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
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:
World Senior bronze medal winner Ross will be playing second stones in the Irish team in Kazan, so let’s see what Ross likes to get up to:
Name? – Ross Barr
Age? – 62
Occupation? – Retired Civil Engineer
In-turn or out-turn? In-Turn
Best ever curling memory? – Winning a bronze medal at the World Senior Curling Championships in Karlstad, 2016
If you had to switch careers, what job would you do? – Architect (large bridges)
Apart from the ICA, what website do you spend the most time on? – www.chess.com
Best / worst subjects at school? – Physics/French
Who’d be your four ideal dinner guests? – Brian Cox, Ruth Davidson, Jeremy Vine, Judy Murray – No shortage of discussion topics!
Earliest curling related memory? – Chasing stones around Crossmyloof
Favourite curling destination and why? – Cortina (Dolomites) has a well organised summer social competition in a spectacular mountain setting. (And provides prizes of locally produced cheese and ham).
How do you relax away from work (and curling)? – Glass of Montepulciano on the garden swing beside Alison and her G&T.
The person you most admire, alive or dead, and why? – Stephen Hawkins because of his scientific achievements and fight against motor neuron
What did you have for breakfast this morning? Porridge.
Newly-wed Jacqui is making her international debut for Ireland at the World Mixed, playing with dad Ross, so let’s find out a bit about the team rookie :
Name? – Jacqui Davidson
Age? – 30
Occupation? – Chartered Accountant
Status? – Newly married
Years curling? – Fourth year curling
Home club and ice rink? – Bearsden; Braehead Curling Rink
Favourite sport outside curling:
To watch? – Road cycling
To play? – Mountain biking and Trail Running
Who would you really like to meet? – Ulei Steck; Swiss mountaineer renowned for his speed climbing. I have seen a number of his climbing films and his passion and drive for what he does is inspiring.
Favourite TV programme? – Made in Chelsea (guilty pleasure)
Favourite holiday destination and why? – Italy for the good food, good wine and the stunning scenery. I love going on an adventure holiday, there is nothing better than a big day out followed by a well-earned meal in the evening.
Favourite other Irish curler and why? – I would have to say my Dad. Not only for winning the bronze medal at this year’s World Senior Championships, but for the support and encouragement that he has given me which has led me to this exciting opportunity to be part of the Irish Mixed Team!
You can save one prized possession. What is it? – My mountain bike! I brought it back from Canada last year and I have had some great adventures with it – including my honeymoon.
Who would you choose to be marooned on a desert island with? – Bradley Cooper.
Sum yourself up in five words – Happy, enthusiastic, determined, stubborn and fun.
Here’s the inside story on our mixed skipper Bill – who still has the same hairstyle 56 year on….
Name? – Bill Gray
Age? – Plenty
Occupation? – Part farmer, part curler
The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity? – Floodlit indoor Camogie
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? – A Mars bar
What is your favourite word? – Unprintable ! Take your pick from a few…..
What’s your biggest fear? – having to give up playing sport/ having to skip Eoin in an early morning 4 Nations match – sorry Eoin!!
Last gig you went to? – Jools Holland in Glasgow last year; pure dead brilliant
The film you can watch time and time again? – Gmac’s video from Tarnby for the 2012 World Seniors Gold medal – so much going on at the end you just have to watch it over and over and over…………”he’s heavy…..he’s THROUGH”…. etc etc
What are you best at? – amusing profile answers? Yeah okay; not even that!
The sport you won’t watch? – Floodlit Indoor Camogie – it’s not on the telly or doesn’t exist; not sure which.
Our Irish mixed team will be gearing up to fly out to Kazan, Russia, for the 2nd World Mixed Curling Championships, which begins on Friday, October 14 and goes on to Saturday, October 22.
Starting off this batch of player profiles is third in the team – Margarita Sweeney-Baird:
Name – Margarita Sweeney-Baird
Age – over 21.
Occupation – Inclusive Skating Chair (I develop events and opportunities for disabled skaters).
In-turn or out-turn? – In-turn.
Best ever curling memory? – Winning the first Irish Open Championships in memory of Isobel Fyfe – it was such an honour!
If you had to switch careers, what job would you do? – I’m also a lawyer so I would go back to working in Financial Regulation in practice and/or at University again.
Apart from the ICA, what website do you spend the most time on? – Inclusive Skating
Best / worst subjects at school? – Best – English, History, etc. Worst is definitely singing.
Who’d be your four ideal dinner guests? – Jo Brand, Barack Obama, Boris Johnson, Andrew Neil – they would be very funny and entertaining!
Earliest curling related memory? – watching the curling at Crossmyloof whilst I was on the end ice skating behind the yellow plastic barrier. It was Ken Horton and Graeme Adam who were practising.
Favourite curling destination and why? – Any curling rink in Switzerland. I love Switzerland.
How do you relax away from work (and curling)? – Spending time with my family.
The person you most admire, alive or dead, and why? – Kate Caithness – because she does the right things for the right reasons. Kate introduced wheelchair curling – just because it was the right thing to do. I wish she was president of the IOC or International Skating Union or perhaps both!
What did you have for breakfast this morning? – Tea and toast.