We may know or have heard of the Curlers in the Hall of Fame but the reach of those who are termed Builders often directly affects many more of us. That can certainly be said of our next inductee to the NSCA Hall of Fame. I would venture to say that most of the curlers in this room have had, or will have, direct contact with this person.
When Gorden Woodworth moved to Nova Scotia with his family in 2001, it would turn out to be a windfall for our curling community.
His first course, Level One, was in New Brunswick in the mid 90s and he has since gained the distinction of Level Four Umpire, a designation that comes directly from the Canadian governing body of curling, Curling Canada.
Gorden has umpired at every level of curling in this province, from the U11s to the Masters and every event between the two. He has umpired in most of the curling clubs in this province providing consistent, reliable and impartial officiating, ruled by an ample supply of common sense.
Besides that, Gorden has timed, been Game Umpire, Deputy Umpire or Chief Umpire at 4 Canadian Seniors, 2 Canadian Mixed, one Canadian Scotties, 4 Canadian Briers, the 2005 Roar of the Rings and one Canadian Wheelchair championship. His special assignments have included a WCT Grand Slam event, Canadian Special Olympics and the 2011 Canadian Winter Games. On an international level, Gorden has officiated at the Women’s World’s, Men’s Worlds and two World Mixed Doubles. A pretty impressive resume, wouldn’t you say?
One of his initial objectives when he became Chief Umpire and Director of Officials in 2008 was to make a conscious effort to recruit younger competitive curlers to become officials and umpires. His training sessions continue to be informative, interactive, fun and full of life lessons that he freely shares with the trainees. Most of the assigned Umpires that you see at our events have received their training with Gorden Woodworth. To all of them, he remains completely available to answer all questions and review all scenarios that are presented to him. He is a staunch supporter of all his fellow umpires and is a constant source of encouragement for all the hardworking umpires and volunteers that make our Provincial events happen.
Part of the nominating process involves soliciting letters of support for the nominee’s induction. First, in Gorden’s case, the contributions far exceeded the required three letters and secondly, the letters confirmed that Gorden’s lessons had found their mark.
“He organizes the umpires into a cohesive team for each event. We are all aware of the event information and umpire with consistency, which is so important for good and fair play. He works very hard to maintain the integrity of the game yet encourages camaraderie between the umpires and players.”
“I have had the opportunity to work along aside him over the years and continue to admire how calm he is under pressure and how he anticipates the possible outcomes of competitions and prepares himself to adjudicate various scenarios. I admire his ability to relate to very young curlers and the not-so-young alike and have seen him work to bring consistency to our sport in a very diplomatic fashion.”
And another addition:
“When the thanks are given at the end of an event often the umpires are left out. Gorden always says that that is not a slight but it means that the umpires have been doing their job of being in the background, ready and willing to help, but remaining out of the limelight.”
However, with thanks, today we bring Gorden into the limelight. He has brought us honour and earned respect locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Please join me in welcoming Gorden Woodworth to the Nova Scotia Curling Association Hall of Fame.
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