May is upon us and the ice has melted out of the rivers and lakes and from most curling clubs around our little province of NB. Another curling season is behind us and the dust has settled from the 2019 provincial play downs. The next host city of Grand Falls is no doubt beginning preparations for teams of firefighters and their families to descend upon them next January to do it all over again. The 2019 edition of our New Brunswick firefighters curling championships was hosted by the Oromocto Professional firefighters association in the town of four O’s for the first time ever.
My name is Adam Murphy and I was the chair of the most recent provincial championships held here in Oromocto and I appreciate the opportunity to share our experience with you.
My phone rang as I was driving home from the Capital winter club in Fredericton immediately following an opening round loss to a strong Drummond team. It was January of 2017 and I had been living and curling for 10 years in NB at the time. A friend in attendance at the AGM asked me very quickly if Oromocto would host in 2 years to which I said yes. I missed the meeting but our bid was successful. We began preparations to host for the first time.
We established a committee and began preparations in the fall of 2018. Not major planning but we booked the ice and hotel prior to travelling to St. Stephen for the 2018 championships. We had set a goal to try and attract as many teams as possible for a couple of reasons. Firstly, more teams make the event a lot more fun and more competitive. Secondly we were seeking sponsors to help with associated costs of hosting and the more attendance the better. As a committee we met quarterly and set goals to meet our needs. In the fall of 2018 we had some assistance from the NB Fire Chiefs in circulating a flyer to many departments around the province and we regularly updated a facebook page on our sponsors and developments leading up to the 2019 championships.
I’m happy to say that from here on out we will have assistance in publication and distribution of material pertaining to the NB firefighters curling association thanks to a freshly inked contract with Metalfab firetrucks making them the title sponsor of this event and major contributor to all social media activities including this new website!
Leading up to the 2019 championships we had some very generous sponsors come forward and had some nice prizes donated. Our platinum sponsors were Beaudet Motors, Jamie Morris Exit realty advantage, Tim Horton’s Gateway, Marty Forsythe Sun Life financial, Sobeys Oromocto, IAFF Oromocto Professional firefighters association, and the Days INN Oromocto. We were also very fortunate to have family members and volunteers come help us with transportation and organization of our hospitality suite during the weekend. We had 20 teams register and they all came to participate! Everyone supported our hospitality suite and the weekend was a success with the Joe Vautour rink from Saint John fire winning the provincial championship.
The weather turned stormy on Sunday which slightly affected travel plans for some of our teams but everyone got home safely and we couldn’t be happier with how the weekend turned out as a whole. If we get the opportunity to host again in the future we will definitely give it another shot. Our success came from having an amazing host committee, incredible community support, and a great group of firefighters who continue to compete and support this association each year. Thanks to all of you and see you in Grand Falls!