There have been many rumours going around as to whether or not the Trent men’s curling team would be going to Nationals or if they would have to pass up the opportunity due to funding. This article will put a stop to those rumours, as Arthur went right to the source and spoke with Bill Byrick, Director of Athletics.
Byrick explained how the structure of the varsity program works. There are a number of varsity teams that are funded by Trent but they also have what are called club teams, which are mainly funded by the students themselves. The way curling works is a bit different than other sports because Trent does not have a facility for them to play on (a curling rink), so they signed up at the local Peterborough curling rink and participate in part of the regular league.
This year Trent men’s curling team played in three competitions at Brock, Waterloo, and Guelph for the OUA Championships, in which Trent paid for all the competitions. Since they won in the OUA, the season continues and they have to get extra funding to continue on in the competition.
The Athletic department held a fundraiser as a way to help. They were able to raise $9,400 to send the curling team and their coaches out to Kamloops, B.C. The money that was raised will pay for their flight, accommodations, rental vehicle, and their entry fees. This means that the Trent men’s curling team is going to the Nationals.
Byrick believes that a rumour like this would have started in one or two ways. The first way is that since they only pay half of their membership into the curling club, there is not enough funding to send them.
The second reason the rumour could have started is because they had an external review of the Athletic Department, so there are a lot of rumours going around as to what they are going to do and how they are going to do it.
Now that the rumours have been put to rest and we know that the team is in fact going to Nationals, it is time to learn a little bit about the team and how they made it so far in the competition.
This year’s team consists of five incredible players and brilliant coaches with extensive knowledge of how the game is played. Mike Bryson is the skip (aka Captain), Jason Whitehill is the Vice, Adam Gagne is Second, Mike Kean is First, and their Fifth is Chris Whitehill. Brad Kidd and Steve Whitehill are the coaches of the Men’s team.
Two years ago, the men’s team went to Nationals and finished fourth. This year they would love to come home with at least a medal. To get to Nationals, the team had to play in the OUA finals, where they played against Waterloo. Waterloo had won the game, but thankfully they were playing for first and second place, which meant that Trent came in second and still qualified for the championships.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Bryson, the Skip. He has been curling for 16 years, since he was six years old. He began playing after he saw his parents play for a number of years, as they used to take him to the club. Then one day he decided he didn’t want to watch anymore; he wanted to play. He has been playing on the Trent team for three years, and he is very thankful for the support Trent has given him and his team. He hopes the team can make Trent proud and bring home a medal.