By: Steven Chmielash

Ron Port, director of athletic operations, hopes there will be enough interest among students to revive Algonquin’s curling team. The college hasn’t had a team since 2010-11, despite having a successful team that won 10 straight championships from 1971-1981.

If Ron Port, director of athletic operations, had his way, students at Algonquin would be screaming “sweep,” and “hurry hard” at the top of their lungs as he tries to bring a varsity curling team in the fall.

If this perspective team generates enough interest from the students and given the green light, it would mark the second varsity team set to make its debut here at the college. Cross country running being the other sport.

There are already 10 curling teams who participate in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association. However, this wouldn’t be the first time Algonquin had a curling team.

The college has a rich history in curling. The sport was first played on campus in the ‘70s and Thunder was a powerhouse team, winning championships every year from 1971-81.

“If you look at all the championship awards, Algonquin is right up there with Thunder Bay (Confederation College) as far as the number of championships and gold medals,” said Port.

Over the years, interest for a curling team has declined and some of the better curlers participated in provincial and national championships across Canada, many won’t give up playing for their teams in order to play in a one weekend tournament at the college level.

The last time Algonquin had a team was during the 2010-11 academic year. It was also the year when the women’s curling team won the championship.

Luckily, Algonquin has students like Willem Carlton, a second year office administration- medical student, who has not only shown interest in joining the team but has offered his services to generate interest around the college by creating an official curling club.

“I’m finishing up the paperwork for the club to attempt to get funding for the Student Association to try and bring the interest back. I’ve always loved curling; it’s a passion of mine,” said Carlton.

Carlton has been curling for about eight years and also has some experience at the junior coaching level. The competitive curling teams and the championships they’ve won in years past was one of the reasons why he came to Algonquin.

Another student that signed up was Tyler Moravec, a third-year electrical engineering technology student, who started playing in grade seven.

“I loved the sport when I first played it during a field trip in grade 6. I joined my high school team and had lots of fun doing it and want to continue to play,” said Moravec.

Even if curling materializes next semester, fans won’t be able to see the team play every weekend. The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association curling format is a one-time tournament played in February which only runs four to five days.

“It’s a one shot event,” said Port.

Ultimately, there is more to curling than playing and winning championships, according to Carlton, it’s also a “great socializing game.”