Debbie Grillanda helps out All Sorts of curlers
by Randy Pascal
It’s a Tuesday night at the Idylwylde Golf & Country Club and Debbie Grillanda is busy organizing her group that is the “All Sorts
League” – as always.
A near lifetime involvement with the sport of curling as seen the local native spend years as a curler, gradually transitioning to an organizer and
administer, a one-time member of the inaugural board of the NOCA (Northern Ontario Curling Association) and current overseer of both the All-Sorts
and the Monday Pensioners leagues, in addition to being out on the ice as an athlete three times a week.
“There was a need in our club for this league,” explained Grillanda of the Tuesday night gathering of hodge-podge curlers. “You know how many good
junior curlers have come through our programs. We didn’t have a place for them to go once they finished Little Rocks almost.”
“There was no bantam, no nothing. Most men’s and ladies’ leagues, at that time, did not allow juniors to curl with them. We needed a place for them to be
competitive. Jan Pula and I started this league – it was Jan’s idea. We called it All Sorts, because it is all sorts. We have Laurentian teams, we
have masters, senior men and ladies, juniors – all sorts.”
Yet beyond the element of competition that the loop provides the young up and coming talent, Grillanda also recognizes the ability, in this setting, to
provide a learning framework for those who aspire to move on to larger settings.
“I try to run it like they are in a competition,” she said. “A timed practice (five minutes), the same calls you would get from officials, then you have
to throw the rock for the hammer throw, it has to be a clockwise turn, you can’t slide until I tell you to slide – it’s very regimented.”
“I remember the first NOCA competition I went to, I went out on the ice and slid,” Grillanda recalled. “An official tore a strip off my hide. This
teaches them to be prepared for all that.” Given her thirty year affiliation with the Idylwylde, it’s small wonder that she continues to focus the bulk of
her efforts towards initiatives that are based within the well-known facility at the end of Walford Road.
It’s a setting that she would love to share with more Sudburians. “I would love to be able to change the perception of what people think our club is,”
said Grillanda. “They think it’s very private and they can’t come here. But it’s open to everyone. You join here like you would join anywhere else.”
Meanwhile, those donning the club colours outside of the city continue to thrive. Skip Megan Smith and her team of Kira Brunton, Sara Guy
and Kate Sherry would run a string of six consecutive victories, capturing the 2017 Brampton U21 Junior Women’s Cashspiel.
The locals were on their game right out of the gate, breezing through round robin play with victories over Rachel Steele of Port Perry (7-5),
Veronica Bernard of Richmond Hill (6-2) and Courtney Auld of Toronto (10-3).
No need to slow down in the playoffs as Team Smith/Brunton (Smith calls the games and Brunton throws final rocks) thumped Quinn Walsh of
Kitchener-Waterloo 8-1, advancing to the final thanks to a 7-5 triumph over Breanna Rozon of Toronto.
Matched opposite Mackenzie Kiemele of Niagara Falls in the tightly contested final, Smith and company would hold a 3-2 lead through four ends of
play, eventually putting away the silver medalists via a steal of one in both the sixth and seventh end (5-2 win).
Yet another good showing (which equals another financial payday!) for the quartet of Tanner Horgan, Jacob Horgan, Nicholas Bissonnette and
Maxime Blais at the Stroud Sleeman CashSpiel last weekend. Competing in the same pool as the local rink of Chris Glibota, Dustin
Montpellier, Eric Gelinas and Matt Gordon (the Copper Cliff crew finished at 2-2, out of the playoffs), Team Horgan was one game better at 3-1,
securing a berth in the quarter-finals.
Horgan squeezed past Glibota 6-4, stopped Daryl Shane of Listowel 8-5, fell 6-4 to Cory Heggestad, but closed off preliminary play with a
solid 7-2 victory over Tim Meadows of Thornhill.
Come the playoffs, the local foursome bounced Mark Kean of Woodstock 7-3, picking up three with the hammer in the second end and following up
with a steal of two in the third, their early 5-1 lead providing the cushion needed to finish things off in end six.
Unfortunately, the tables were turned in the semi-finals as Wayne Tuck Jr bolted to a 6-1 lead after four, scoring a pair in the first, third and
fourth ends, closing out Team Horgan 6-2 in six. The upcoming weekend sees the Jordan Chandler rink (Sandy MacEwan, Luc Ouimet, Lee Toner)
joining a highly international field in “La Belle Province” for the Arena Challenge de Curling de Gatineau.