The Trent University Curling philosophy is to support each student athlete in their academic endeavours and also engage them in the pursuit of excellence on ice. Apart from the obvious physical attributes of coordination, endurance, balance and sensitivity, competitive curling develops mental toughness and team-building skills – invaluable personal traits in many other walks of life.
Each year, varsity tryouts begin near the end of September. The selection process usually includes on-ice video assessments, and individual evaluations conducted by the coaches. As with most Canadian universities, Trent’s depth of competitive experience in any given season is a function of new talent arriving for their first year versus the vacancies left by graduating veterans. In the past, Trent curling teams have included players who have competed and won at provincial and national championships. At the other extreme a few varsity curling alumni had their first exposure to curling while at Trent University. Put another way, a solid resume of competitive experience does not always guarantee selection to the varsity team; yet a background with little or no knowledge of the game does not automatically exclude anyone from varsity consideration. So players at all levels of development are encouraged to participate in tryouts every year.
In most years, five men and five women are selected to the varsity teams (four “regulars” and an alternate). In 2017-18 there were also enough female athletes to ice a junior varsity team successfully, and the coaching staff is prepared to work with a similar scenario going forward … which could mean a JV women’s or JV men’s team, even a JV mixed team as numbers allow.
Trent varsity and JV teams play in a Wednesday night open league at the Peterborough Curling Club, one of the oldest constituted clubs in North America. Practice time is normally at 8:00pm on Thursday nights.
The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) interuniversity annual championships are scheduled to take place in one 5-day event held in mid-February. In 2019, the OUA’s were held in Waterloo from February 13-18, 2019. The participating Ontario universities (sixteen schools’ teams in 2018) played a modified round robin series ending on Sunday (in February 2018 there were two pools each gender). The top six teams from round robin play (the top 3 from each pool in 2018) advance to quarter finals on the Sunday evening. On Family Day Monday (there are semi-finals and finals for OUA gold, silver and bronze medals for both men’s and women’s teams. The top two men’s and women’s teams.) The gold and silver medalists, will earn the right to play in the USPORTS Canadian Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick, March 16 – 20, 2019.
Both Trent varsity teams missed the 2018 OUA podium despite solid efforts throughout the week. Trent’s coaches and returning varsity veterans look forward to competing in the 2019 OUA’s.
In most years, Trent varsity teams also compete in at least one OUA exhibition spiel. In 2018, Trent teams travelled to St. Catharines February 20 - 21 for two days of interuniversity games hosted by Brock University. Trent teams also played mid-week exhibition games in Oshawa in both 2017 and 2018, with U of T, Ryerson, Trent and host UOIT varsity and JV players participating.
There has been a recent and concerted effort involving the USPORTS, CCAA (Canadian Colleges Athletic Association) and Curling Canada to establish a fully sanctioned Canadian Championship process. The ultimate goal has been to put in place a clear and recognized format for Canadian universities and colleges from coast to coast. Each year the competition determines national university and college champions. The 2019 USPORTS champions will earn the right to compete as Team Canada at World University Games and/or other international events in 2020.
Trent University is proud to be a staunch supporter of these championships. With these events now established, Trent varsity players can pursue their aspirations of interuniversity competition at the provincial, national and even world championship levels. The future of university curling in Canada looks bright, and Trent University is an active proponent.
One of Canada’s top universities, Trent University is renowned for its unique balance of outstanding teaching and leading-edge research. Distinguished by excellence in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and increasingly popular professional and graduate programs, Trent is dedicated to providing its students with an exceptional world view, producing graduates who are ready to succeed and make a difference in the world.