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Homegrown Saskatchewan Roughriders
Regina Red Sox
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
TABLE OF CONTENTS
September Features 04 Welcome 06 The Red Sox making Regina home yesterday and today
08 Get to know... Randi Schmeichel
The University of Regina Cougars are a huge part of our cityâ€™s sporting community. This month we got to know Randi Schmeichel, a four-year Cougar who has kicked back after injury.
10 In Regina... NHL preseason
12 Sports Personality... Trevor King
20 Forever & Today... Gord Currie
14 At home in Riderville
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are a vital part of Regina`s identity, and no one knows that better than those who grew up here and now play for the team.
22 Where to... Golf in and around Regina
24 Gear up to... Run
26 Event Calendar
18 Focus on... Sepak Takraw
The sport from Asia is growing faster in Regina than anywhere else in North America. Kicks, flips, and bodies flying through the air can be found throughout the city.
FROM THE EDITOR Adrenaline: Regina Sports Issue 1 – September 2009 Published by: Adrenaline Regina Sports Editor-in-Chief: Julie Folk Administration Manager: Allie Folk Sales & Marketing: Peter Woldu
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drenaline. As it rushes through your veins, it increases your heart rate, boosts the supply of oxygen to your brain, and enables your body to “fight or flight.” It’s often triggered in emergency situations, but in the sporting world, it’s that feeling you get when you’re pumped up, excited, and ready to take on whatever comes at you.
Contact: Adrenaline: Regina Sports (306) 751-0787
The adrenaline rush from tackling in a football game may be a bit different from the one you get as you line up a putt. But either way there’s a change in your body and mind as you become entirely focused on that one action.
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Athletics and recreation in Regina encompass a wide variety of sports, athletes, teams, and different levels of adrenaline rushes. We’ve got that rush of adrenaline ourselves as we see our magazine in print for the first time. Regina sports fans now have one more place to get to know athletes, teams and sports in the community as we provide in-depth features each month. For up-to-date information, we’ve developed a website to keep you posted on the latest from your favourites. Check out www.adrenalinereginasports.com for more. We want to know what you want to read about. Do you have an athlete, a team, or a sport we need to check out? Do you know of something exciting going on in Regina’s sporting community? If so, please email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.
Julie Folk Editor
Contributors: Cassie Hawrysh, Michael Lasko
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
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PICTURE THIS Sailboats on Pasqua Lake in a summer regatta.
Regina Red Sox
Making Regina Home: Yesterday and Today
he Regina Red Sox may be one of the city’s most hidden treasures. Hidden because few seem to know much about the team that makes its home at Currie Field. A treasure because of the quality of baseball and talented players that make up the team, and the history that goes with the name of the Regina Red Sox. The baseball team finished this year in the first round of playoffs, after a successful season that included a league-leading hitting average and players from Regina and beyond coming together to field a quality team both on the field and off. Rob Cherepuschak became the first Regina-based head coach this year after three years coaching as an assistant. It was everything he expected and more.
“I really believe in creating good people,” he said, a week after his team lost to the Melville Millionaires after finishing strong in the regular season of the Western Major Baseball League. “Our job is not only to entertain, but to inspire people too…. Playoffs aren’t necessarily there to reward the most talented teams but to reward the clubhouse and the people who can stick together.” Cherepuschak said the Red Sox really become a family, with players’ families, host families, and countless volunteers coming together. The family really does stick together, as Kip Simon, Justin Eiswirth, and Tanner Brotzel – Red Sox alumni – were assistant coaches with the team this year. The Red Sox play with a combination of imports and Regina players who spend their winter playing college baseball. Altogether, they are
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
among the top college baseball players in North America, meaning high quality ball at Currie Field and within the WMBL. The team went through ups and downs throughout the season, but played through and ended the regular season with a streak of eight wins in 10 games. The Red Sox have continued to grow each season since joining the WMBL five years ago. Regina didn’t have a team in the league in 2003. Bernie Eiswirth, now the Red Sox’ general manager, and Gary Brotzel, who became the president, both had sons playing college baseball who would come home in the summer and play with teams outside of Regina. The two parents decided to bring a team together, calling them the Regina Red Sox, a name with a respected history in this city.
“A lot of baseball people in Regina knew of the name,” said Eiswirth. “We wanted to make sure people understood that this was real quality ball, so they understood how important this baseball was.” The history of the Regina Red Sox name goes back to 1912, when the Regina Bonepilers of the Western Canada League (also known as the Twilight League) became the Regina Red Sox. The team played until 1914, and when the league returned after the war, Regina`s team was the Senators. In the 1940s the Regina Red Sox began playing in the Southern Baseball League, and remained a force – winning five championships and coming in second numerous times – until the league folded in 1974. The next year, the Red Sox formed the Saskatchewan Major Baseball League along with five other teams. The League would eventually become the Western Major Baseball League. Regina teams came and went over the years, but Eiswirth said this team is here to stay; hence its name and its players. “It’s tradition,” said Eiswirth. “With Rob as our head coach, we want the players to leave here not only better ball players, but better people…. And it’s good for the young baseball players, who can think about college and what to strive for.” Having the calibre of Red Sox baseball in Regina is not only entertaining, but a demonstration of what Regina baseball players can achieve. The Red Sox tradition began years ago and continues to today and beyond – a baseball team of quality.
GET TO KNOW
Randi Schmeichel R
andi Schmeichel is in her fourth season with the University of Regina Cougars, and she wants to make it a memorable year. After graduating from Campbell Collegiate, Schmeichel began playing with the newly formed Cougar soccer team. The 22-yearold, who plays midfield, took a break from helping coach a soccer camp just a couple weeks before her own season to answer some of our questions.
Adrenaline Regina Sports: You had an injury a couple of seasons ago. What happened and how did you come back? Randi Schmeichel: I tore my ACL in October of ’07, and then I had surgery, did my rehab, and then I played last year. I’ll be playing this year again. It was definitely a learning and growing experience. It took a lot of hard work, but it paid off. ARS: What do you enjoy about playing for the Cougars? RS: Everything. I love playing. The girls are great. Bob (Maltmann)’s a great head coach – we’re very lucky to have him here. Every year we’re getting so much better. We’re still looked at as the underdog but it’s nice to be part of something where hopefully we’ll be the ones to start beating other teams and teams will look at us more as competition. We get along so great off the field and on the field. The road trips are great.
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
ARS: How has the team grown and developed since you first started playing and the team was formed? RS: It’s gotten nothing but better. Everyone’s doing great, growing together as a team. Results have gotten better and we hope to get even better this season. There were growing pains and I think we’ve gotten over most of them and we’re headed in the right direction, ARS: What do you enjoy the most about playing the game? RS: Everything. When we put those passes together and get the shot off. We encourage each other and help each other. Those great little battles in the game against the other team. ARS: How did you come to where you are today in your soccer career? RS: I started soccer young and ever since then I always loved it and wanted to play. I’ve played other sports and when it came to the point I had to choose one, soccer was always what I wanted to pick. ARS: What are you taking in school and what are your goals after university? RS: I’m taking Health Studies. I don’t know what I want to do, but I might try to do my field work in another country and see what kind of health impact I can make in a positive way, such as promoting healthy activities like working with soccer in other countries. I also love coaching. It’s great; definitely challenging at some times but it’s good.
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ARS: Do any games from your Cougar career stand out for you? RS: It’s always a big rivalry against the U of S and last year was a bit disappointing. This year will be different. ARS: How does Regina support you? RS: I think we get some support but not enough, so that’s something that could definitely be improved. At the University I think other teams overshadow us a bit more, but it’s going in the right direction; it’s just not quite there yet. So come out and cheer us on! ARS: Do the Cougars inspire other players? RS: I think its something other girls in Regina want to shoot for and they know we’re getting better so they want to keep getting better.
The first University of Regina Cougars soccer games are Sept. 19 and 20 at 12 pm at the U of R.
IN REGINA pick who went to Tampa Bay. The preseason games will help the Lightning figure out how the defenseman will fit into the team. “The bottom line for exhibition games… is you’re trying to see certain guys separate themselves,” said Tocchet. “Guys like the Lecaviers and the St. Louis’ are trying to get themselves ready for October, and then the guys on the bubble are really competing for jobs. As a coach, you’re looking for guys to be competitive…. Most preseason games are pretty competitive and spirited because of jobs on the line, and you try to mix in veterans to give guys a chance to play with the good players.”
Pro Hockey on Regina Ice T
he NHL is coming to the Brandt Centre.
Specifically, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Ottawa Senators will play a preseason game in front of Regina fans on Sept. 21 – which Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet said he and the team are looking forward to. “The management really wanted to find a place in Canada where they don’t get a lot of NHL games and where there’s big hockey fans,” said Tocchet, whose team will play host that night as home team. “Regina was on the top of the list, and a lot of people are really excited about it. When you come there, it gets pretty exciting, and for exhibition games it helps coaches because the players get excited when they see the fans excited. It makes for a better, more exciting hockey game.” This may be a preseason competition, but Tocchet confirmed that Regina fans will see Tampa Bay’s
stars on the ice, such as Vincent Lecavier, Martin St. Louis, and Ryan Malone. Lecavier, who attended nearby Athol Murray Notre Dame College, is back as the Lightning’s captain, despite trade rumours that circulated throughout the offseason. But the rumours were just that – rumours, said Tocchet. The Lightning have made a lot of moves in the offseason, and the preseason game will help determine how the team will gel together and which players fit into the team. Tampa Bay didn’t make the playoffs last year, but Tocchet said this season it’s time to pick it up and move on. To possibly help them do so is Victor Hedman, the second overall draft
“The players get excited when they see the fans excited.” - Rick Tocchet, head coach, Tampa Bay Lightning
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
This will be a chance for Regina hockey fans to see a live NHL hockey game – something incomparable to how games appear televised. The Lightning are looking forward to visiting Regina, and enjoying the city, the game, and the experience. “When you’re in a hockey country, and in Regina – they love their hockey there – and they don’t have an NHL team, you want to put a good product on for them, and you hope the fans are into it,” said Tocchet. “You hope it’s a fun atmosphere – there’s a buzz you get.”
Tickets to the exhibition game, which will fill the 6,300-seat Brandt Centre, have been on sale since July. The teams will also be on the ice in the morning for an open practice, which fans can watch if they bring a donation to the Regina & District Food Bank.
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as you have a lot of kids who haven’t played football before, but it’s neat to see how far they can progress in a year. The season’s only eight or nine weeks long, and it’s amazing how far they come along.”
revor King coaches for the love of the game and the wish to share his passion with others. Unlike many coaches, King doesn’t have any children on the team; he goes to the field for football and teaching. King has been coaching in the Regina Minor Football league since 2001. “I wanted to find an opportunity to help kids learn the game of football, and hopefully get the same type of passion for the game of football that I have,” said King. “I called RMF and it just kind of went from there.”
King spends three nights a week practicing with the team throughout August and September, and also makes time to play for his own football team in the Touch Football League. He also has another team at home – his three kids: Jocelyn, 9, Adam, 7, and Rachel, 4.
For the Fun of It King began coaching the Canadians, who are aged 9 to 11, and he has been with the team ever since.
“When guys like Trevor King walk through the door and say, ‘Hi, I want to coach football,’ we know they’re King grew up playing football in there for all the right reasons,” said Regina. He played defensive back with Kelly Hamilton, president of RMF. the LeBoldus Suns throughout high “When you get a guy like Trevor, what school and then one year at Simon he gives each kid is passion, fairness, Fraser University. He lived in a few and the opportunity to learn and have some fun. Regina Minor Football’s motto is, ‘it`s fun, it`s fair, it`s football.’ And I think Trevor brings all Trevor King, RMF coach that and more.”
“It’s neat to see how far they can progress in a year.” –
different places before he and his wife Colleen moved back to Regina. King was interviewed and RMF had an opportunity for him to coach an atom team in the south end of the city.
Eight years after his initial interview, Trevor is well into another football season with the team. “I really enjoy coaching that age,” said King. “It’s a little challenging
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
Jocelyn has chosen not to play football, but King looks forward to coaching Adam, who has an interest in the game. “I think it would be neat,” said King. Right now, King has enjoyed watching the kids he coaches develop, and watches for their successes in high school football and beyond. His assistant coach, Matt Kerr, has been with him for seven seasons, and now two players King coached in his first couple years will be joining the coaching staff. Above: Trevor King coaches the Canadians. Photo by Michael Lasko
eagues such as Regina Minor Football and Regina Soccer rely on the gift of time from their coaches. Now coaches, players, and league officials alike are getting a new gift - a renovated Leibel Field in Douglas Park, courtesy of the two leagues and the municipal, provincial, and federal governments. The project will include $3 million of upgrades, such as artificial turf, new lighting, new locker rooms, washrooms, and storage facilities. The rapidly growing leagues will greatly benefit from the renovations as it will allow the fields to be used much more often and in various weather conditions. It shows the quality of sport in this province - and how much fun kids have playing their game. The atom division, he said, is all about having fun, getting all the players playing time on the field, and making sure the kids enjoy the game. “At this age, one of the most important things is getting that good first experience, so they will continue on,” said King. In addition to having fun, his teams have also been successful, not losing a game the past two seasons. Two years ago in the championship, his team was playing the Alouettes and the game went into eight overtime sessions before being called a draw due to darkness and tiredness. “That was a neat experience,” said King. “It would have been hard to see one of the teams lose at that point, so it was neat to see them both walk off as champions.”
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At home in Riderville T
here’s quite a few familiar faces on the Saskatchewan Roughriders this season. Ten players on the Riders truly call Saskatchewan home - and have since the beginning of their football days. This season, Jason Clermont, Tamon George, Nick Hutchins, Dan Clark, Michael Stadnyk and Joel Lipinski join Stu Foord, Chris Getzlaf, Neal Hughes and, of course, Gene Makowsky as local players on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“This is really something else, and it’s great to see,” said Makowsky, who has played with the Roughriders for 15 seasons and has never seen this much local talent on a CFL team. He recently wrote a report on minor football in Saskatchewan for the provincial government, which has given him some insight into what has brought so many Saskatchewan-born players onto the Roughriders.
second to none.” Getzlaf agrees that more kids are getting inspired to play. “The sport is growing year after year in this city and its producing some players now. As it continues to grow, there’s going to be more and more players coming up.” Makowsky thinks Saskatchewan players also have that something special. “I think the other part is it seems most Saskatchewan kids – or the ones I have been associated with – they have something a little extra. Football is a tough sport and you have to be strong mentally. I haven’t met a Saskatchewan player who’s soft…. It just seems there’s that little something extra special that all the guys have out here that allows them to stay in the game.” Makowsky has been a role model for many young football players as they grow up and cheer on the Green and White.
“Most Saskatchewan kids... have a little something extra.” - Gene Makowsky
“For our population, we have more players playing professional football than anywhere by far,” said Makowsky, the sole local player from Saskatoon, but who now makes Regina home. “It’s really a product of how popular the Roughriders are in the province, how popular football is, and how outstanding the grassroots football is in Saskatchewan. It’s
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
Nick Hutchins was one of those players, and he is now playing with the team he grew up watching. He has loved every minute on the field with the Riders. “It’s like a dream come true; all those clichés,” said Hutchins. “It’s been what I wanted to do since I started playing football… Makowsky used to teach me in high school, so it’s kind of funny having all those guys like him and O’Day here, after
watching them through my football career. They’re guys you look up to… Anything they say, I take and use it.” Hutchins and Tamon George came to the Riders in the Canadian CFL draft this season, after playing for the University of Regina Rams. George agreed this is a feeling he doesn’t take lightly. “This is a team that I’ve been watching since I can remember watching football,” he said. “Being able to wear those same colours as people I’ve watched, people I’ve looked up to, that’s a pretty special feeling and not too many people get to experience something like that.” Neal Hughes has been playing for the Riders for six seasons, so he has quite a bit of knowledge to impart on playing in front of a home crowd. “I grew up watching the Riders, wishing one day I could be out there, playing,” he said. “And my dream came true. It’s pretty cool.” There are a few different routes local players have gone to get to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. George, Getzlaf, Hutchins, Makowsky, and Stadnyk were all drafted to the Roughriders. Others – such as Clark, Foord, Hughes, and Lipinski — signed as free agents after junior or college careers. Clermont is the lone local player to have played away from the province in the CFL, for the B.C. Lions. Clermont was drafted by B.C. in 2002, and while playing for the Lions he spent his offseasons back home. In the 2008-2009 offseason he had the
chance to play elsewhere and so when the opportunity came it was home to Saskatchewan. He said the chemistry of the Riders and the focus on the team is unlike what he’s ever experienced. He knew there would be support, but maybe not quite as much as he imagined. When he made his first catch as a Saskatchewan Roughrider, the entire crowd at Mosaic Stadium gave him a standing ovation. “It’s been awesome,” he said. “People that come up and talk to you on the street, talk about football and ask what’s going on – they’re very knowledgeable about the game and it’s really something I was looking forward to. I’ve got family and friends who have been Rider fans for a really long time, and they’re very partial to the team. To be a part of that is awesome.”
Dan Clark agrees: “It’s good to be home.” Clark was to play another season with the Regina Thunder, but was asked to stay on with the Riders. “I’m glad I got the opportunity… I didn’t want to leave the province or leave the team. The guys here are great; this is one big family.” One thing Saskatchewan players agree on is that this is where they always wanted to be and they encourage others to follow in their footsteps. “Every day growing up I wished I could (play for the Riders),” said Stadnyk, who has stepped up his role with the team this season. “I
didn’t think I was going to be on this field right now where I am, but it was all just working hard, and it’s a good feeling.” The home games are important to these players, as family and friends fill the stands. Mosaic Stadium may be a familiar place to play, but the atmosphere is something unlike anywhere else. “In my mind I’ve always built it up to what it could possibly be, and it didn’t disappoint in any aspect,” said Lipinski. “Coming out of the tunnel in the first actual game with the crowd going crazy was just unreal. It was everything I dreamed it to be. And the last two minutes in the first B.C. game when the crowd was as loud as it could be, that was deafening and sent
shivers through my body. It was awesome.” For Stu Foord, becoming a Saskatchewan Roughrider was something he’d imagined for so long, he wasn’t really sure what to expect. “I remember my first play,” he said. “It was a kickoff the very first game, so the first play of the first game, I’m on. And after I ran that, I realized its just football. It’s nothing totally different. It’s still the game you’ve always been playing. For me, the same field I’ve been playing on the whole time. So yeah, it’s faster, stronger guys, but it’s still the game. So don’t be intimidated if you’re aspiring to do something like this.”
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
Who they are Dan Clark • offensive lineman • 1 CFL season • 1 Rider season • Regina Thunder Jason Clermont • receiver • 8 CFL seasons • 1 Rider season • U of R Rams Stu Foord • running back • 2 CFL seasons • 2 Rider seasons • Regina Thunder Tamon George • defensive back • 1 CFL season • 1 Rider season • U of R Rams
Chris Getzlaf • receiver • 3 CFL seasons • 3 Rider seasons • U of R Rams Neal Hughes • running back • 6 CFL seasons • 6 Rider seasons • U of R Rams Nick Hutchins • offensive lineman • 1 CFL season • 1 Rider season • U of R Rams
Photos courtesy of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club and by Julie Folk
Joel Lipinski • defensive back • 1 CFL season • 1 Rider season • Saint Mary’s University Gene Makowsky • offensive lineman • 15 CFL seasons • 15 Rider seasons • U of S Huskies Michael Stadnyk • defensive lineman • 1 CFL season • 1 Rider season • University of Montana
Sepak Takraw Kicks Up Profile in Saskatchewan
askatchewan parks have been filled with flips, kicks, and blocks this summer as sepak takraw was played throughout the city. The emerging sport – also known as kick volleyball – continues to grow in Saskatchewan. The two major events this summer, provincials on Canada Day and nationals on the August long weekend, brought out many spectators and new people to try out the sport. “They’re pretty amazed,” said Rick Engel, the pioneer of organizing the sport in North America. “Some of the common words we hear are ‘amazing,’ ‘incredible,’ ‘awesome,’ or ‘sick’ – there’s many adjectives and we hear them all. It’s fun to watch.” Whether they’re at a national
competition or in the Oasis (a former church) on a Tuesday night, it’s easy to see the enjoyment players get out of sepak takraw. The advanced players fly through the air as they flip and spike; learning players break into smiles as they enter the gym, and rally back and forth. Engel discovered sepak takraw during his two years of teaching English in China.
the Open Door Society, he discovered sepak takraw was being played in the Laotian community in Regina. He began learning the game from them, and has since become the author of a manual on the sport that instructors and teachers throughout the country and around the world use to teach sepak takraw. Through Asian Sport Education and Culture International (ASEC), he helped introduce the activity to schools.
“One summer I was travelling and came across the sport in Thailand and Malaysia,” said Engel. “That’s where I first saw it and I just thought this is an amazing sport and we could do this in Canada.”
Sepak takraw has incorporated a national and now provincial sport governing body, and continues to attract players from beginners to competitive.
Engel came home with the sport on his mind and through teaching ESL at
“It’s like volleyball but you’re not using your hands, which makes it very
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
FOCUS ON entertaining because there’s a whole new dimension involved,” said Engel. “It’s entertaining to see the control that experienced players have. We have all the plays as well – short sets, fast spikes, high sets, big air spikes.” The sport is being integrated into physical education classes to develop foot-eye coordination. Win San moved to Canada from Thailand two and a half years ago. He had never played sepak takraw before, but had watched it being played in his own country, and was excited to try playing in Regina. Others are now picking up the sport, often learning about it from friends. “Many people, like my brothers, now are learning to play sepak takraw,” he said. “This is my favourite game to play.”
Regina has become the hub of sepak takraw throughout the entire Pan American region. Two women from Brazil recently immigrated to Canada, and came to Regina for sepak takraw. Caelan Reilly was at Mosaic one year when a sepak takraw demonstration caught his eye, as he had played soccer, volleyball, badminton and baseball before. “It seemed like the combination of all the sports I had played in one game,” he said. He soon found out more about the sport and began playing at a nearby school. He now practices regularly and plays with Engel and San on the national team. He’s also had the opportunity to travel to Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, China, and New York to go to compete in international tournaments and
How to play Sepak Takraw Sepak takraw is similar to volleyball, soccer, badminton, and hackey sack. A badminton court and net is used. Three players per side serve, set, spike, and use similar strategies to volleyball – except they can’t use their hands – instead they use their feet and head, similar to soccer. One player pitches to another on the team, who kicks the ball over the net for the serve. Either team can score at any time. The ball must stay in bounds and can’t hit the floor.. The team that wins the best of three sets wins the match. The first two sets are played up to 21, with each team winning by 2 points up to 25. The third set is played up to 15 points. The best way to kick is using the instep – the flat part of the foot – and kicking the ball from a low position, up and over the net. Once the basic skills have been mastered, players can move on and advance their skill set.
participate in training camps and demonstrations. “The people here are really friendly, which is always motivation to come back,” he said. “And there’s nothing better than doing a nice, hard spike over the net, and the player on the other side will go up for a block and you hear an ‘ouch’ on the other side.” The next step, for Engel, is to create a sepak takraw league, similar to other high school sports. Nine or ten is the age Engel recommends kids can start learning the sport. Sepak Takraw Saskatchewan runs programs all year. This summer, drop-in sessions ran all week, where everyone from highly skilled national team members to beginners came out to practice, either indoors at the Oasis behind Sepak Takraw Saskatchewan’s office, or outdoors at Victoria Park, in front of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, or in Candy Cane Park. Those walking by for a nightly stroll? They’re invited to join right in the fun if they wish. “As long as you can kick as high as your knee, you can play speak takraw,” said Engel.
To learn more about sepak takraw, see www.takrawcanada.com or call (306) 584-8778.
FOREVER & TODAY
Winning for a lifetime Gord Currie S
He was born in rural Saskatchewan and moved around with his parents throughout the Depression. He eventually was accepted to school at Notre Dame College, which he described as “the greatest thing that happened in my life, because no one has had more of an impact on my life following that, then Pere Murray.” Pere Murray helped “There’s a much more mold many of Currie’s intriguing scoreboard... philosophies and and that’s the score- values, such as loyalty, But, as he explained, success is not always as easily board in your heart.” courage, endurance explained as one might think. When I asked Currie his and honour – the traits secret to his success, he answered, “I don’t know. That’s my - Gord Currie that make up a team most honest answer. But I do know this. When I started worthy of success. to coach young people, I started because of what I learned in teaching them and watching their responses – looking “Feelings and attitudes and qualities of young people as in their eyes so to speak. And I started to become almost they grow up and develop them are the very ingredients mesmerized with trying to define what success really is. I of success and of winning, and they were the foundation found coaches were always caught up with winning and on which a team came into being and a team was made,” success being synonyms, and I started to wonder, ‘what said Currie. “Otherwise, what you were dealing with was are you trying to win? What is success?’ I guess that’s the a bunch of guys out there. Those bunch of guys somehow reason I kept coaching.” have to come together and become a team, and what brings them together is how they develop through the emphasis Currie’s success on the scoreboard included 40 straight upon the most important things.” wins (109 in 135 games) and eight Saskatchewan uccess. It means something different to each person who feels it or yearns for it. It’s something Gord Currie spent a lot of time thinking about, as he coached the Balfour Redmen, the Regina Rams, and the Regina Red Sox to more victories and championships than they had ever seen before. And it’s something he is asked about now, years later, by those hungry to achieve the same success he did.
championships with the Balfour Tech football team; one Alberta Junior League Championship, eight Man-Sask League Championships, seven Western Canadian Junior Championships, and six Canadian Championships with the Regina Rams. He also coached Balfour’s hockey team to three provincial championships, and had great success with the Regina Red Sox, who he coached from 1954 to 1956, and 1960 to 1962.
Currie began coaching after he was discharged from the navy in 1945.
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
Currie’s teaching career began – literally – on the toss of a coin. After his discharge, a counselor told him he should become a teacher or a lawyer. Before going for a drink at the Hotel Saskatchewan, Currie and a friend stood on the steps outside and flipped the coin. Currie’s came up heads, and his career of educating in the schools and on the field began. He was placed at Balfour and began coaching hockey and baseball, two sports he had played at Notre Dame. His hockey teams were successful, winning the provincial playoffs the first three seasons, up until high school hockey provincials were discontinued. He then began coaching the junior, and later, the senior football team – a sport he had never played before but spent hours learning, from books and – more importantly – the young people he was coaching. “Most of what I learned was by watching the kids, judging
what to do by their responses and trying to determine what it was that was important to them,” said Currie. “That’s how I arrived at most of my coaching methods.” Currie coached the Balfour football team to success from 1950 to 1965. He then decided to coach the Regina Rams, but it was not a decision he took lightly. He spent one year coaching both teams. Junior football was something he found challenging, but proved his ability to coach people, not just players. “Most of success revolves around relationships,” said Currie. “To win consistently, I would say it is due to the development that takes place on the part of the coach, and his relationships with his assistant coach, the executive members, and the key relationship – with the players. It was based upon two very fundamental concepts – trust and respect, and recognizing every individual player is important. You’ve got to recognize what the make up of that kid is. And as soon as he knows that there’s a relationship – that he is respected – that’s the thing that breeds success more than anything.” Frank McCrystal, current head coach of the University of Regina Rams, was coached by Currie. McCrystal said Currie added to the Rams philosophy of making the football field more than just athletics and into a classroom for life. “Gord was very much concerned about his players as people, and oftentimes when you can bring out the best of that in a person, it will also bring out the best athletically in a person. He really encouraged people to realize their potential as people, not just football players,” said McCrystal. “He is really able to cut through the distractions and get to what was important. He’s able to take things that seem overwhelming and confusing and make sense of them. He has a very natural ability to see the simplicity of living.” Currie, now 86, looks back and sees what true success is. Since retiring from coaching, Currie continued to stay in sports and continued to build quality people. He became a vice principal and principal within the public school system, and later became a Minister in the Saskatchewan Government. He’s been recognized and honoured numerous times over the years. He is a member of the Order of Canada and has been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame – but these recognitions are not what
Currie wants to talk about. Today Currie lives with his wife, Shirley, in Regina, and enjoys visits with his three sons – Robert, Douglas, and James – and granddaughter, Rosalyn. He’s still active with frequent walks and up until recently, quite a bit of golf, a sport he took up later in life. And he still likes to keep up-to-date on the teams he once coached to victory. Now, he can truly see what success means to him and to those he coached. “I started to wonder, what is it that kids really want?” said Currie. “Do they want a medal? A cup? A trophy? Or do they want something that’s more substantial than that, something beyond that? There’s a scoreboard at the end of the field, and that scoreboard is important, and you can become mesmerized with it. But there’s a much more intriguing scoreboard, by far, and that’s the scoreboard in your heart.” Loyalty to the team, true courage on the field, and endurance to get through the tough times are important virtues to Currie. But perhaps none more so than honour. “When you put all these things together and it becomes the fabric and the foundation of your thinking, of a team, then that’s what you’re trying to win – to win the honour of having become a member of a team,” said Currie. “That is not like holding your cup, which is winning for the moment. That is winning for a lifetime. It never, ever leaves.” Left: Gord Currie Copyright: Saskatchewan Archives Board #R-A 1867 Above: Gord Currie (top, second from right) with his Balfour Redmen after their 40th straight win.
egina offers some of the most beautiful places to golf in the province. Each course is unique with its own characteristics, meaning there is a course out there for everyone in the city. Here are a few of our favourites within or close to Reginaâ€™s city limits.
Deer Valley Golf & Estates
Deer Valley Golf is a beautiful course set in the community just outside of Regina; an oasis in the midst of the prairies. The 18-hole course is a challenging layout for all handicaps, with twists and turns that follow the natural landscape. The smooth greens are some of the finest in the province. The course is excited to now have a full service, brand new clubhouse which offers a picturesque view of the course. The course and clubhouse is perfect for tournaments and events throughout the year. Learn more: www.deervalleygolfestates.com
Tor Hill Golf Course
The Tor Hill Golf Course takes golfers over the natural terrain of the land just outside of Regina. The course, designed in 1928 and built in 1931 by Stanley Thompson, is challenging for the expert golfer but also provides some forgiveness to beginners. The public, 27-hole course, is owned by the City of Regina. Learn more: http://www. westerngolfmanagement.com/dir_torhill.html
Wascana Country Club The Wascana Country Club, open since 1911, is approaching its 100th anniversary with some changes in mind. The course has undergone a few renovations in the past few years, and remains a premiere Canadian golf club. The 18-hole private course features a tight front nine with a more lengthy back, all built around Wascana Creek, which runs through and around the course. Learn more: www.wascanacountryclub.com Photos by Michael Lasko and Julie Folk
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
around Regina Aspen Links Country Club Aspen Links Country Club will be known to some as the Emerald Park Golf & Country Club. It is now part of Aspen Village, a community in Emerald Park, just outside of Regina. The course is 18 holes and is open to the public, with large fairways and greens. It’s perfect for the average golfer but can also provide a challenge to an advanced player. Learn more: www.aspenvillage.ca
Murray Golf Course The Murray Golf Course was also designed by architect Stanley Thompson in 1928, but wasn’t opened until 1950. The course is designed around the land, with trees and hills enhancing the play and making for exciting holes. The average golfer will love this course, as bunkers are designed to provide for interesting golf play rather than to trap golfers into a high score. The 18-hole course is owned by the City of Regina and open to the public. Learn more: http://www.westerngolfmanagement.com/dir_murray.html
Royal Regina Golf Club The Royal Regina Golf Club – the oldest in the city – has been dubbed by golfers something similar to “planes, trains, and automobiles,” due to its proximity to the airport, train tracks, and the RCMP barracks. But don’t let this scare you away. The golf course, built in 1899, has a character unlike any other, and is one of only six courses in Canada to have received a royal designation. The semi-private 18-hole course has some very forgiving holes for those with a crooked drive, while others make you accountable. Learn more: www.royalregina.com
Joanne Goulet Golf Club The Joanne Goulet Golf Club is an executive length, 18-hole course, with a short front nine and a slightly longer back nine. The greens are large, but surrounded with sand. Wascana Creek also plays features prominently into 15 holes on the course. Learn more: http://www. westerngolfmanagement.com/dir_joanne.html
Gear up to… Run S
eptember is the month runners gear up for in Regina, as the Queen City Marathon takes place on our city’s streets. We wanted to know what out there runners need and want, so we talked to Heather Dergo, Running Room Regina store manager. She went over some new and important products, and also provided some tips every runner, doing a 5K or a full marathon, can use.
utrition and energy for a runner is extremely important. In the past, gels and powders have often been the main options for runners. Now there are more alternatives depending on what feels right for you.
unners are getting more interested in knowing how far they’ve gone, how long they’ve gone, what pace they’re going at, and what their heart rate is. There are many different gadgets out there, and every person has to find what works for him or her.
Nike Sports Band
Nike has an option that’s a bit more economical but still provides all the stats a runner can want. The Nike Sports Band is, at its most basic, an electronic pedometer. The apple chip fits underneath the sock liner of Nike Plus shoes, or an adapter can be clipped onto laces. Before, the apple chip just transmitted data to an iPod Touch, Nano, or iPhone. Now there’s another option – the Nike sports band that fits smoothly around the wrist.
Garmin 310 XT
Garmin has always been a favourite of runners, and now the multisport athlete has a new toy to play with. The new Garmin 310 XT can be worn in the water, on the bike, and onto the run. Along the way it will do everything Garmin has always done a terrific job of – tracking distance, time, pace, and even more capabilities in integrating wirelessly to figure out cadence on the bike and in the run. The band is smaller than most and fits nicely on the wrist.
Clif Shot Blocks
Of course runners, for the most part, are a health-conscious bunch. Clif Shot Blocks are organic and have cane sugar and brown rice sugars as opposed to glucose and fructose.
This new soft jujube type product has amino acids, Vitamins C and E, and electrolytes, in addition to the needed sugars and carbohydrates.
Heather’s helper Heather’s helper
“We want to make sure people know what they want it to do. If they’re going to invest the money, they want it to perform for them.”
Photos courtesy of (clockwise): Garmin; Clif; Body Glide; Nike: by Julie Folk
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
“Don’t do anything new on race day you haven’t tried and tested. Try several different kinds to find which one you like the taste of, which you can tolerate, and what seems to work well for you. Everybody has their favourite.”
GEARING UP Dress up Nike Core Race Day Mid-Airborne
ike always comes up with stylish running clothing that push the edge of fashion. Nike’s Dri-FIT mesh offers the perfect ventilation for runners, especially in the summer, as it moves perspiration off your skin to help keep you dry. The built-in bra also offers great protection and support. There’s also a matching skort.
Skorts There are many different brands and styles of skorts to choose from; its not as easy as one may think. The skirt / shorts provide many different options for runners.
Heather’s helper: “If you have thighs that rub together or you tend to get chaffing or your shorts tend to crawl up, make sure the pants underneath are lower than the midline of the thigh, towards the knee.”
here’s a shoe out there for everyone – so make sure you get what you need. Every person finds a different shoe that works for them according to foot shape, foot need, foot type, cushioning, ride, and firmness. It’s really subjective and every brand has new models for every individual.
Chafe no more
ody glide is “the runner’s best friend.” It looks like a deodorant stick, but is odourless, has no colour, and is not greasy; it’s a solid stick you can rub onto any spot where you’re having problems.
“Anywhere you have chafing, sweat, heat, anything that’s getting abraded, redness, anything – use body glide.”
“Once you find the category of shoe and the amount of stability that you need, then you have to go with fit. It’s just a matter of what a person’s wanting and what fits their foot the best.”
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WHAT’S ON IN REGINA
September Event Calendar Sunday
Wednesday Thursday 1
7 pm Manitoba Bisons @ Regina Rams
2 pm Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ SK Riders
20 12 pm U of S @ Cougar W Soccer
8:30 am Terry Fox Run 1 pm Edm Wildcats @ Thunder White Butte Duathlon
7 pm Ottawa Senators & Tampa Bay Lighting Preseason Game - Brandt Centre
7 pm Brandon Wheat Kings @ Regina Pats (Preseason)
Capital Cosmopolitan Charity Golf Classic
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009
Pats - Brandt Centre.
Tennis Prov Jr Open - Lakeshore Tennis Club
12 7 pm Saskatoon Blades @ Regina Pats (Preseason)
Luther Sr Girls Volleyball Tournament Begins
12 pm U of A @ Cougar W Soccer Cougar Trot Corporate Touch Football Tourn
Cougar WVB Invitational Tourn
5:30 pm Briercrest College @ Cougar W BB (Ex)
Home Game Locations • Roughrider, Rams, and Thunder - Mosaic Stadium. • Cougar soccer and Cougar basketball - University of Regina.
making ideas happen.
ADRENALINE Regina Sports Sept. 2009