Launch a pilot project to help develop clubs and teaching professionals
Curling Canada is pleased to announce the Association of Curling Professionals (ACP) pilot season. This new organization will be dedicated to the training and development of club professionals and teaching, and represents a significant investment in the growth of curling at the grassroots level.
“As curling continues to find new and innovative ways to grow and bring new participants to curling centers across Canada, this is an important step forward in that process,” said Danny Lamoureux, Interim CEO of Curling Canada. “I look forward to seeing how this pilot project plays out, and I am confident that curlers will reap the benefits for years to come.”
The ACP will be based at Curling Canada’s National Training and Development Center (NTDC) in Edmonton, dedicated to bringing Curling Canada’s Long-Term Curler Development (LTCD) model to life. Longtime NTDC coach, Rob Krepps, will serve as ACP’s executive director.
“It is an honor to take over the day-to-day operations of this new organization, which I believe will be a real game-changer for our sport,” Krebs said. “ACP professionals will play a key role in implementing our LTCD model at the club level, while making our clubs stronger and healthier organizations. Our vision is that one day there will be an ACP professional connected to every Canadian curling club.”
The ACP will be guided by an advisory committee known as the Founders Group, which is made up of 10 highly respected curling leaders from across Canada:
- Jock Tire, Kelowna, British Columbia
- Dana Ferguson, Edmonton
- Mike Lebus, Okotoks, Alta
- Corey Cohoch, Saskatoon
- Kelsey Rock, Carberry, man.
- With Graeme McCarrell, Toronto
- John Epping, Toronto
- Abby Darnley, Stroud, Ontario.
- Lisa Weigel, Ottawa
- Wayne Tallon, Fredericton
“I’ve heard from curlers across the country that there is a real demand for high-quality curling classes, clinics and programs, delivered by qualified professionals,” said Lisa Weigel, Founders Group member and two-time Olympian. “The ACP is an exciting step forward for curlers who want to receive instruction from trained professionals. It also provides opportunities for coaches to gain valuable training and certification, enabling them to pursue viable careers in the sport of curling.”
Fellow Founders Group member Jock Tyre, the longtime general manager of the Kelowna Curling Club, spoke of the need for an ACP. “I started as a club manager nearly 40 years ago, but there was no one to teach me even the simplest tasks associated with the job,” Tyrer said. “Not only will the ACP help the individual manager, it will give clubs the opportunity to hire fully trained professionals who will raise the level of everyone who follows them. Canadian curling clubs will be in much better hands in the future thanks to the ACP.”
2023-2024 will be the pilot season for the ACP, with the aim of onboarding a limited number of clubs and starting to train clubs and teach professionals in those locations. This will provide valuable feedback that will allow the ACP to finalize its approach in preparation for its first official season in 2024-2025.
“Curling Canada and its 14 member associations have, collectively, identified club development as a priority as we are committed to exploring new business models and investing in people with the capabilities and experience to deliver exceptional curling experiences at a community level,” Curling Canada said. Director of Club Development and Membership Services, Bobby Ray. “The ACP’s goals and objectives are consistent with Curling Canada’s latest strategic plan and the progressive vision shared with more than 300 hundred curling organizers during the Future of Curling Symposium Tour in the spring of 2023.”
To learn more about ACP, please visit CurlingPro.ca.