Playdowns lauded as a success

Mitch Calvert

It was a whirlwind week that came and went in the blink of the eye, but all things considered, NOCA men’s provincial playdowns committee chairperson Ron MacKinnon was quite happy with the way everything finally fell into place.
“We would’ve liked to see a few more people down there, a little better fan base for the week, but besides that everything went smoothly once all 16 teams got here,” MacKinnon remarked.
“We had to switch one game time to earlier [due to freezing rain] but once the curling started, everything took care of itself.”
The event overall ran quite smoothly, with no major hiccups, but MacKinnon said the committee of 20 can be thanked for that.
“To be perfectly honest, it made my job easier having a committee so involved,” he stressed. “Everyone knew their jobs and knew what they were responsible for, and they made sure it was done.”
MacKinnon also said the support of some 40 volunteers added to the memorable experience for curlers and fans alike.
“It was mostly club members, but there were also a few who weren’t club members who just wanted to be a part of it and that was nice,” he noted.
The committee and volunteers worked together to ensure the visiting curlers were treated to a first-class event.
“The club room [downstairs] had anything they could dream of as far as food and drink for their fifth-end breaks, and the hospitality room was well-received from the curlers, as well,” MacKinnon said.
“[Matt Dumontelle’s dad] said he’d been to 10 provincials in the last 18 years and he said this is, by far, the best one he’s been to, and his words were he ‘feels sorry for the host committee next year because you guys set the bar pretty high,’” MacKinnon added.
MacKinnon said the committee wouldn’t hesitate to get together again if a similar opportunity presented itself down the road.
“Obviously a couple days after, you want to give it some time, but whatever we could possibly do we would want to do,” he enthused. “We’d have to wait until it’s our region’s time to host again and then put a bid on it, maybe three or four years down the road, but we’d seriously look at it.”
Despite the shortage of spectators during the week, especially for Saturday night’s final, MacKinnon said the curlers appeared to enjoy the experience as a whole.
“I didn’t mingle with a lot of them because they are here for one reason, but I don’t think you could pick a better representative for Northern Ontario,” MacKinnon said of Mike Jakubo’s winning team.
“It’d be nice to see them do well at the Brier because there’s been a lot of talk about Northern Ontario and how there shouldn’t be two teams from Ontario, and all that,” he noted.