Pro IQRA News Updates.
The new executive director of the Northern Ontario Curling Association wants to grow the sport and attract younger people to curling.
Olympic silver medalist Mike Harris will take over as the association’s executive director on 1 September 2022.
Harris, who has worked as a curling broadcaster for CBC Sports since retiring from competitive play, said he wants to help rebuild a sport that has lost members and active participants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said his own curling club in Toronto, for example, lost about 20 percent of its members during the pandemic.
“Most small communities have a curling club and, you know, 25, 30 years ago, it was always kind of the center of the community,” he said.
“We want to try to reintroduce the sport to some people in those small communities who may have forgotten what the game is about.”
Harris, along with Curling Canada, said one of his priorities will be to counter the perception that curling is an old man’s game.
Harris said he will continue to live in Toronto after taking over the role, but added that shouldn’t be a problem.
“My plan is to have fairly regular contact with all the clubs. There are 40 clubs in the northern region,” he said.
Harris added that Zoom meetings make it much easier to stay in touch with people from different cities and regions.
My first goal is just to provide some stability to the member clubs to make sure there’s a constant voice there that they can rely on for support and feedback,” he added.
Northern Ontario Curling Association board president Hayley Smith said in a press release that the board is excited to have Harris join the team.
“His dedication to curling is well known and the Board is eager to work with him to grow our sport in northern Ontario,” said Smith.
Tomorrow North7:26Mike Harris to lead Northern Ontario Curling Association—from Toronto