Euro venue for 2018 announced

The WCF have just released the following statement:

Tallinn, Estonia – The European Curling Championships 2018 (ECC) will take place next year, between 16 and 24 November, at the Tondiraba Ice Hall, in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Estonian Curling Association signed an agreement with the World Curling Federation (WCF) to host the championships, at a special signing ceremony attended by WCF President, Kate Caithness today (Thursday 9 February).

The event is for men’s and women’s teams from the WCF’s European Zone and is divided into A, B and C-Divisions. Traditionally the A and B Divisions are held together in November, with the C-Division earlier in the year, in May. The ECC is a qualification event for the World Curling Championships (WCC) – seven teams, and the host nation, qualify if the next WCC is being held in the European Zone. Eight teams qualify if the next WCC is in the Americas or the Pacific-Asia Zone.

This is the Estonian Curling Association’s second time hosting an international curling event, after its inaugural championships in 2015, when they hosted the World Junior Curling Championships.

WCF President, Kate Caithness, said: “We are pleased that the European Curling Championships 2018 will be taking place in Estonia next year. Estonia has great conditions for hosting championships, and has become a strong curling country in recent years.

“The organising committee for the World Juniors in 2015 did a stellar job pulling together these championships and I am looking forward to working with them again as they prepare for one of our flagship events”

According to Rainer Vakra, President of the Estonian Curling Association, Estonia has never hosted such an important competition before. He said: “For the Estonian Curling Association, hosting such a big event is one of the biggest challenges that a federation could take on. The right to host European Championships will definitely bring value to City of Tallinn, to Estonia and, of course, to the community of Estonian sports and curling.”

“The Estonian Curling Association already has experience in hosting a high level competition – the 2015 Junior World Championships were held in Tallinn. So far, cooperation with our partners has been very good and we are counting on the continuous support of City of Tallinn and Republic of Estonia in hosting this event as well,” he added.

The exact Member Associations to compete at the ECC A and B-Divisions – to be played in separate halls in the Tondiraba Ice Hall – will be clear after the ECC 2017 in St Gallen, Switzerland (17-25 November). Previously, the Estonian women’s team played in the European A-Division in 2014 and 2015 – with their highest finish to date, eighth place. The Estonian men’s team have participated in the B-Division before.

Altogether roughly 300 athletes and coaches will be participating at the European Curling Championships. There will be around 100 people who make the championships happen (LOC, ice crew, umpires, volunteers, broadcasters and media). Historically, the European Curling Championships are followed by approximately 15 million TV viewers.

Mens playdowns

Good luck to both teams in this weekend’s playdowns for the Euro C League in Andorra.

Two teams:

James Russell, John Furey, Craig Whyte, Arran Cameron and Eoin McCrossan

Dave Hibberd, Alan Mitchell, Bob Sherrard, Ross Barr and Andrew Gilmore

Games (best of three) are at 11am and 4pm Saturday 14th and 10am Sunday 15th

Glittertree 2016

The 2016 ICA Glittertree

The 2016 ICA Glittertree

It’s Glittertree time again with our annual competition to find the best Christmas tree in the ICA ranks.

Andrea Schopp

Andrea Schopp

The entries will be judged this year by two-time World Champion and seven-time European Champion, Germany’s Andrea Schopp.

Pictures of your tree should be emailed to or before the closing date of Friday, December 23rd.

The winner, chosen by Andrea, will be announced on Christmas Eve.

Good luck everyone!

Mixed Doubles starts this Friday

The ICA mixed doubles championships starts on Friday at Dumfries Ice Bowl.

Five teams have entered – Alan Mitchell and Margarita Sweeney-Baird (A); Ross and Jacqui Barr (B); Eoin McCrossan and Jen Ward (C); Neil and Alison Fyfe (D) and Craig Whyte and Ailsa Anderson (E). Teams will play a round-robin of 8-end games.  Games are: Friday 9th at 5.30pm – A V B; C V D; bye E; then: Friday 8.30pm – C V A; E V B; bye D; Saturday 10th 9am B V D; A V E; bye C; Saturday 1pm – D V A; E V C; bye B; Saturday 5pm – B V C; D V E; bye A.

WCF rules – wins, head to head wins, DSC – will be used to establish ranking. If a team has won all their games, and all others have been beaten twice, they are declared winners. Otherwise, final games are Sunday 11th at 9.30am and 1pm.

The winners will earn the right to represent Ireland at the World Mixed Doubles in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada from 22-29 April, 2017.

Good luck to everyone!

World Mixed countdown

The team representing Ireland at the World Mixed Championships in Kazan, Russia have arrived in the city. So it’s good luck from us all

Bill, Margarita, Ross and Jacqui

Bill, Margarita, Ross and Jacqui

to Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Ross Barr and Jacqui Davidson. Ireland are in the same group as Sweden, Finland, England, Brazil, Hungary and Slovakia, and their first game is at 8am (local time) against Sweden tomorrow. Bill will be blogging live from the venue keeping us up to date with all the news and the full schedule is here:

Welsh Dragon Club

WelshLogoOur Welsh Curling friends are now actively fundraising for their new ice rink.

A big initiative is the formation of a Welsh Dragon Club.  This gives you the opportunity to win up to £500 twice a year – it could cover your ice fees for the season!

Please consider supporting them.

Welsh Dragon Club

  • Open to members and friends of Welsh Curling
  • Cost is £5 a month, payable by standing order, or £60 cheque/cash for each year
  • 50% of money collected will be returned in prizes, and 50% spent on development of curling within Wales
  • The Welsh Dragon Club runs from 1st Sept to 31st Aug each year, with draws in April and September
  • The money raised will initially be for the development of the dedicated curling rink in Deeside and thereafter will be for the development of curling within the rink.  All ideas for how the money could be spent will be welcome and encouraged and the final decision will be by the WCA committee.

Application forms will be available to download from the Welsh Curling website and will also be available during curling on Monday evenings at Deeside.


ECC Ticket Pre-Sale

RCCC Ticket Pre-Sale Starts 10am
Le Gruyère European Curling Championships


19-26 November 2016 – intu Braehead Arena

Be part of the crowd and make some noise as Scotland welcomes over 25 nations to one of the biggest sporting events in Scotland this year!

Grab your tickets for the 2016 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships before they go on general sale this Friday.

The RCCC pre-sale starts today (Monday 5th September) at 10am. Click below to buy your tickets online from Ticketmaster.


Show your support for Irish Olympians

Olympic pinThe Rio Olympics are just over a week a way and the ICA have been given ‘Team Ireland Rio 2016’ pins by the Olympic Council of Ireland to wear during the Games.  If If you would like to show your solidarity with the Irish athletes, just email me at:

louise.kerr@gallowaygazette .com with your postal address and I’ll send a pin out to you.

Some of the Irish Olympians at the recent kit launch in Dublin

Some of the Irish Olympians at the recent kit launch in Dublin

Come on Ireland!

PJ to step down from world stage

PJ Wilson has decided to retire from the world seniors after winning a bronze medal in Karlstad.

PJ and Christine pose with their world senior championships medals - bronze for Ireland and gold for Scotland.

PJ and Christine pose with their world senior championships medals – bronze for Ireland and gold for Scotland.

He and his wife Anne, plus ICA President (me), were the guests of Jim and Christine Cannon last weekend to celebrate the success of Christine winning her second senior gold for Scotland and PJ winning his bronze for Ireland.

With a large glass of coca-cola in his hand (he was driving) the Irish stalwart announced: “Karlstad was my last appearance for Ireland. I have enjoyed every moment but have now decided it’s time to do other things. I started by winning a bronze world junior medal for Scotland 41 years ago and I finish with a bronze world senior medal for Ireland, so now is the perfect time to go out – at the top!

” I just want to thank all my team-mates down the years – I’ve been lucky to curl with great curlers on the ice who were also great friends off the ice.”

PJ say he will still turn out for Ireland for the Four Nations and take part in Irish bonspiels, but is now looking forward to taking things a bit easier now he’s in his 60s.

He has represented Ireland  68 times, (35 wins and 33 losses) starting at the very beginning with the European B League in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2004 where he won silver. He was on the team at the European A League in Garmisch, Germany, in 2005,  that secured Ireland a place at the world championships, for the first and so far only time, in Lowell, USA in 2006. He was back on the ice at the European A League in Basle, Switzerland, that December, when Ireland went down to B. But he was in the team that won European B League gold in Fussen, Germany,  before skipping the team at the A league in Onskolsvik, Sweden, in 2008. He then concentrated on the Seniors, skipping Ireland at the world seniors in Minneapolis-St Paul’s, USA, in 2011. He was back as a member of Peter Wilson’s Irish senior champions at the world seniors in Fredericton, Canada, in 2013 before his bronze medal-winning swansong in Sweden last month. He also was coach to the Irish mixed doubles teams at the world championships in 2014 and 2016.

Peter was also the skip of the rink that won the Scottish junior championships in 1974. That team then went on to win a bronze medal at the first world junior championships in Toronto in 1975.

PJ served as President of the ICA from 2013 to 2015.

Well done and thank you Peter JD Wilson  – what a terrific servant you have been to Irish curling.