Curling Canada has created the role of a high-performance consultant for adult teams competing in national and international competition to encourage that expertise to stay in house. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Curling Canada takes steps to solve coaching conundrum, stop brain drain

Slowing the flow of Canada’s curling expertise to other countries has forced a coaching compromise.

Glenn Howard, Wayne Middaugh and Marcel Rocque are among former world champions who have coached non-Canadian teams.

Curling Canada has created the role of a high-performance consultant for adult teams competing in national and international competition to encourage that expertise to stay in house.

To be called a coach in Canada requires National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) credentials.

The time commitment to do that is seen as a barrier to the country’s top names coaching domestic teams.

“In Canada, a coach has to be certified to be called a coach or in the process of getting their certification,” said Rick Lang, who spearheaded the new policy for Curling Canada.

“Now we’re saying Glenn Howard, you can be on the bench without that.”

Reigning Canadian women’s champion Chelsea Carey is all for the change.

“Canada in the past has been very restrictive with the coaching courses you had to take in order to be able to coach at a national or international event,” she said.

“If you’ve accomplished things at a certain level, you shouldn’t have to go through the same training as somebody who has never won a Canadian championship. You just should not have to.”

“We’re making them go through unnecessary steps.”

Curling Canada is walking a fine line as it doesn’t want to discourage people who want to take NCCP certification to coach curling.

A high-performance consultant must own a title from one of the following — national championship, Canada Cup or Olympic trials — or be a three-time Grand Slam winner.

“We don’t want to take anything away from the coaching certification program and the coaches who have gone through the program, but having been through this myself, one of the problems is I don’t have the time to get my certification when I can give back to a team right now,” explained Marc Kennedy, an Olympic gold medallist and current third for the Brad Jacobs team.

“One of the reasons you’re losing those top curlers to other countries is because they’re busy with kids, they’re busy with jobs and how am I going to give up three weekends to get a coaching certification, when I can go help that young team right now to get better?”

A high-performance consultant will still be required to take the mandatory Safe Sport and Make Ethical Decisions modules, which can be done online in a day, as well as undergo a police background check, Lang said.

“This is all about making sure Canadian curling teams that are aspiring to be the best and those that are the best right now have full access to the wisdom of our most accomplished champions,” he said.

“We want to strengthen that competitive culture in Canada by making sure our stars of the past are helping the stars of today and are able to do that.”


If you’re wondering where the big-money World Cup of Curling went, the international four-tournament series that offered just over $1 million in prize money was suspended after just one season.

The World Curling Federation said in a statement Chinese sponsor Kingdomway Sports was in breach of their contractual agreement and new sponsors are being sought.

In an already-crowded curling calendar, it was a headache for Curling Canada to find teams that could fit travelling to Sweden, the United States and China in their schedules.

But it was also a lucrative event for those who did, including Kevin Koe’s Alberta foursome that claimed $86,000 for winning both the first men’s event in Suzhou, China, and the Grand Final in Beijing.

Jennifer Jones won the women’s Grand Final for winnings of $48,000.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is cancelling his planned trip to… Continue reading

Town of Ponoka facing lawsuit from pair of local residents

Ponoka town council members and administration have been served with a lawsuit… Continue reading

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

TYENDINAGA, Ont. — Hours of talks between the federal government and representatives… Continue reading

Red Deer County investing in fibre optics

County investing $7 million over two years to improve Internet connections

Fashion Fridays: Apple body types: What you need to know

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 6 A Perogie Supper is being held Thursday, Feb. 6 from… Continue reading

Woman loses 50 pairs of shoes after boyfriend accidentally donates them to thrift store

Cassandra Converse can’t wait to go shoe shopping. Last month, Converse’s boyfriend… Continue reading

RDC Queens fall in double OT to MacEwan University Griffins

Griffins 4 Queens 3 (2OT) The RDC Queens managed to salvage a… Continue reading

Trump takes Daytona 500 warmup lap in presidential limousine

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump gave an election-year embrace to… Continue reading

Canada expected to support heavy fuel ban in Arctic despite costs to northerners

The federal government is expected to support international measures that would reduce… Continue reading

Nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

OTTAWA — The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is warning that the… Continue reading

‘Sonic’ speeds to $57M debut; ‘Parasite’ sees big Oscar bump

NEW YORK — The redesigned “Sonic the Hedgehog” showed plenty of teeth… Continue reading

Justin Timberlake on ‘trauma’ of being pelted with bottles at SARS concert

TORONTO — Justin Timberlake is still haunted by being pelted with what… Continue reading

Most Read