‘Hurr-eey’ for Hollywood…….

Eoin and Clare report from their recent trip to visit Katie in Hollywood, USA…..

“We have just spent two days in LA curling with Katie Kerr and her club Hollywood Ice in their Summer Blockbuster bonspiel.

Eoin skipped the Bond Girls to the semi final while Clare joined Team IreLAnd(sic) who won two of their three matches. As well as club curlers there were celebrity skips and showbiz personalities. The whole weekend was amazingly well organised and we were made very welcome as Irish curlers. Our team mates and opponents are now the proud owners of ICA badges. Highlights of the curling were Eoin’s debut as a skip in a pink sparkly jacket, and Katie’s demonstration of new found skill with the curling pole-having recently had knee surgery.   We found some time for off ice fun too. Disneyland film studios, and the beach –and to top it all the 4th July Hollywood Bowl concert. Thanks, Katie and everyone at Hollywood Ice.”

Nice pic in the slideshow of our Clare McCormick with USA 2003 world champion skip Debbie McCormick…

Caption competition

Image-2The Presidente took part in the annual Wigtown Riding of the Marches last Saturday and we thought it would be a bit of fun to have a caption competition for this photo of herself and Lucy during the day.



louise appacheJohnjo has send it the first entry – and it’s a cracker.

First prize is a ton of that great stuff you can grow rhubarb in.



Entries to: louise.kerr@gallowaygazette.com

Olympic Council of Ireland

OCI meetingArran Cameron and I travelled to Dublin on Friday to represent the ICA at the OCI annual general meeting . After the meeting finished, we were invited to a reception for former Irish Olympians, ahead of the 2016 team heading to the Rio Olympics.

Arran and I made a host of new contacts, and friends, from other ice sports organisations, which will hopefully eventually lead to a shared permanent ice facility for skating, ice hockey and curling. Arran had produced and handed out presentation packs with information and photographs of Irish teams from recent international competitions and the Four Nations Triple Crown success.

We also had a long chat with OCI President Pat Hickey about our Mixed Doubles team, and how excited we are about their chances of getting Olympic qualification for 2018. Pat has asked us to keep him informed directly of their progress.

Irish curlers honoured by Dumfries & Galloway Council

20160616_192620Peter JD Wilson, Neil Fyfe, Alison Fyfe, Andrew Gilmore, John Gilmore and Tony Tierney were presented with engraved gifts by Dumfries and Galloway Council at a Civic Reception at the North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer on Thursday evening.

20160616_192443The Irish curlers were honoured along with other curlers from Stranraer Ice Rink who have won medals or represented their country in international competition in season 2015-2016.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Bet you he still has those jammies.....

Bet you he still has those jammies…..

W… T..  F…? is the only phrase that covers this photo of one of Ireland’s finest senior statesmen in his carefree youth…..

Waiting for some sort of explanation from the Past President –  should be worth waiting for.

Quiet time for the website just now, or at least until Eoin and Clare arrive in Hollywood, to guest star with Katie and the rest of the Bond Girls.

But…..I am now the custodian of the ICA archives with photos that go way back to the early 1990s. So look out for some of the very best ones appearing from time to time.

WCF sweeping summit closes

The sweeping summit is over and it looks like the results are in but no proposals until their conference in Sweden later in the year.

The WCF statement said:  “The World Curling Federation (WCF) Sweeping Summit 2016 closed today (Friday 27 May) as the participants passed their findings to the WCF Competition and Rules and Athletes’ Commissions, who also received a preliminary report from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

“The Summit organised by the WCF, with the support of Curling Canada, brought together top-level athletes and other curling experts to test brushes and sweeping techniques following the challenges that the sport has faced this past season. Various sweeping techniques and more than 50 different brush constructions were considered over three days of intensive testing near Ottawa. The testing was independently supervised by the NRC.

“The WCF Commissions will now take the information from the Summit and formulate it into proposals for new rules and equipment standards, which will in turn be presented and voted on at the WCF members Congress and Annual General Assembly in Stockholm, Sweden, in September.”

Canadian curler, and 2006 Olympic Gold medallist, Brad Gushue said: “I was very impressed with the collaboration of all the athletes, manufacturers, governing bodies, ice makers and observers. We feel the game is in a better position after this Summit. I’m looking forward to playing next season.”

Swiss curler, and current World Women’s Curling champion, Christine Urech said: “All the players were absolutely motivated to find a solution to the sweeping problem. We tested different pads from different manufacturers looking at how to keep the stone straight, make it curl more, travel further or shorter distances. We looked at different materials with different textures and levels of waterproofing and what does and does not damage the ice. We are happy that we have found a great suggestion which will solve the problem and let us look forward to next season.”

Representatives from all of the WCF’s Member Associations were invited to send their high performance experts to observe the testing and offer their input which along with that of the manufacturers helped influence the tests being conducted.

WCF President, Kate Caithness, congratulated all the participants for their efforts to help ensure a positive future for curling. She said: “It is wonderful to see the commitment and enthusiasm here at the Summit. Everyone who is present has come together to find a practical solution to one of the biggest challenges our sport has faced. The spirit of curling that has been on show this week reinforces my belief that we have so many great people in our sport who are willing to work long and hard to help positively develop the game.”

Japanese curler, and Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015 Silver medallist, Kosuke Morozumi supported this by saying: “I feel happy to be here in Ottawa to work with the team for the sport I love. I am proud of what we did this week and believe the Summit is going to be something that helps the next step for curling.”

WCF announce sweeping summit’s main players

Ottawa, Canada – The World Curling Federation has confirmed the participants that will take part in the Sweeping Summit 2016, that begins today (Tuesday 24 April), near Ottawa, Canada.

Elite athletes from the WCF’s three zonal regions – Americas, Europe and Pacific-Asia – and representing the main curling equipment manufacturers will be present along with senior WCF officials and curling professionals. The WCF has also recruited the National Research Council of Canada, who will provide unbiased scientific analysis and testing over the coming days to ensure well informed decisions are made.

As well as some of the world’s top sweepers, two elite level skips will play a part in the Summit. The sweepers are Canada’s Ben Hebert, Marc Kennedy, Nolan Thiessen (all Balance Plus), Emma Miskew (Goldline) and Mark Nichols; USA’s Matt Hamilton (both Hardline); Japan’s Kosuke Morozumi (Balance Plus); Christine Urech (Asham) of Switzerland and Håvard Vad Petersson (Goldline) of Norway. These athletes’ experience in the sport is vast, sharing 21 Olympic and World Curling Championship medals between them.

They will be joined by two times World Men’s Curling champion and 2014 Olympic bronze medallist, Niklas Edin (Goldline) and 2006 Olympic Gold medallist, Brad Gushue (Hardline).

From the World Curling Federation, Vice-Presidents Graham Prouse (Americas), Bent Ramsfjell (Europe) and Hugh Millikin (Pacific-Asia) will take part, with Millikin chairing the proceedings. Also, Director of Competitions and Development, Keith Wendorf, the WCF’s technical adviser, Leif Ohman, and chair of the Athletes’ Commission, Anne Swisshelm will be involved.

From Curling Canada, is Director of Curling Club Development and Championship Services, Danny Lameroux and High Performance Director, Garry Peckham. Finally, Fredrik Lindberg, coach and team leader of the Swedish men’s team and Jon Mead, chair of the World Curling Players Association will be in Ottawa taking part in the Summit.

During the Summit the results of the World Curling Federation’s recent Sweeping Survey – a public survey, which heard the views of any interested parties – will be passed to the participants. With around 5,000 submissions those who took the survey were clear on the following points:

  • A curling shot is more about the thrower than the sweepers
  • Sweeping in curling is not meant for slowing down a stone or backing it up

After the Summit new regulations will be proposed for approval by the WCF Members at the WCF’s Annual General Assembly – to be held in September in Stockholm, Sweden. More information will be published about the decisions reached and the next steps of the process at the conclusion of the Sweeping Summit on Friday (27 May).

Support Bill’s charity bike ride

BillGrayProfilePicIf you want to give ICA secretary Bill Gray the support that lycra can’t, read on:

Bill writes:  I apologise if this goes against the grain for you but I am taking part in the Blenheim Palace Team Triathlon with my younger brother and sister on 5th June. My sister Kathy will be doing the 750m swim; I will be doing the 20km bike ride and Ian will finish with a 5km run.

Yes its only two weeks away (training going well) and I am asking if you would consider helping us raise money for Arthritis Research UK, a charity close to home.

We took part in the same event last year as ‘Three Shades of Gray’ as some of you will have been aware and raised an unbelievable £10,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research totally due to the generosity of our sponsors. This year we are taking part as Three More Shades of Gray!

I realise that everyone is bombarded these days with requests for sponsorship but if you don’t ask, you don’t get!!

If you could take the time to visit our sponsorship page that would be fantastic.

The page is : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Three-More-Shades-of-Gray If you just click the link it should direct you to the page.

If you felt that you would like to sponsor us, that would be even more fantastic but we quite understand if you don’t wish to.

If you decide to sponsor us, please remember to tick the Gift Aid box as that will boost the money going to the charity.

Thank you so much for even reading this email and considering our cause.”

 – Bill ‘Biker’ Gray