Ottawa area instructor Tom Sinclair is an experienced curler and coach, bringing his love of the game into school gyms to inspire the next generation of the sport. Tom’s long list of accomplishments includes winning gold at the 2019 OUA (Ontario University Athletics) Championship and subsequently winning gold at USport Nationals with Carleton University’s Men’s Curling team.
We wanted to showcase Tom’s dedication to the sport, both in school gyms and on the ice, in a Rocks & Rings instructor highlight.
Tom began curling in 1984 and got his start with coaching 21 years ago when his eldest child was in Little Rocks. He worked his way up to a level 3 coach and has coached teams at countless competitions across the province of Ontario and beyond.
When asked to share some of his proudest moments from his coaching career, Tom highlighted coaching Team Ontario Women to the Bronze medal at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, which involved a 17-3 record at Bantam (U17) Zones, Regions, and Provincials and an undefeated record at the Ontario Winter Games.
Tom also coached the 2011 Bantam (U17) Women’s Provincial Champions and finished second at 7 separate Bantam and Junior Provincials, including second at the 2012 Junior (U21) Womens Provincials with a Bantam (U17) aged team.
As part of the journey to winning the 2019 USport Championship, the Carleton Ravens defeated the defending champion Alberta Golden Bears twice and Tom was named Coach of the Year at 2019 OUAs.
Quite a curling career, and he’s not done yet! It seems fitting that a person who loves the game this much would find new ways to give back and grow the sport. Tom’s daughter Andrea was Rocks & Rings instructor and he saw how much she enjoyed her experience. Tom has always been a teacher in his decades of work as a consulting engineer so the mix of teaching and curling was the perfect match for his passion and experience.
Tom loves tailoring his lessons to the classes he teaches, saying “Every school and class is unique and curling is such a great game that I’m able to adjust each class slightly while giving each class as pure an experience in curling. I particularly enjoy working with the teachers to give their students/class a new experience and empower curlers within the class to show others why they enjoy curling.”
Tom said there were too many reasons to list when asked about what the most rewarding part about being a Rocks & Rings instructor was, but he did share two of his top reasons.
“That’s why I do this.”
Tom hopes that students enjoy their Rocks & Rings session and take away the spirit of the game. Tom loves watching kids manage their games, leading to positive social development. Students take initiative within their games and it’s great to experience their animation steadily increase throughout the session while many kids just light up! Overall, Tom hopes students have a positive experience and take away an appreciation for curling while being architects of their own enjoyment.
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