Twenty-five-year old Jonny Harper from Belfast could be the first of a new breed of Irish curlers after taking the ferry over on Monday to try curling at Stranraer Ice Rink.
Inspired by the recent Olympics, youth-worker Jonny had a day off and decided to give curling a go after seeing the free ‘Try Curling’ sessions at Stranraer advertised on the ICA website.
A natural sportsman (he plays hockey) Jonny arrived off the morning ferry and got a bus from the terminal into the town . After arriving at the rink, he picked the basics up quickly after some coaching from ice rink manager Gail Munro and qualified coach Trevor Harrison. As the ice wasn’t busy, Jonny had the rink to himself to hone his newly acquired skills. Later he was joined by ICA President PJ Wilson and Louise Kerr who spent some time with him on the ice, helping with delivery tips and sweeping advice and filling him in on some ICA history.
But as you can see from the attached video clip, Jonny picked things up really quickly, developing an impressive slide in just a couple of hours.
Before heading home on the afternoon boat, PJ invited Jonny to the closing bonspiel at Hamilton and Jonny promised to bring the rest of the hockey team with him next time!
The Irish International Bonspiel took place on the weekend of 22/23rd February 2014
at Northwest Castle Hotel, Stranraer, Scotland.
This was the 17th annual bonspiel and as usual the North West Castle Hotel were excellent hosts for the event. The raffle raised £343 for club funds.
All teams enjoyed 4 games of curling which was scored using the schenkel system and split into high and low roads on the Sunday.
The prizes were presented by Carolyn Hibberd.
High road winners of the Granite Trophy – PJ Wilson, Louise Kerr, Richard Stevenson, Anne Wilson / Katie Wright. Prizes – 4 x £25 McMillan Hotels Voucher.
High Road runners-up for the Ailsa Craig Painting – Johnjo Kenny, Charlotte Tierney, tony Tierney , Gillian Russell. Prizes – 4 x bottle champagne.
Low road winners of the Oak Trophy – Neil Fyfe, Kate Adams, Alistair Fyfe, Alison Fyfe. Prizes – 2 x cases Guinness, 2 x bottles Baileys.
Low road runners-up of the Quaich Trophy – George Manson, Ian Paxton, Pam Paxton, Janice Manson. Prizes – 4 x ‘I’d rather be curling / drinking wine mugs and a chocolate orange.
Consolation prizes of the ’101 Curling Excuses’ book went to Carolyn Hibberd, Ian Donald, Frances Donald and Jim Nixon.
Unfortunately there is no curling ice in Ireland. However, the nearest dedicated curling rink is Stranraer Ice Rink, a ferry ride away.
There is a free taster sessions with qualified coaches at the four-sheet rink on Saturday 22nd from 7pm if you want to come and try curling. There is also an ICA bonspiel on at the rink at the weekend if you would like to meet some ICA members and find out more about Irish curling.
Other free taster sessions will take place on Wednesday 26th at 12.20pm; Friday 28th at 6pm; Sunday 2nd March at 5.30pm; Monday 3rd at 10am; Wednesday 5th at 12.20pm and Sunday 9th at 3pm.
For more information contact ice rink manager Gail Munro on 01776 704413 or e-mail email@example.com
Curling has gone mainstream media this week, even the cool dudes of Radio 1 are getting in on the act:
With the unprecedented amount of TV coverage at the 2014 Winter Olympics - perhaps you wondered why an Irish curling team is not there as well?
Well we would love to be and in the 10 years since Ireland was recognised by the World Curling Federation and the Olympic Council of Ireland, we have had some remarkable success, such as winning the World Mens Seniors in 2012.
We currently have a small pool of competitive curlers representing Ireland at various levels but there is always room for new enthusiastic members whether new to the sport or otherwise, to join us. Perhaps you will be representing Ireland in the 2018 Winter Olympics. If you are interested contact us.
The ICA members enjoyed a bonspiel at Kinross on Sunday 9th Feb 2014.
The results were:
Sharon Graham, Cron McKay, Yvonne Chalmers, John Graham (skip) 9 shots up
Ailsa Anderson Paul Cromey, Frances Donald, James Russell (skip) 8 shots up
Isobel Fyfe, Bill Radcliffe, Isla Kinnear, Arran Cameron (skip) 6 shots up
The three rinks which ended 9, 8 and 6 down will remain anonymous – they know who they were!
DRAW for the ICA STRANRAER INTERNATIONAL BONSPIEL 2014
22nd / 23rd February, 2014
Section 1 – 9am & 1pm
N FYFE K ADAMS A FYFE A FYFE
C McKAY E McKAY D SCOTLAND K SCOTLAND
J CULLEN W HENDERSON B HENDERSON TBC
B GRAY J FLORENCE G FLORENCE J BAIN
A ROBINSON R GRIFFITHS A GRIFFITHS R ROBINSON
C HIBBERD I DONALD F DONALD J NIXON
B BYERS R FULLERTON G COWE L COWE
PJD WILSON L KERR R STEVENSON A WILSON
Section 2 – 11am & 3pm
P WILSON K COMPTON D WHYTE F WHYTE
T ROCHE C SCOTT ’THE DOC’ A PETRIE
T CAMPBELL E TURNBULL S WILSON A STENHOUSE
G MANSON P PAXTON I PAXTON J MANSON
M SUTHERLAND F TURNBULL R BARR A BARR
J McDERMITT C STEVENSON TBC L GRIEVE
S CALLAN C DARRAGH A CAMERON K NIXON
JJ KENNY C TIERNEY T TIERNEY G RUSSELL
For further information please contact PJ Wilson on 07803 145 881 or 01776 704086.
Please can every rink remember to bring a bottle for the grand raffle. Thank you.
The draws for the world seniors and the mixed doubles in Dumfries, April 23 -30, have been published.
For the men’s schedule click on this link: http://wscc2014.curlingevents.com/schedule
For John and Louise in the MD it’s this link: http://wmdcc2014.curlingevents.com/schedule
If anyone has paid their ICA subscription and has not got a fixture card can you let me know and I’ll post one out to you.
Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Failing that I’ll have some for distribution at the Irish Weekend at Stranraer – February 22nd -23rd. At least you’ll know then when the closing bonspiel is on.
Another fantastic weekend of curling at the Four Nations in Hamilton hosted by the Irish Curling Association. Scoring was provided by Adrian Meikle with a very informative scrolling display (final version here) letting everyone know where they were at on the seven trophies up for grabs.
The event was well supported by all four nations and everyone enjoyed a very sociable dinner and disco on the Saturday evening. As always, entertaining speeches were given by all national associations, topped of course by our ‘guest’ speaker Bill Gray. The Irish Curling Association also marked its 20th Birthday with a cake cut by some of our founding members.
Ireland accept the Turnbull cup from England.
Scotland picked up 3 trophies, Wales took 2 and England & Ireland both took 1, so no-one went home empty handed.
As Wales beat us, maybe the President and Secretary might not have been quite so happy?
ICA President, Peter Wilson chaired the prize giving.
Summary aggregate scores are:
Marshall Millennium – Ireland 20 Scotland 41
Meikle Trophy – Wales 38, Ireland 27
Turnbull Cup – England 20, Ireland 30
Kay Trophy – Wales 28, England 34
Tom Ballantyne – England 42, Scotland 58
Connie Miller – England 10, Scotland 18
Big Bertha Stone – Scotland 22, Wales 32
See Adrian Meikle’s full summary of the weekends score at here.