Not just a pretty face, local real estate agent and “ice man” Scott Comfort has been elected to the board of governors of the Canadian Curling Association (CCA).
Photo: Neil Valois Photography/CCA photo
Comfort received the prestigious red jacket during the first national curling summit held recently in Niagara Falls, Ont.
In an interview last Wednesday, Comfort said it’s an honour to serve at the national level. Although the process of actually getting elected was unnerving, Comfort will now be able to say he has seen curling at every level in Canada, from ice-maker all the way up.
He brings not only experience as a competitive curler but has been involved in the Saskatchewan Curling Tour and was the manager at the Tartan Curling Club in Regina. He was vice-chair of the committee that hosted the World Curling Championships in Regina although in the big picture, he said, he was really the local host. He speculates that his experience as well as his reputation for being innovative, such as introducing glo-curling or using the rings to promote in-ice sponsorship, may have helped him win the election but there are many other variables at the national level.
Comfort will find out on Sept. 12 what committees he will be asked to serve on and says he is looking forward to being assigned to one or two events. The downside, he added, is that he must officially give up all current ties to any curling organizations in order to preserve objectivity as a governor. Locally he can act only as a volunteer, meaning he can no longer be employed as the “ice man” for the Wadena Curling Club.
The summit, held to discuss all aspects of curling in Canada, was a four-day meeting of curling minds and a first-time event for the CCA. Having an impressive agenda, it was also when Olympic gold-medallist Kevin Martin was inducted into the Curling Hall of Fame during a gala event. Participants in a fundraising golf tournament included Olympic men’s gold-medallists Brad Jacobs and Ryan Fry, Olympic women’s gold-medallists Kaitlyn Lawes and Jill Officer, as well as former world men’s champion Richard Hart and Nolan Thiessen, reigning Tim Hortons Brier champion.
All was not fun and games though, as the heady annual meeting resulted in new some new rules and formats for Canada’s 14 member associations.
As governor, Comfort will serve a four-year term. The last Saskatchewanian to sit as governor was Bernadette McIntyre from Regina.
When asked about the health of curling in general, Comfort says it varies across the country.
“Some clubs are shutting down while some, such as in Regina or Saskatoon, have waiting lists,” said Comfort. “Some fundraising ideas will work in some places while others have tried similar ideas to glo-curling, for example, and they didn’t fly.”
He says he hopes to be able to do some shadowing to learn the ropes, and is receiving mentoring from experienced governor Yves Maillet, who has already taken Comfort under his wing.
By Alison Squires