The 2015/16 season was a season of many firsts and successes for the Ryerson Rams Curling program.
Approved by Ryerson Athletics at the end of the 2014/15 school year, Rams curling launched as a competitive club program and fielded its first men's and women's team program successfully with six men and four women forming two teams for competitive play. Team development started with both teams playing their first season at the Leaside Curling Club in the men's and women's competitive sections. Both teams advanced steadily in league play to challenge for their respective club championships by season end.
The team and individual skills development that came from competitive league play and our regular team and individual practice schedules contributed strongly to a series of firsts as the teams entered into OUA pre-event and provincial championship season. While the women were unsuccessful in winning a game in its first event, the men's team claimed third position overall in the University of Guelph invitational played in October while both teams finished with respectable 2-2 records at the Brock Invitational, the final pre-event prior to the OUA Championships.
As a first year team, unranked, unproven and facing some stiff competition from the outset of the competition, both the men's and women's team impressed most everyone at their first OUA Championships. The women, winning the first ever OUA women's game in their second game of the bonspiel against a tough squad from Algoma University, finished their event with two more victories (Lakehead and Waterloo), a final record of 3-4 and taking eventual 2016 CIS WCURL Bronze Medalists, University of Guelph, to the brink of elimination before falling to the Gryphons in a narrow 5-4 loss.
The men's team competed even more impressively. After an opening loss to eventual 2016 CIS MCURL Gold Medalists, Laurier GoldenHawks, Rams MCURL won four of their remaining six games to finish at 4-3 and missed the playoffs by a mere draw to the button loss to Brock Badgers in an extra end. An amazing performance for the first year of the program for both teams.
But the fantastic first year didn't stop there with the Rams hosting its own curling event, the Ryerson Challenge Cup, in its own house, the Mattamy Athletics Centre, while the rink had been converted from hockey and skating ice to five sheets of some of the best curling ice in the world hosting some of the best curlers in the world during the GSOC Players Championship in April. The Rams challenged their friends and foes, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues where both the men's and women's teams combined for a 12-11 victory and bragging rights for the next year.
2016/17 promises to bring even more firsts and more successes with changes planned to enhance the development of the program for Ryerson students athletes and the broader curling community in the Greater Toronto Area.
The 2016/17 season will see the Rams teams move from single gender competitive play at the Leaside Curling Club to a new home at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club (TCSCC). With the move, the Ryerson teams will compete in one of the cities most competitive open format leagues while adding additional practice ice options.
In addition, the Rams will partner with the TCSCC to create a high performance centre for curling development focusing on competitive teams under the age of 25. The centre's first initiative will be to create a league where developing competitive teams will play teams whose focus is national and world championships in youth competitions. These competitions would include but not be limited to:
World University Games, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships, Canadian College Championships
World Junior Curling Championships, Canadian Junior, Ontario U21 Championships
World U18 Curling Championships, Canadian U18 Championships, Ontario U18 Championships
Teams with similar goals will be play in a competitive development environment supported by their coaches and additional curling expertise. A minimum of 11 Thursday night draws and two weekend, two game dates will comprise a fifteen games schedule for up to 12 teams. For information, contact Ryerson Rams Head Coach Perry Marshall at email@example.com