Get your trees entered now….got to be in it to win it!
The gates are open and the runners and riders competing for the ICA Glittertree 2017 are off.
This year our judge is two-time Olympic gold medallist Anette Norberg from Sweden.
ICA member and international Irish curler Alan Mitchell is in St Gallen, Switzerland this week as coach of the Slovakian men’s team in the A Division of the European Championships. Alan coached them to promotion to A from B at Braehead this time last year. Good luck to Alan and his team from all ICA members.
ICA members were saddened to hear of the death of former member and treasurer Ron Paterson on Tuesday, 24th October, after a short illness.
Ron and his devoted wife Jane became members of the Irish Curling Association in 2004 and Ron’s razor sharp intellect and financial acumen were put to good use when he served as ICA treasurer from 2008 to 2013.
The current ICA treasurer, and President, David Whyte commented that the books Ron kept were “immaculate”.
Ron also enjoyed playing in ICA bonspiels and was a keen competitor on the ice. Off the ice he also enjoyed, and endured, many ICA curling adventures abroad accompanying Jane when she was a member of the Irish ladies team at the European Championships, the European Mixed Championships and the World Seniors. Many a long day Ron spent in the stands as a faithful supporter of Irish teams. He was also the ‘Keeper of the Flags’ and made sure the four provinces banner was in a prominent position and the right way round!
His dry wit and endless curiosity made him excellent company and Ron and Jane were the warmest and most convivial of hosts, opening the doors of their home to many curlers from near and far, always ready to welcome their many friends with a dram and a plateful of Ron’s latest culinary creation – he was also a superb and adventurous cook.
Away for the curling world, Ron was well-known as a salty sea-dog, and sailing was right up there with Jane and their much-loved black lab dogs in his ‘things I really and truly love’ list.
Jane said: “Ron’s abiding passion was sailing. He built an ‘Enterprise’ dinghy in his garage which he and I raced competitively for many years. He went on to compete against the “Big Boys’ in major events on the Clyde and West Coast. To celebrate the millennium, he took part in the Classics Malt Cruise to Islay with family and friends. The highlight of his sailing career was undoubtedly being overall winners of West Highland Week and The Scottish Series in the same year. Quite an achievement.”
After a successful career with IBM, that took him on several overseas assignments including a very happy two years in Minnesota, USA , Ron retired in 2000. He and Jane lived for many years in Skelmorlie before moving to Auchterarder in 2013. He also loved his garden, a passion he shared with Jane, and had many plans for their new home in Perthshire before illness intervened.
He was a true gentleman of impeccable character, who was kind, determined and loyal in equal measure. Ron Paterson served the Irish Curling Association faithfully for many years and will always be remembered and missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.
The sympathy of all the members goes out to Jane at this difficult time.
Jane would like to extend her heartfelt thanks to all ICA members who took the time to send a card and a special thank you to those who came to the funeral. It was very much appreciated.
The ICA start the new curling season this Sunday at Greenacres Ice Rink at 12.30pm.
Thanks to Carolyn for organising and arranging refreshments afterwards. The teams for Sunday are:
reserve Sue Scotland
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
Ireland’s teams took time out at the 2017 World Senior Curling Championships in Canada, to celebrate a double 100 cap for two or our Irish players.
Neil Fyfe and Marie O’Kane have both represented Ireland 100 times. Wow.
The men’s and women’s senior teams representing Ireland at the World Senior Championships are getting packed for their trip to Lethbridge, Alberta.
The men are the five-man team of Peter Wilson, Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte and David Hume.
The women are the four-(wo)man team of Carolyn Hibberd, Marie O’Kane, Louise Kerr and Clare McCormick.
You can find their draw here:
Tomorrow we’ll look at the Ireland pair heading to the World Mixed Doubles.
The new mixed champions are Bill Gray, Jacqui Davidson, Ross Barr and Clare McCormick, who beat James Russell, Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte and Katie Kerr over a best of three challenge at Greenacres.
More details tomorrow.