Ryerson and University of Toronto women Silver and Bronze Medalists respectively at OUAs! UofT men, 1st in their pool and finish 4th overall, while the Ryerson men finish 3rd in their pool! A clean sweep by the Humber teams at OCAAs!! It has been a few days now since the end of the 2017 OUA and OCAA Championships and all the initial feelings ranging from surprise to euphoria and everything in between and more about the success of the events for all of the University and College teams from the Development League has had some time now to sink in. In a few words, I can only describe the success of the teams as nothing short of "amazing" and perhaps "unexpected" in some cases.
We started Development League to make those teams that participated better able to perform against their peers when the opportunity presented and perform they did. One would say "it worked". I just prefer to say we found a way to match our competition and then when it came time to apply it, we all did, and the rest, the curling gods that look over us all, gave us the opportunities we needed to succeed.
The level and quality of the competition that exists in the post secondary school curling is very, very good and is only getting better as the years go by. It fills an important gap in the development of curling athletes during their late and post U21 careers and hopefully we see in Ontario, as has been the case in Alberta, the creation of athletes who go on to compete for their provincial and/or Grand Slam titles as we have seen with the like of Brenden Bottcher, Kelsey Rocque and others.
To get to this next level, we need to do even more. More focus on skills development and more on competitive play. For now though, as some of us are getting ready for the next challenge of national competitions for the Ryerson and Humber Women as well as the Humber Men in a few short weeks and the rest of the teams continue with Development League, we collectively can think, that despite the challenges that it might have presented in trying to keep with the schedule and commitment, the outcomes proved that it worked and for that we have something to build on for the future.
Thanks must go to our many partners who provided the competitive basis for these results; Varsity coaches John Rudd, Dave Thomas, Development team coaches Elana, Peter and Art of the four teams from the University of Toronto; Head coaches, Cindy Bishop, Sean Turriff and coach Sarah Jagger of the Humber Hawks; Coach Debbie Fischer and the athletes of UoIT, Head coach Mark Inglis and Team Fayaz (let's not forget their 1st place success at the TCA U18 Championships this year) and Team Steffler. We cannot forget our amazing partners at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club. Curling Manager Janet Langevin, Assistant Brian Chick and Head Ice Maker Roy Arndt without your support this would never have been possible.