Named to the team!

Reid Mulligan, left, with Mark Ideson of the Senior National Program at a training camp last season. Both athletes will be part of the National Wheelchair Curling Program during the 2024-25 season. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Curling Canada announces 2024-25 National Wheelchair Curling Program

Today, Curling Canada announced the athletes selected to the National Wheelchair Curling Program, designed to continue supporting world-leading performances, as well as develop the next generation of wheelchair curling high-performance athletes.

Chrissy Molnar, centre, along with Ina Forrest, left, and Dennis Thiessen will be part of the Senior National Program during the 2024-25 season. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

“We are excited about the strength and depth of this year’s group of athletes,” said Kyle Paquette, Paralympic Program Director, Curling Canada (Gatineau, Que.). “Their dedication to their craft and the program’s success is truly impressive and will help to continue to set Canada apart as a top wheelchair curling nation. As we prepare for the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games, we’re focused on continuing our tradition of excellence on the world stage with an eye to the future.”

Canada won a silver medal at the 2024 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Gangneung, South Korea. Canada’s silver-medal performances at the past two world championships in the mixed event have secured Canada’s spot in the Milano-Cortina 2026 Paralympics.

On the mixed doubles side, Canada has yet to qualify for the 2026 Paralympic Games and needs a strong performance at the 2025 World Wheelchair Mixed Doubles Curling Championship to secure its entry. Canada won bronze at the 2023 World Championship and failed to qualify for playoffs at the 2024 event with a 2-4 round-robin record.

The 2023-24 season was highly successful for the program, hosting seven training camps and participating in seven competitions, with multiple podium finishes. Some of the program’s competitive highlights outside of world championships include winning the British Curling Wheelchair Mixed Doubles Event (Stirling, Scotland) and silver-medal performances at the Wetzikon International Wheelchair Curling Tournament (Wetzikon, Switzerland) and the Stirling Wheelchair Curling International (Stirling, Scotland).   

The following athletes have been named to the 2024-2025 Senior National Program:

  • Gilbert Dash (Wolseley, Sask. – home coach: Lorraine Arguin)
  • Douglas Dean (Thunder Bay, Ont. – home coaches: Doug Gelmich and Rick Lang)
  • Ina Forrest (Armstrong, B.C. – home coach: Sharon Morrison)
  • Jillian Hopkins (Toronto – home coach: Wendy Morgan)
  • Mark Ideson (Ilderton, Ont. – home coach: Mick Lizmore)
  • Collinda Joseph (Ottawa – home coaches: Gerry Peckham and Bruce Gorsline)
  • Chrissy Molnar (Trent Lakes, Ont. – home coach: Carl Rennick)
  • Dennis Thiessen (Sanford, Man. – home coach: Ron Westcott)
  • Jon Thurston (Dunsford, Ont. – home coach: Carl Rennick)
  • Marie Wright (Moose Jaw, Sask. – home coach: Lorraine Arguin)

The following athletes have been named to the 2024-2025 National NextGen Program:

  • Karl Allen (Keene, Ont. – home coach: Carl Rennick)
  • Sarah Benevides (Chance Harbour, N.B. – home coach: Wayne Cooper)
  • LeeAnn Cayer (Port Robinson, Ont.)
  • Terry Fowler (Cochrane, Alta.)
  • Reid Mulligan (Ottawa)

New for the 2024-25 season is the creation of the National Wheelchair Curling Pursuit Program, an initiative to identify and support athletes with high-performance aspirations. More specifically, the program is open to Canadian wheelchair curling athletes interested in pursuing the National Program or receiving high-performance training support from National Program coaches and staff. 

“We believe the record number of applications we received this year for the National Program is a reflection of the growing interest in high-performance wheelchair curling across the country,” said Paquette. “The National Pursuit Program is specifically designed to share coaching support and training resources to meet this growing interest. The program is also a way for us to stay better connected to those interested in future National Program initiatives and opportunities.”

The program will be delivered entirely online and will include monthly webinars and resource sharing.

The National Program’s full coaching and integrated support team for 2024-25 will be announced in June. It will again be led by Paquette, Mick Lizmore (National Program Head Coach, London, Ont.), Dana Ferguson (Mixed Doubles/NextGen Coach, Edmonton), and Kyle Turcotte (Performance Science Lead and Strength and Conditioning Coach, Winnipeg).

The National Program would like to thank everyone who submitted an application to join the program for the 2024-25 season, as well as all of the many home coaches and community leaders who continue to play an integral role in helping to grow the sport and shape the landscape of wheelchair curling in Canada.

Curling Canada