Hall of Famers: 2015

Arnold Asham Tom Clasper Lorne Hamblin
Dennis Thiessen Jones 2014 Team

Asham, Arnold

Inducted 2015

Arnold Asham

Arnold Asham is thought of in many different ways – as a curler, innovator, entrepreneur, ambassador and fun-loving person known for his generosity.

Arnold’s entrepreneurial endeavors are well known. He is the founder of Asham Curling Supplies (1977) incorporated in 1979. He developed the Red Brick Slider in 1977. Since then he has produced his own line of curling shoes, grippers, sliders and brushes, always with the benefit to curlers in mind.

In 2013 Arnold undertook an agreement with the Canadian Curling Association aimed at developing curling at the grassroots level by sponsoring the Business of Curling Programs and Symposiums. Their aim was to offer assistance to curling centres and help grow the business of curling in Canada. In the same year he took on the sponsorship of the CCA’s National Volunteer of the Year Award.

As a curler Arnold Asham has competed at provincial competitions 21 times and once nationally. He is a competitive certified coach; and has assisted such teams as Team Hackner (2007), Team Galbraith (1995), Team Shannon Gauthier (1996), Team Dutiaume (2005), at provincial and national championships. He has won a trophy 8 times in the MCA Bonspiel, including the Grand Aggregate in 2008. He is also a Manitoba champion, having skipped his team to the provincial mixed title in 2002.

Nationally and internationally Arnold Asham has furthered the sport of curling with his innovative entrepreneurial thinking. In 1989 he founded the World Curling Players Association. In 1990 he co-founded the World Curling Tour and was executive director from 1990-1998. From 2013-2016 he was sponsor of the U-13, U-17 and U-21 Slams in Scotland. In Russia (1995) he helped establish the sport of curling when there were only 17 registered curlers. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Russian Curling Association.

His aim is to better the sport of curling around the world and support and encourage all who play the game. The Canadian Curling Association nominated him Ambassador of the Year.

Tom Clasper started curling at Fort Rouge in the 1960`s and has been a member there since his junior curling years.  He served on the executive there from 1979 – 1981 and from 1985 – 1994. He was president in 1992-1993 and was made an Honorary Life Member in 2012.

While serving on the executive at the Fort Rouge he became involved with the junior program and spent 14 years coaching High School curling.  As a Level 3 certified coach and with nearly 40 years experience, Tom has become one of Manitoba’s top coaches – coaching from provincial to international levels.

Manitoba teams he has coached to earn Canadian Championships include Team Calvert (Junior Men’s 2014 and 2015), Team Kurz (Canada Winter Games 2015), Team Meakin (CIS CCA University 2013), Team Boswick (Canada Games 1987), Team Laliberte  (Scott Tournament of Hearts 1995).

Provincially, he coached many teams, including champions – Team Forrest (Junior Men’s 2010) and Team Laliberte (Scott 2004 & 2005).

With Tom as coach, Team Calvert won gold at the World Championships.

Tom is an Honorary Life Member of the MCA (1996).  Contributions to curling in Manitoba include Zone Chairman Junior curling (10 years), curling clinic instructor, MCA Summer Camps instructor (13 years), 1991 World Championships Bar Chair, Vice President Hosting 2003 World Championships,  Vice President Facilities Tim Horton’s Brier 2008 and member of the Cec Watt Memorial Trophy sponsorship group.

Some of the Awards and recognition Tom has received are CCA Coach of the Year (1988), Coaching Excellence Award (1995), Asham National Coaching Award (2014, 2015) and Asham Provincial Coaching Excellence Award (2012).

Clasper, Tom

Inducted 2015

Tom Clasper

Hamblin, Lorne

Inducted 2015

Lorne Hamblin

Lorne Hamblin is well known in Manitoba as a curler, administrator, coach, and  volunteer.

As a curler, Lorne made 14 appearances at the provincial level. He has represented the Morris,  St. Jean and Carman curling clubs in the Junior Men’s, Men’s, Senior Men’s, and Mixed Championships.

He has held all executive positions at the Morris Curling Club including club president. His club involvement included fund raising Chairman for the Big M Centre which included a new curling facility.

Provincially Lorne became involved with the MCA in the 1970’s. He was rural Junior, Senior, and Masters zone  chairman. He joined the Executive Council in 1981, holding executive positions until his presidency in 2004-2005.

Lorne is a certified Level 4 coach; his coaching abilities have led him all over the world. He coached at 18 provincial, Canadian, world and Olympic Championships. He is perhaps most proud of the World Junior Championship David Hamblin (2002) Team. Lorne greatly appreciates the assistance that his wife Chris has provided to all his coaching endeavours. Coaching has led them to such countries as Switzerland and China where they helped promote excellence in the sport of curling. In 2014-15, they became involved with the Canadian Deaf Gold Medal National Teams and assisted in their Men’s Winter Deaflympics Silver Medal and Women’s Winter Deaflympics Bronze Medal successes (2015). These teams both represented the Deer Lodge Curling Club in Winnipeg.

Lorne’s volunteering involvement includes World Junior Liaison in Portage la Prairie (1990), initiating a local junior curling program in Morris, chairing the Safeway Select (2002), co-chairing the Scott Tournament of Hearts (2007), assisting in the establishment of a curling credit program at the high school level, volunteering for Promotions for the Roar of the Rings (2013), founding of the DEKALB SuperSpiel and DEKALB Super League, and vice chairing Business and Promotions for the Tim Horton`s Brier (2008).

Dennis Thiessen was born and raised in Crystal City, MB. He began curling at the age of 12. In WInnipeg, he has been a long-time member of the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club. After a tragic accident Dennis was encouraged to take up curling again in 2005 as a wheelchair athlete. He steadily perfected his skills and is now a proud Paralympic Gold Medalist. His history with the sport of wheelchair curling has been steady and successful.

In 2004-2005 Manitoba first sent a representative to the Canadian Wheelchair Championships. Between 2006 and 2014 Dennis was on all the Manitoba Championship teams leading to his selection to the national team.

Prior to his induction, he had won medals at five national championships – gold in 2011 and 2013 and bronze in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2013 he helped his team win the gold medal at Sochi, Russia at the World Wheelchair Championships. Again in Sochi (2014) he and his team mates of Jim Armstrong, Ina Forrest, and Sonja Gaudet were successful at the 2014 Paralympic games – winning gold! The Armstrong foursome defeated China in the semi-final and with a score of 8 to 3 they triumphed over Team Russia before a boisterous crowd. Their overall team percentage was an amazing 80% in the gold medal game.

Subsequent to his induction, in a second Paralympic Games appearance in 2018, Dennis played second on the Canadian team which won the bronze medal. He was also the second on the 2020 silver medal winning team at the World Wheelchair Championship.

Thiessen, Dennis

Inducted 2015

Dennis Thiessen
(Curling Canada/ Michael Burns photo)

Jones – 2014 TEAM
Olympic Gold Medalists
Inducted 2015

(l-r) Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, Dawn McEwen, Kirsten Wall
(WCF/Richard Gray photo)
(l-r) Kirsten Wall, Dawn McEwen, Janet Arnott, Jill Officer, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jennifer Jones

The 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists included Jennifer Jones (Skip), Kaitlyn Lawes (Third), Jill Officer (Second), Dawn McEwen (Lead), Kirsten Wall (Fifth) and Janet Arnott (Coach). They achieved the gold medal dream with an unprecedented unbeaten record in women’s Olympic curling.

At the Tim Horton’s Roar of the Rings Olympic Curling Trials at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba; the Jones Team completed the round robin with a 6W – 1L record and then swept by Team Middaugh in the final with a score of  8 – 4. This win was attained with an incredible team total percentage of 92%.

The team focus never shifted from their goal and they maintained their passion and intensity throughout the Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia in 2014. Following a perfect 11W – 0L round robin they maintained their winning streak and defeated Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in the semi-final, and Sweden’s Margaritha Sigfridsson in the final.

The team was named the Manitoba Sportswriters & Sportscasters Team of the Year in 2014 as well as the MSSA’s Cactus Jack Wells Impact Award winner – given to the Manitoba sports-related news story having the greatest impact that year.

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