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Catalog Number 2013.55.136
Object Name Video
Title Ron Northcott
Scope & Content Ron Northcott:
1 of 3; 00:51Introduction to Hall
01:50Childhood: grew up in Vulcan, Alberta; played hockey and curled, started curling at about 11 or 12, got on the curling rink when hockey rink busy, played at high school bonspiels, father of a friend coached them on the finer points, got them to the high school provincials and Canadian nationals
04:18How many other young people curled: hardly any, it was a small town in winter and the only sports available were hockey and curling, there were 3 or 4 kids who hung out at the curling rink, they got a break because the caretaker let them on the ice
05:24On the 1953 team: won the Canadian high school championships, team handpicked by the coach, he played third, names his team mates
06:20What was the level of curling called: called the Schoolboy Curling, age limit of 17-18, Alberta was sponsored by an automotive parts company, was the preliminaries of curling
07:00When he started curling it was unusual to see anyone under the age of 40 curling, unusual even in high school, by the time he graduated a lot of kids in small towns in Alberta had taken up the sport, lot a weekend bonspiels
07:48What effect Schoolboy Curling had on the development of the sport: was instrumental in getting kids involved and kid that did curl in junior high and high school are the same kids that he played against in the Brier and Canadian championship competitions
08:24Sports idols: was a sports fan when he was a kid; Matt Baldwin in curling who started the long slide and was a key person in getting young children interested in the sport because he added some colour to it; in hockey Syl Apps, was a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball fan
09:40When started to take it seriously: loved the sport, out of high school played on a limited basis, when moved to Calgary joined the Calgary Curling Club in 1958 and started to run into serious, competitive curlers and started to think cash bonspiels and play downs leading to the Alberta and Canadian championships; first real shot was in 1961 when won a spot out of Calgary, after that started playing with Jimmy Shields, got together in the fall of 1962-63, now really hooked on it, worked at it and got breaks at the right time, had a lot of fun
11:44The Schoolboy team in 1953 was serious, fortunate enough to win the provincials and go to the Canadians, first time in a plane
12:28Did you know it would germinate into something: never dreamed at that time he would end up winning the Provincials, then the Canadians, then the Worlds; real aim for winning the Brier and getting the Purple Heart, that was #1 on the list of accomplishments for achieve, the first one in 1966 was special, "when you do get fortunate enough to get one you realize how fortunate you are to get to that level and to win"
14:01The first Purple Heart was in Halifax in 1966, won in a playoff on the last rock in an extra end, at the time he didn't realized what a big thing it was
14:40Was it natural to you: he practised a lot, from the time he started as a junior he was able to make a lot of shots, had a natural feel for shot making and for the draw, talks about the importance of the draw, the rest of team were into sports like hockey and baseball, the athletic background may have made the difference
16:08Lots of practise, at lunchtime, plus evenings and weekend bonspiels, for 25 years curling was the #1 thing in his life; a great experience, not rewarding money-wise; helped him in his career, opened a lot of doors, very important to him
17:40Did you intimidate others: after you win the Brier the first time you end up with a target on your back and everyone plays their best game; it created a competitive disadvantage for them because it brought the best out in everyone they played against
18:41Developed a philosophy on playing: they played 12 ends at that time, they aimed after the first 6 ends to be good enough to match or beat their opponents; the ice the earlier ends was different from the later ends
20:13The first time recognized that maybe he could get to the Championship level was in 1961, he was skipping a team in the Calgary play downs, talks about the play down format, talks about playing against the best team and shocked everyone when they won, if they could beat this team then maybe they could go on to the Canadian championships
21:41Belief: played to win, every time he steps on a sheet of ice he plays to win, "if you're not going to play to win then your chances of getting to a Canadian or World Championships are slim"
22:36The toughest part of getting to the Provincials: the toughest step was getting out of the city play downs because so many teams entered, between 60-70 teams, only 2 teams advanced to the Southern Alberta play downs of 16 teams, then 2 advanced to the Provincials; once he got out of the city play downs he realized he had a shot to go all the way
24:00Why did they call you The Owl: sports writer gave him the name, possibly because he wore black horned rimmed glasses, had a habit of adjusting them; the name started appearing as soon as he starting having success
25:03On the 1966 team: formed by accident, he and one of his then team could go to a bonspiel, asked the others to join them, he was the skip, turned out to be history
27:07You end up spending more time together as a team than with your family so have to competitive as a group, got to lose together before you can win together, the 1966 team was the exception, being able to put it all together was special
27:58Still sees the other players, they get together once or twice a year
2 of 3; 00:30On replacing the third on each World Championship team: it was not by design, each had a reason for leaving the team, each fit in with the team
03:22Was there something special: the transition from one third to another was not difficult; the other players were happy to stay in their positions and were rated as the best front end of all who played; he recognized the talent all 3 different thirds brought to the team and the personalities were such that there was no conflict, they were happy to join the team
05:32On the role of the skip: the compatibility of the 1966 team had no problems, they knew each other a long time, Fred Storey was the ultimate lead, talks about his team mates, "as long as you are playing well and winning, everyone is happy"
07:35In terms of team changes and that we had them and it worked was unusual; before success was because stayed with the same team; other teams were continually changing; from 1961 committed to stay together and go through bad times before hit good times; losing in 1962 Provincials brought the team closer together; "as a team you build on each other", they were lucky with the personalities and individuals being able to change but not something that works for most
09:25Best rink ever: all 3 teams were special, if you look at the records the 1969 team was the best because they went through the Brier undefeated, a rarity, an accomplishment, everyone was playing to the maximum of their abilities; also did in 1966, the team he enjoyed the most was 1968 because Jim Shields who had taught him some of the finer points of curling was on the team, most satisfying of the wins
11:19On the World Championships: the first year they won was 1966; from his point of view when he won the Brier he felt he had achieved it all, what every kid wanted to do, went to the Worlds in Vancouver and felt it was a secondary thing; realized they need to win, realized it was not a secondary thing, it was the most important thing; very memorable, recognized they were playing for Canada, winning was going to be the only thing that was acceptable
13:59Where are curling rocks from: when he first started everyone had their own set of personalized curling rocks; he had to borrow some when playing in Vulcan from other club members; now curling clubs have rocks that are matched and that stay with the club; they are made in Scotland from special granite
15:50Selection of your rocks was not an option, the team was designated with a colour and used those rocks; if you spotted a bad rock you gave it to the lead who always threw it first on every end and they would play around the rest; important to know how each rock is going to react; for the most part they were good; the biggest problem was the ice
17:04On the evolution of the sport: the biggest change from the early 1950's to today are the ice conditions and the fact that today can practise on the ice before going into a big game, also the change from the corn broom to the push broom; talks about ice conditions and how tough it was in some games playing in those conditions; today's teams would never play on ice like that, today's ice makers make perfect ice; sad to see the corn brooms go, a real art to use them, had to be in good shape when sweeping to last to final end
20:02Softer game today from when he played, they had to have endurance, today a lot of attention to fitness
21:17On televised curling: it has added a lot to the game, more exposure, a natural for TV, spectators can play right alongside of the curlers; good games are suspenseful; starting to get more exposure in the States since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games; TV has created new curling fans
24:38Life lesson: play to win, life is like that; whatever you do, do well and the more satisfaction you will get; learn how to work with a group, curling is a team sport dependent on each other, learn to work with others and live with the odd mistake, learn to appreciate the good things that come out of that
26:17On winning or losing: learn more from losing; when you are winning everything is going well, at the key turning point you don't think about it, accept it because you are winning and think your deserve it; when losing you look back, hurts to lose, do learn more about yourself and your team mates and find out how resilient everybody is, continue on, accept it, don't make excuses, look at where the mistakes were and try to correct it and not let it happen again
3 of 3; 00:01On cultural diversity; talks about rural vs. city
01:25On participation in sport: the key thing is participation, get hooked on a game and have the ability to do well at it, then the desire will come from that; won't end up on a championship team without the will to win; from an everyday perspective it is for all ages; it is a team sport and anytime you are involved in a team sport you are dependent on everyone to perform and learn to get along with people; learn how to live with winning and losing
03:01On being inducted: honoured and proud to be included; appreciates it
04:04Shows corn broom, talks about playing with it
06:00Shows 3 certificates from the 3 World Championships

Year Range from 1963
Year Range to 1969
Subjects curling
Brier
World Championships
Search Terms commitment
hard work
goal setting/achievement
leadership
team player
strategy
competitive