The Centre of Curling Excellence (CCE) began the journey to its goal of delivering quality training in curling skill development in 2004 with a single camp of 25 participants. The CCE was the vision of then club president, Bob Belfleur, with the support of Gene Gaudet, Université de Moncton professor of kinesiology, and Olympic Medalist, Russ Howard. The venue was Curling Beauséjour, and the instructors and organizers, Brian Rice, Leo Majeau, Ellery Robichaud, and John Larsen had no idea that the summer curling camp phenomenon would grow to today’s number of over 300 participants.
The CCE began to gain recognition for its high calibre instruction, attention to detail, agenda format and innovation. In 2005-2006, the CCE hosted a series of Kingsmith camps with Bill Tschirhart, Curling Canada coach. Recognizing the success of the CCE, the NBCA partnered with the Centre of Curling Excellence, contracting it as their official training centre in 2012.
With the growth of camps to three weeks in 2014, Curl Moncton hired Rick Perron as a trainer for the youth program and instruction in the summer camps. One year later, Rick became the Executive Director of the CCE.
The CCE continued its pursuit of excellence in 2015 by bringing in high performance curlers and coaches to instruct at the camps. Since then, high profile guest instructors such as Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, Earle Morris, Emma Miskew, Brett Gallant, and Cheryl Bernard have all been part of the summer skill development program.
Repeat camp participants were becoming the norm so the CCE strove to provide even more specialized training. To expand its horizons and give its participants the best in curling, the CCE worked with Curling Canada to bring Jim Waite, Bill Tschirhart and Adam Kingsbury to the camps. Will Hamilton (SmartBroom) was also part of this product delivery.
In 2017, the CCE will conduct seven summer curling camps including one Little Rock camp (weekend), one Mixed Doubles camp (weekend), one Canada Games camp (week long), one Development camp (week long), one Advanced camp (week long), one Elite camp (week long) and the Whitecap curling camp (week long).
The CCE will have both Canadian Champion teams with Rachel Homan (Emma Miskew and Lisa Weagle) and Brad Gushue (Mark Nichol, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker) as camp instructors, making the summer of 2017 one to remember.
The CCE has embarked on a physical literacy program integrated with the Little Rock program designed to develop U12 curlers both on and off ice. This integrated program will be rolled out province-wide. This venture has come about through partnership with Dr. Michel Johnson, professor of kinesiology UdeM, and the NBCA.
Along with high performance training the CCE has become involved in research and development in partnership with the Université de Moncton. The technology being developed will provide data to instructors, coaches and curlers to improve curling.
All of these things are part of making the CCE’s vision of being a leading force in the sport of curling in Eastern Canada and its goal of becoming the training centre for high performance in Eastern Canada come true.