Local curler recognized as NOCA builder of the year

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

Long-time curler Kim Beaudry has been recognized as the inaugural recipient of the Leslie Kerr Builder of the Year Award by the Northern Ontario Curling Association (NOCA).

The award is named for former NOCA executive director Leslie Kerr, when Kerr retired three years ago, the NOCA board promised to create an annual award in her name however, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the inauguration of the award. Kerr was on hand to present the award last Thursday evening at the Curl Fort Frances Community Centre.

The description of the award is as follows: “This award will be given to an individual who has greatly contributed to the success and promotion of curling across the NOCA Region. This person will have demonstrated a consistent commitment to the sport, their club, the Association, and would have done so for a lengthy period of time, building the sport as a whole. This individual will have had a significant impact on the people they have coached, worked with or volunteered with, and would be perceived as a role model for curling and curlers across NOCA.”

Nominated by members of the Curl Fort Frances Curling Community Centre, Beaudry has had a life-long love for curling which, according to the nomination, began when she started curling at 12, growing up in a curling family, according to the nomination ready by Kerr at the presentation.

Beaudry has been involved in many different ways in the Fort Frances and Northern Ontario curling scenes.

As a curler Beaudry had a successful collegiate career leading her team from Confederation College to national college championships in back-to-back years and was named an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association all-star skip in her second year on the team and she was inducted into the OCAA hall of fame in 2005.

Beaudry has also made four appearances in the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts playdowns with skip Kathie Jackson in 1989, 1990,1998 and 2000. Qualifying to represent Northern Ontario at the 2019 national Senior Women’s Championship, Beaudry and her team placed fourth in the tournament in Chilliwack, BC.

She became a coach when her daughters joined the Fort Frances High School girls curling team and has been coaching ever since. In 2018 she was a key driver in bringing the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association curling championships to Fort Frances according to the nomination. She remains a coach with the high school girls team and helped coach her daughter Tory’s Brandon University team at the Canada West Curling Championship in 2022 in Regina.

Beaudry has also spent time across the region as an official, currently volunteering at “Head Official Northwest” for NOCA. She has worked as an official at many events for the local curling community and across the region including, 2023 Canadian Mixed doubles championships, and the 2023 Canadian College/University championships, the 2023 men’s and women’s Northern Ontario provincials, the 2023 Northern Ontario Mixed provincials and the 2022 U18 Provincials.

Accepting the award, Beaudry had few words but thanked those gathered.

“It’s a great honour for the love of curling,” she said. “What else am I going to do when I retire?”

She also took the opportunity to promote her newest fundraising initiative selling koozies.