2017 Seniors and MDs back in Canada

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and Curling Canada have confirmed today that The World Mixed Doubles and Senior Curling Championships 2017 will be held in Lethbridge, Canada, between Saturday 22 and 29 April 2017.
 It will be the second time Curling Canada has hosted the combined World Mixed Doubles and World Seniors events. In 2013 the championships were held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, while in 2012 Lethbridge was the host city of the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship.
 The events will be staged under one roof at the brand new state-of-the-art Crossings Ice Complex in the southern Alberta city. It will be the first major championship at the facility, which will boast a 10-sheet dedicated curling rink and two hockey arenas. The complex is scheduled to open in September 2016.
 This championship will be the final chance for countries to clinch a place in the inaugural Mixed Doubles Curling event at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.
 WCF President, Kate Caithness, said: “The World Curling Federation is delighted to award these joint Championships to Lethbridge in Canada.
 “The opportunity to bring both championships under one roof, to allow for supporters and athletes to enjoy all the curling that’s on offer, was a significant factor in this award, and the WCF looks forward to working with the local organising committee to ensure that these events are a great success.
“The competition is set to be extremely exciting, with not only the World Mixed Doubles and Senior Championships titles on offer, but it will be the last chance for Mixed Doubles teams to earn Olympic qualifying points for PyeongChang 2018.”
2017 will be the 10th edition of the World Mixed Doubles Championship. Since the event’s inception in 2008 in Vierumäki, Finland, Swiss teams have won a leading five gold medals, followed by Hungary with two and Russia with one.
 The World Senior Championships, meanwhile, debuted in 2002, and before they were combined with the World Mixed Doubles, Canada hosted them in 2003 in Winnipeg and 2007 in Edmonton.
Canada has been successful at the 50-and-over level over the 14-year history of the event, winning the women’s gold 10 times and the men’s gold nine times.
 The 2016 World Mixed Doubles and World Seniors are scheduled for April 16-23 in Karlstad, Sweden.
 “We’re excited to see what will take place in Lethbridge in 2017,” said Pat Ray, acting Chief Executive Officer for Curling Canada. “Lethbridge has a history of hosting first-class championships, and with Mixed Doubles set to make its Olympic debut, the stakes will be very high, so the city is in for a treat.”
 At the 2015 World Mixed Doubles and Seniors in Sochi, Russia, there were 30 countries in the Mixed Doubles championship, 25 countries contesting the senior men’s championship and 13 countries playing for the senior women’s title.
 “We’ve got an enthusiastic curling community in Lethbridge that is eager to put on a wonderful show, both for the curlers and the fans,” said Mike Mulroy, Chair of the Lethbridge Host Committee. “This is an amazing opportunity to showcase the sport in a beautiful new facility, and we’re preparing for a week of world-class curling.”

Mixed team off to take on the world

Johnjo. Marie, Tony and Jen will represent Ireland at the World Mixed starting on Saturday in Berne

Johnjo. Marie, Tony and Jen will represent Ireland at the World Mixed starting on Saturday in Berne

The Irish Mixed Curling Champions for 2015 – Johnjo Kenny, Marie O’Kane, Tony Tierney and Jen Ward, and their supporters, jet off to Berne, Switzerland, on Thursday ahead of the start of the inaugural World Mixed Curling Championships.

While the rest of us having been spending the summer lounging around in our windcheaters and wellies, JJ and crew have been putting in the ice hours at Stirling keeping their slides ticking over.

While three of the team are veterans of international curling, Jen is the new kid on the block. Indeed she only started curling after a “come and try” session last year. Skip (and uncle) Johnjo thought she would benefit from playing in the Irish Mixed Championships last March in Dumfries and it would give Jen a flavour of competition.
JJ takes up the story:
We entered the event with not a lot of expectation but as can happen in competition we hit our best games in the semi-final and final just as our rivals did not produce their A game. With more luck than good judgement we came out on top and are relishing this opportunity to participate in a World Championship“.
We doubt if anyone has gone from novice to World Championships in as short a timescale as Jen. We wish the team good luck and good curling!

Grandpa PJ

Otto CrossA big ICA welcome to Otto Cross – PJ Wilson’s first grandchild.

Otto was born last Wednesday morning to PJ’s daughter Helen and her husband Geoff. Congratulations to all.

PJ has pointed out that as he was born in England to Scottish parents his only chance of playing for Ireland – at any sport – is if he moves there!

Happy Birthday Mr President!

Happy Birthday PJ – he doesn’t look 60….does he?

irish-balloons-thA very big Happy Birthday to our President PJ Wilson from all the members of the Irish Curling Association.

Peter has been a tremendous servant to the cause of Irish curling over the years from that first memorable trip to Sofia, Bulgaria in December 2004 with the men’s team for the Europeans, on to Garmish, Germany in 2005, Lowell, USA and Basel, Switzerland in 2006, Füssen, Germany in 2007, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden in 2008 and coach at Aberdeen, Scotland in 2009. His senior career began in Minneapolis-St Paul’s, USA in 2011, then to Fredericton, Canada in 2013. Quite a record.

Here are some photographic memories of Peter’s curling adventures.

Early days when he was Scottish!

Early days when he was Scottish!

Playing for Ireland in Fredericton in 2013

Playing for Ireland in Fredericton in 2013

Skipping the team at his first world seniors in 2011

Skipping the team at his first world seniors in 2011

His first Irish outing  in Sofia  at the Europeans 2004

His first Irish outing in Sofia at the Europeans 2004

Up the top of a ski jump in Sweden!

Up the top of a ski jump in Sweden!
















Only once has his normal air of diplomatic bonhomie disappeared and that was at the Europeans in Aberdeen in 2009.Ireland’s men were playing Wales when Adrian Meikle pulled out the world’s greatest ever fluke shot. Up on the coaches’bench, right beside the Welsh contingent, PJ momentarily forgot the video also had a microphone……..

Playdowns looming

The playdowns for the ICA men’s championships will be played at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Friday, March 6th; Saturday March 7th and Sunday March 8th.

There are two teams entered:

Peter Wilson, Andrew Gilmore, Alan Mitchell, Tony Tierney (Robin Gray unavailable for playdowns).

James Russell, John Furey, Johnjo Kenny, Arran Cameron, Eoin McCrossan (Craig Whyte unavailable for playdowns).

The championship will be a ‘best of five’ format  – all games 10 ends – with the winners going forward to represent Ireland at the European C League in Champrey, Switzerland, 12th – 17th October.

Three teams have entered for the Irish Mixed Championships:

Johnjo Kenny, Marie O’Kane, Tony Tierney, Jen Ward

Neil Fyfe, Alison Fyfe, David Whyte, Ailsa Anderson

Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Ross Barr, Jacqui Barr

The playdowns for this will take place at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Saturday, 28th March and Sunday, 29th March. Round-robin games will be followed by a semi-final and then a final. The winners will represent Ireland at the World Mixed Curling Championships in Berne, Switzerland, 12th – 19th September.

Andrew joins the ICA

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Gilmore (right) is the ICA's latest recruit

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Gilmore (right) is the ICA’s latest recruit

A thousand welcomes to 16-year-old Andrew Gilmore who joined the Irish Curling Association at the weekend.

Andrew is a keen member of Stranraer Young Curlers and will be playing for Peter Wilson’s team at the men’s playdowns in Dumfries 6th / 7th / 8th March.

Andrew says he is delighted that he has been asked to curl with the  ICA and looking forward to his first game!
He lives with his mum and dad, John and Diane, a couple of miles outside the village of Drummore, near the Mull of Galloway. Andrew turned 16 last November started curling when he was in primary 7.  He is now in 5th year at Stranraer Academy and currently studying hard for his highers.  Andrew’s career plans are to apply to Glasgow City Nautical College to study as a deck officer, hopefully on cruise ships.  He plans to stay on at school for a sixth year as he can’t go to sea until he is 18.
His hobbies are curling, golf and sailing.  He  also plays the piano and has just passed his grade 5. He also plays the guitar.  Andrew has an under 17 Asham team which he skips.



Kinross Bonspiel team line-up

The teams have been picked for the ICA bonspiel at Kinross on Sunday at 12.15pm and the six rinks will line up thus:

Marie O’Kane, Ross Barr, Yvonne Chalmers, Nathan Furey
John Furey, Gillian Drury, John Burns, Gillian Russell

Arran Cameron, Christine Furey, Eoin McCrossan, Erin Furey
Ian Donald, David Hume, Christina Graham, Jen Ward

James Russell, Louise Kerr, Elizabeth McKay, Frances Donald
Bill Gray or Johnjo Kenny, Craig Whyte, Alison Barr, Clare Darragh