On the Rise: Team Montpellier Curling
It’s 9:00 p.m. on a frigid night outside the Sudbury Curling Club and the members of Team Montpellier are gathering their gear before heading inside for their daily on-ice practice.
“During the season we’re on the ice five days a week for an hour to an hour and a half,” said Nick Beaudry. “Our day’s are often nine to five at work then seven to eight at the gym and nine to ten thirty on the ice – so our schedule is demanding.”
It’s this dedication that has helped Team Montpellier become one of the talented curling teams to watch coming out of Northern Ontario.
The local squad cracked the top 100 teams in the world before their ranking dropped at the end of last season. They achieved this ranking despite playing some stiff competition, including Denmark’s national team that finished 6th at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“We took them right to the last rock and it was a great game,” recalls Shane Gordon. “Playing that caliber of team shows us that we’re close to where we want to be”.
According to the team, focusing on their fitness in the off-season greatly improved their game on the ice.
Bringing Fitness into Curling
“If you want to keep up in competitive curling, you have to be in great shape,” said Nick. “I would say the top 20 teams in Canada are setting the pace in terms of fitness and you have to be an athlete to compete with them”.
To ensure they were training the right way, the team sought out the services of certified personal trainer Cole Payette at The Basement Fitness (1212 Lasalle Blvd).
“Cole sets up our schedule for the week and shows us the exercises that we need to get stronger,” explains Shane. “ Working out at The Basement has been a great experience for our team”.
With an improved level of fitness, the team has managed to hold their ground near the top 100 in the nation and is currently ranked 109th in Canada and 200th in the world – Considerable achievements for a team that has only been playing together for a short amount of time.
Northern Ontario Roots
“Since we all grew up in Northern Ontario we’ve curled with and against various combinations of each other for awhile but this is only our second year together,” said Shane. “ We met curling against each other when we were 15”.
Dustin Montpellier and Matt Gordon (distant relation to teammate Shane) remember competitive matches against Nick and Shane.
“They hated us and we hated them,” jokes Dustin. “We had some great games against each other”.
Both Matt and Dustin are from Sudbury while Shane is originally from Haileybury. Nick moved from Montreal to Sudbury when he was young and considers himself a Sudburian. The team is proud of being from Northern Ontario and even incorporated the skyline of the Nickel City into the design of their team jackets.
While Northern Ontario has some great opportunities for curling, the team admitted that being situated in the Northeast presents some geographical and logistical challenges.
“If you want to get better you have to play against good teams and the majority of the good teams are down south,” said Matt. “It’s a huge struggle for teams in Northern Ontario”.
The competitive season starts at the end of September and can run until the middle of February depending on how well the team does, so the cost of travel is always a concern.
“Our expenses this year were close to $10,000 without counting our off-season,” said Shane. “We can normally make it to five tournaments but we have to factor in equipment costs as well”.
One way to help curb some of the expenses is seeking sponsorship. The team is extremely grateful for the financial support they received from local businesses, including:
- Ionic Engineering (95 Mumford Rd, Lively)
- Black Rock Engineering (95 Mumford Rd, Lively)
- Stack Brewing (1350 Kelly Lake Rd)
- Tail Blazers (1877 Regent St)
- Northern Equipment Rentals (132 Fielding Rd, Lively)
- Boardwalk Gaming Centers (940 Newgate)
Looking Forward to 2016-2017
After a tough loss that ended their season on January 23, Team Montpellier is already looking forward to next season. Considering the strides they’ve taken to improve their game, provincials and nationals certainly seem within reach.
To learn more about Team Montpellier visit:
Facebook – Team Montpellier
November 17, 2017
November 14, 2017
November 10, 2017