Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A time for athletes?

Congratulations to one-half of the mighty online curling portal CurlingZone on his marriage over the weekend. Gerry Geurts, pictured here with Marie the day before their big plunge, is not only the co-founder of CurlingZone... he also steers the Ontario Curling Tour, co-publishes The Black Book of Curling, liases with CBC-TV on their Grand Slam coverage, writes code like a Russian spy, and has a truly awful in-turn.

He’s also a cancer survivor.

All the best to Gerry and Marie, currently on honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. And thanks to CZ’s other half, Dallas Bittle, for the photo.

In other news, the Canadian Curling Association’s annual Congress/AGM is over and there’s some loose ends to tie up. We’ll be delving into the details and what they mean in the coming weeks and months – no rush, eh – but for now...

The new board faces are Saskatchewan’s Bernadette McIntyre and Manitoba’s Mitch Tarapasky, and the president and vice-president both hail from New Brunswick: Al Forsythe is in command with Beth Sullivan the next-in-line. When one considers that World Curling Federation prez Les Harrison hails from Moncton, it sure looks like New Brunswick is the new epicentre of curling power.

Meanwhile, with the new board still dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on the financial situation, the other big news is a new era of cooperation and determination dawning amongst the traditionally ├╝ber-political staff/board/membership dynamic.

Such a stage was built well in advance of the Congress with the release of the Report of the Joint Working Committee on Governance and Organizational Structure, a hefty proposal for a new era of CCA governance, which of course passed unanimously.

There are two things that leap out immediately, however. How is it that an impressive 64-page template for change does not address the issue of single-year terms for the CCA president? We’ve always thought that one-year terms don’t do a heck of a lot for a boss – newly empowered by said JWC report, of course – who is often just starting to feel comfortable in the high chair before he or she are headed out the door. We’re not suggesting decades of power like this guy or that guy, but given the six-year terms for the board of directors, a switch to a two-year presidential term only makes sense. Or does it not?

And finally, how is it that the missing equation in the CCA’s leadership conundrum – CEO/staff, board and member associations – continues to be athletes? Was this governance review not the perfect opportunity to finally get on with what simply must happen, as it has already in so many other sports... namely, athlete representation to the board of directors?

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