With some of our members already on the ice, and various teams and individuals from the ICA at the Braehead Open this weekend, and the European Mixed Championships on the horizon, let’s hear from the ICA President, Mr David Whyte:
The temperature’s dropping, the rain is arriving, the nights are fair drawing in…..you know what that means…that’s right, our Scottish summer has arrived! But it also means that the curling season is almost upon us with all that means. Getting the kit looked out and the cobwebs removed, all those fixtures in the diary and wondering how you will manage those 6 games in three days with the rest of the month clear etc etc
I’m delighted and very proud to be writing to you as I start the season as your President. Louise did a fantastic job supported by our enthused and increasingly youthful Committee and I would thank her for all her hard work. Glad to say that she is still around helping in particular with the Four Nations as we take our turn as hosts…more of that later……
The fixtures are all in place now with the usual bonspiels in October, November, December, February and March. The success of previous Training and Development days at the start of the season to give potential new members a Come and Try while helping the rest of us fine tune our skills has encouraged us to stage another one, supported by DAP funding and I know Johnjo has already circulated details to us all. The third Irish Championships will take place at the end of October and Johnjo is also working hard on the idea of hosting a training camp for those who represent or aspire to represent Ireland on the international stage. Discussions are well under way on coaches, venues and a challenging program so that we can give individuals and teams additional skills as they try to lift their performance to the next level. This is a really exciting development and I urge all those at whom the opportunity is aimed to grasp it and fully involve themselves in a journey of learning and improvement. Every day is a school day!!!
Thanks to all who responded with notes of interest to the idea of a summer tour with fellow members. Again lots happening in the background with that. Having had a couple of trips to Garmisch in the summer to curl as well as enjoy the beautiful surroundings I would thoroughly recommend such a trip. Again Johnjo is involved in bringing this to fruition and I would thank him for all that he is getting involved this year to bring improvements to the Association and benefit the members.
As mentioned earlier one of the highlights of the year will undoubtedly be our hosting the Four Nations this year and with the involvement of a small group Louise is making it all happen at that well known part of Ireland called Stranraer. For those who have been to the Irish weekend at the North West Castle you will know what a great occasion it is (greatly helped by meringues and lashings of tablet). The great thing about the Four Nations is that all members can participate and get a chance to compete against the other home nations while seeing old acquaintances and making new ones and you can come for the day or the whole weekend and still be part of it.
Entries have just been received for all of the European and World events during the season with playdowns being required for the Men’s, Mixed Doubles and Mixed events. These will be in Dumfries and Greenacres and our own umpire, John Burns, has kindly agreed to officiate at them. To allow these to replicate the actual tournament as closely as possible we aim to use timeclocks and I would encourage anyone who is interested to assist in running these. No previous experience is necessary and you also get to see some great games. It is encouraging to see competition for places and within that such a good representation from our younger members whose talents improve year on year.
John and Carolyn remain our WCF reps and John is currently representing us at the WCF meeting in Bled, Slovenia. There are plans for some fine tuning of rules and organisation and John will update us on his return.
So all in all I believe we have a really exciting year ahead and I urge you to get involved with as many of the above events as you can. As an Association of some 50 members we punch way above our weight and I hope that all the things we do collectively encourage you to get involved but equally importantly lead you to encourage others to join us whenever you come across an Irish accent or meet someone who would want to experience all that we offer.
I look forward to seeing you on the ice with your well polished sliders… and slides… and if I can assist anyone with any matter please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
Irish Curling Association