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. Fifteen years later it has grown to four weeks of camps, over 300 participants and is expanding from five to ten sheets of ice.
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 then four beginning in 2016, 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 better product. 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 conducted six summer curling camps including one Little Rock (U12) 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 had both Canadian and World 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.
2018 is boasting again some great special guests with the likes of Lisa Weagle, Christoffer Svae (2nd stone for Team Ulsrud), Niklas Edin, Cathy Overton-Clapham, Mike McEwen, Mary-Anne Arsenault and of course our own Russ Howard. On the mental performance side of the sport, the CCE is looking forward to working with Lori Dithurbide from the Canadian Sport Centre – Atlantic.
In 2018 the CCE became an independent entity from any curling centre by becoming incorporated as a not for profit. Their office is currently located in Moncton at the Curl Moncton location.
Once again the CCE has teamed up with some curling superstars for their 2019 summer curling camps lineup. With the likes of Olympic champions Marc Kennedy, Brad Jacobs and Ryan Harnden other special guests are World champions Jeff Stoughton and Cathy Overton-Clapham. A special thanks goes out to Scotland’s superstar Eve Muirhead for rounding out the field. On the mental performance side the CCE again thanks Adam Kingsbury for attending two camps to help our participants. And of course our own Russ Howard will again share infinite amounts of information from his illustrious career.
All of these things are part of making the CCE’s vision of being a leading force in the sport of curling as Eastern Canada’s Training Centre.