and Murdie Campbell, designated sweepers Laurie Gunderman and Phil Howarth and on-ice guide Darlene Woods won all three of their games in the eight-team field. By virtue of their total points, they finished second.


Dundas Granite Curling Club hosts Scottish visitors

Vision-impaired curlers win Ontario title, heading to Nationals

Community Apr 01, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Dundas Granite club blind and vision-impaired curlers gave four visiting Scottish disabled curlers all the curling they could handle last week, as the local team looks ahead to representing Ontario at the Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championships in February 2018.

The Dundas rink skipped by Donna Hawkins, with vice Bill Watson, alternating seconds-sweepers Amelie Beauchamp Grandmaitre and Ryan VanPreat, lead Gary Saxon, coach Mary Malcolmson and on-ice guide Bill Malcolmson won gold in the competitive event at the Ontario Provincial Curling Championships for visually impaired and blind curlers in Waterloo March 25. They earned the provincial title by beating teams from Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Toronto.

It was Hawkins who invited Jim Gales of Springfield, Scotland, to bring his group of blind and disabled curlers to Ontario when the two were in an international vision-impaired golf tournament in Nevada a few years ago.

After arriving on Monday, the four men from Scotland played more than eight games against Dundas Granite's vision-impaired competitive and recreational teams, not only in Dundas, but also in Simcoe and Glendale curling clubs. A trip to Niagara Falls was also on the itinerary.

Hawkins said the four Scottish curlers don't have the same kind of supports the local curlers have developed, particularly on-ice guides and coaching from sighted Granite volunteers like Bill and Mary Malcolmson and Darlene Woods.

Gales, who is blind, said his team includes a visually-impaired member as well as an amputee and a man who suffered a brain injury in a traffic accident.

He said the program began a few seasons ago, and the decision was made to include people with any disability. It's modelled partly on a blind and visually-impaired golf program all four curlers participate in.

Now they take any opportunity they can to meet and play other disabled curlers to continue developing their program in hopes of one day creating a league back home.

"In effect, we're new. It's all a learning curve for us," Gales said.

After more curling and sightseeing, the group headed back to Scotland Monday night, arriving just in time for a two-day golf tournament in Edinburgh a couple of days later.

They've invited Hawkins' and her Ontario champions to visit Scotland and challenge them again on their own ice next January — a month before the Granite team heads to Ottawa for the Canadian championships.

"It's an opportunity to play as a unit for several days in a row," Hawkins said, noting they wouldn't get much ice time at the Granite during that time of year with several leagues operating in the middle of their seasons.

As they wound up play Friday afternoon, the group was planning a trip to the Collins Brewhouse, one of the local team's sponsors, in downtown Dundas for dinner.

Also at the Ontario Provincial Curling Championships, Dundas Granite's recreational blind and vision-impaired team earned a silver medal. The team of skip Bill Harrison, vice Joy Mayer, second Sharon Ladd, leads Keith Doyle and Murdie Campbell, designated sweepers Laurie Gunderman and Phil Howarth and on-ice guide Darlene Woods won all three of their games in the eight-team field. By virtue of their total points, they finished second.