|Playing more tournaments this season thanks to sponsorship funding, Team Slotland.com has shown steady improvement and is strong heading into the Provincials.|
'Our team has come a long way this season,” reflects Skip Gerry Guerts. “We’ve still got a ways to go to make it to the Olympics but hey we’ve got four more seasons till then!”
Difficulty arose when Greg Palmer left the Team just hours before their first game at the Kia Cup Men’s Tankard in December. Team Slotland.com found a spare at third and, after a rocky start, came out of the tournament with a solid result -- Top 4 in the zone. Skip Gerry Guerts played his best shot of the year through a tight port to hit and roll off a rock and behind cover. Their opponents failed to remove it taking Team Slotland.com to 3-2 for the tournament. The team played well at the City of London Bonspiel January 13 – 18 going 3-0 in the preliminary round and earning a berth in the A semifinals where they were outplayed by David Heinrichs. A 3-1 weekend including one game that could have gone either way. Their Fourth Place finish at the Tobacco Belt Bonspiel in Tillsonburg January 21 – 23 earned Team Slotland.com an entry into the OCT Championships in March.
Improving throughout the season, despite changes at Third, Team Slotland.com is strong and confident going into the Zones in Brantford February 5 and Tim Horton’s Colts in Perth -- where they’ve been targeting a provincials berth from the beginning of the season -- February 8 - 10.
The debut of team and event sponsorships from condom manufacturers to donut shops this year has raised a few eyebrows. Ontario curlers are divided on the impact of corporate money on their game. In an online forum at www.CurlingZone.com, opinions are divided.
“All this money can be bad for the game. When teams play for bigger money and purses, sportsmanships and the curling code seem to go out the window,” laments one posting. “If it becomes perverted like the NHL, we won’t recognize the game we left behind.”
Another observer has a more positive take on sponsorships: “Think of it this way. The Brier has been sponsored by cigarettes, beer and now coffee. The vices of many great players! Nothing wrong with adding sex and gambling to the list!”
“Little things like the new Team Slotland.com uniforms we bought them really help build the team’s confidence and I think that’s why they’ve been improving throughout the season,” says Hannah Morante, Slotland.com spokesperson. “We’re just glad we were able to make a difference!”