Huge congratulations to ICA member Margarita Sweeney-Baird, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours’ List.
Margarita is chairperson and founder of Inclusive Skating and the driving force behind the Global Project for Inclusive Skating and the Charity.
A former Scottish ladies skating champion and skating coach in the UK, she originally took a year-long sabbatical from her distinguished legal career to mastermind this project. The sabbatical started in 2010 and was extended because the competition format she created worked better than she could ever have hoped.
Margarita’s daughter Juliana is an Inclusive Skater.
Festive spirit abounded in Stirling yesterday as 16 curlers took to the ice for the Winter Bonspiel. Eoin McCrossan skipped his team of John Burns, Niamh Begly and Eleanor Burns to an 8-6 win over Arran Cameron, Paul Cromey, special guest Shelagh Fulton and Kerianne Cox. An aggressive approach was adopted by both skips with plenty of stones in play, the game turned with an excellently judged runback for 4 made by the McCrossan team.
Victory overall however went to the team of David Hume, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Sue Scotland and Frances Donald who pipped Ian Donald, Dave McHale, Isla Kinnear and Maria O’Neill. David raced out into a 7-1 lead before a huge score of 4 brought everything into play. David and team held their nerve and scored a single point in the final end for a winning score of 8-5.
David thanked his team for their efforts and to all those who had made the trip out. Special mention must go firstly to Sue Scotland and her amazingly festive reindeer bonnet and secondly to Frances Donald who provided tasty chocolate treats to all, which definitely made all the difference in those fully swept shots.
Ireland’s mixed doubles pairing of Alison Fyfe and John Wilson ended with an 8-7 win over Belgium in the world qualifier at Greenacres but didn’t get one of the top two spots in their group, finishing third. Therefore, Ireland won’t get the chance to play for a place in the world mixed doubles curling championships this season.
Ireland will join 28 other nations next week at Greenacres Ice Rink, all trying to secure a top four finish, guaranteeing qualification for the World Mixed Doubles Championships 2020 in Canada.
Team Ireland are Alison Fyfe and John Wilson. Both have previous experience at World Championship level. Alison represented Ireland (with dad Neil) at the 2016 and 2017 championships and John (with Louise Kerr) played for Team Ireland at this year’s championships in April.
After an initial group of seven round-robin, Ireland will be hoping to make the play-off games for world ranking. Beginning on Monday, December 2nd, Ireland’s duo will play Romania, Turkey, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, France and Belgium.
The competition finishes on Saturday, December 7th.
Great news this morning from the Edinburgh Seniors! Ireland’s senior men are into the final. They beat Mike Dick 6-4 in the semi and now meet John Duff’s team in the battle for the top spot at 2.30pm today.
Good luck to Bill. David, Neil and Ross.
Update – our men lost the final 7-4 after a great game and a terrific run at the Edinburgh International Seniors 2019. Well done to Team Duff.