President David welcomes the new season

Irish Curling Association President David Whyte is looking forward to the 2019/2020 curling season starting.

Read his letter to all ICA members here:

“This is my third epistle to you all which is one more than would be normally expected. I am delighted to continue in the hot seat especially as we have had an interesting couple of years creating a ‘Development Plan’ for the association and hosting ‘Come and Try’ events in Dublin in January with hopefully more developments ahead. However, I would ask you all to think about supporting the association through involvement on the committee and in particular for someone to be interested in taking up the role of president going forward. From my experience it’s good to work with a great group of fellow committee members in leading the ICA in the years ahead. Anyway, enough of the advert for now …….”

“You will have seen from Bill’s emails that the fixtures are all in place with one change for the mixed playdowns which have had to move back a week from 8 to 15 March. We start off in Greenacres at the beginning of October, stay there for the fifth Irish Championships in November, move to Stirling in December, Kinross in February, followed very shortly by the Irish weekend in Stranraer and it will be the final bonspiel in March before you know it. Please try to make as many of the events as you can – they are great fun and a chance to catch up with members you might not come across on the ice otherwise.”

“It is the turn of the Welsh to host the Four Nations in January and they have chosen to return to the Flower Bowl in Preston. That turned out to be a great venue when hosted by the English last time round and for those who couldn’t make it then I would wholly recommend getting the chance to curl with flowers and stones under the ice and plants and colours all over the wall – a great experience.”

“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 think about staging further ones, supported by DAP funding and details will be circulated once the information is available.”

“The closing date for all playdowns is fast approaching on 30 August so if you want to try for the opportunity of representing Ireland on the World or European stage something which is truly special and a great honour get those entries in to Bill. For such a small Association we manage to punch above our weight on a number of occasions not just in these WCF events but in Scottish based competitions as well as overseas summer and winter bonspiels where we carry the flag. The playdowns will continue to be at Dumfries where we are well looked after and John Burns continues to officiate as umpire whenever possible. To allow these to replicate the actual tournament as closely as possible we aim to use time-clocks 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.”

“As referred to earlier we took the opportunity to promote curling in Dublin in January as part of the key objective in our ‘Development Plan’ and the committee is having a session shortly to review progress against the targets we set in that document. That will inevitably cover how we follow up on what was a great success. Our new member Jason Medhurst who drove down to Dublin to experience the occasion having only just moved to Belfast has made contacts in Northern Ireland interested in developing our sport and we are following up on that with Jason to see where that leads us.”

Briefly wearing my treasurer’s hat we have retained the subscription at £22 for a full member and £11 for an associate or junior member.

“These are due by 30th September with a fall back position of the 6th October at the first bonspiel.”

“I look forward to seeing you on the ice very soon and if I can assist anyone with any matter please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at any point in the season.””