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ENGLISH CURLING ASSOCIATION February 2012

NEWSLETTER English Junior, Angharad Ward, flying the Union Jack as part of the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Squad: the first English player to do so.

Inside this issue: President’s Message Mixed Doubles ECC Moscow Men’s & Women’s Playdowns Four Nations Great Gordino

Photo: courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown

Junior Jottings Winter Youth Olympics

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I am curlinged out and the season isn’t over yet! (and I don’t even play the game). I know curlers work hard on the ice but watching can be just as stressful though I don’t think we show our feelings quite as openly as some players (see page 8). Many thanks to John Brown, Alison Arthur and Sandra Moorcroft for spending their weekends supporting the teams and to those of you who popped in too. There has been some great curling and great ice down at Fenton’s these last couple of months hence

this edition to keep up with the reports and news. Further afield the English presence has been felt. Well done to the Juniors and their recent successes at the Europeans and Winter Youth Olympics. Regular coaching and team commitment is paying off. Once again, many thanks to contributors to this edition, especially John Brown who has written so many reports, some within hours of the event and after a long drive home. So read on ….

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Editor


ALISON ARTHUR PRESIDENT ENGLISH CURLING ASSOCIATION Sister and Brother Curlers Where has the time gone? It seems like 2 minutes since I was last putting fingers to keyboard in Moscow to write my last article. You have read about Moscow previously and John has included some more in this edition – “Reflections on Moscow”. I would just like to point out however, that where he highlights our schedule for Moscow, he fails to mention that we also had the Opening Ceremony on the Saturday morning! This combined with the fact that Red Square was frequently closed due to the protests made sightseeing a little difficult!!

final session. Congratulations to Alan and his team!! We had the added pleasure of having representatives of the British Curling Association join us for the weekend to watch our Championships with a bonus for the Juniors when Soren Gran ran 2 coaching sessions for them.

Christmas has been and gone and I seem to have been very busy on your behalf since the start of the New Year! Oh and the odd bit of work has been fitted in too!

Back home and then back to Kent for the Women’s Championships. At the time of writing we are on the second of five games being contested between Fiona Hawker and Anna Fowler who, of course, played in the same team in Moscow! Fiona and her team won a very close game on Friday night and the second game is proving to be just as close. Victory in this game has now gone to Anna so the competition will live on until Sunday morning at the earliest! (See elsewhere for final report)

At time of writing I have been away 3 weekends out of the last 4. The first weekend saw the 4 Nations, hosted by the Welsh Curling Association, at Greenacres. It was a disappointing weekend for English curling in terms of results as we only took home one trophy but both the organisation and the hospitality were tremendous and it was wonderful for me to be there to just watch the curling – no cooking involved this year! Thank you to all those who took part. There had been much discussion prior to this event that, going forward, the dates would change and the competition would maybe be played in November. This is not going to happen and the competition will be played on the equivalent weekend next year so don’t delay, put the dates in your diary now (19 – 20 January 2013). As the saying goes, book early to avoid disappointment!!

Linked to curling and our Ladies, I have discovered that Debbie Hutcheon, Lead to Fiona Hawker, became engaged to Chris on New Year’s Eve, and they will be married on 13 October. Many congratulations to them both and we will make sure we avoid this weekend when the Duncan Stewart trophy is played in Kelso! After this weekend, I have no more travels due to work commitments until 7 weeks from today when I fly off to Basel to attend WCF meetings. Hopefully I will also get the chance to view some great curling at the Men’s World Curling Championships. I would also like to see something of Basel as last time I was there, my luggage wasn’t so consequently I saw nothing of the curling nor the city!!

A weekend at home and then it was off to Kent for the National Men’s Championships. 7 teams were competing for the honour of representing England in the Europeans which will be held in Karlstad, Sweden, in December. I have to say that this was one of, if not the best, men’s championships I have watched and I have seen my fair share! Come late Saturday afternoon and, with the threat of snow, one team forfeited their game to make sure they got back on the road. However, Saturday evening’s session went ahead and Alan MacDougall’s team came out as overall winners which was just as well as we would not have been able to get to the rink on Sunday for the

I trust that you have not been too affected by the snow and ice outside but wish you every success in the coming weeks on the ice inside! Best wishes, Alison 2


THOUGHTS FROM THE COMPETITION CONVENOR — PHIL BARTON Four Nations – Thanks from the Competitions Convenor

Playdowns: The newsletter will report on the results of the Mixed Doubles and the Men’s and Women’s playdowns. The Competition’s Convenor would like to thank John Brown, James Hustler and Alison Arthur for their great support in organising the events.

A great event at Greenacres – and the results and report are included elsewhere. This is a thank you from the convenor for all who played. We can look forward to 2013 – probably hosted by Scotland so we can go to Dublin in 2014! The year after we will be back in England.

Strathcona Cup Tour 2013 John Summers and Phil Barton (Preston CC) have been selected for the Strathcona Cup Tour to Canada in January 2013. They are very excited and the planning has already commenced. John is a third on the east tour. Phil is the overall Tour secretary. This time the tour splits into three East, Central and West, as compared to the East and West split in the past.

The I’Anson in 2012 – we are standing at 15 entries at time of sending to press. Contact Phil Barton to find out if we still have a space. World Seniors As noted in the last edition Michael Sutherland takes his rink to Taarnby for the Senior World Championships starting on 15th April. John Brown has been brought in as fifth man and coach – of course we know he is a regular traveller to Denmark.

John takes delivery of his red England blazer this week – interesting to think they will have a red one and a blue one quite soon. Perhaps the ECA might consider their own tour to Canada in the future! What a brilliant trip that would be

The writer has been watching “The Killing” and “Borgen” (both with subtitles) to pick up some Danish … not too successful or useful for curling to date. We are going five weeks later than in 2006 and so we hope there will be less snow.

Championship Venues World Junior

The matches in the first round robin section are as follows:

Ostersund, SW

March 3—11

World Women’s Lethbridge, AB

March 17—25

World Men’s

Basel

Mar 31—Apr 8

World Seniors

Taarnby

April 14—21

World Mixed Doubles Erzurum

April 23—29

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Sunday 15 : Slovakia Monday 16th: Switzerland & Ireland

ECA Championships

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Tuesday 17 : USA

National Mixed

Fenton’s

March 10—11

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Wednesday 18 : Russia Thursday 19th: Finland & Latvia Join on the web at www.englishcurling.org.uk and for up to date results and news on

And then onto next rounds (we hope) A bit of fashion news – the team have agreed to wear Loudmouth trousers!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/ECAEnglish-Curling-Association/221705815138

Next year (2013) the World Seniors will be held on Vancouver Island. 3


Competition Reports

A TRIUMPH OF EXPERIENCE OVER YOUTH (Mixed Doubles) I remember when I won the RCCC Championship with Graeme Adam back in 1971, the lead of the opposition team said at the presentation after the final that he knew it was time for him to give up as he had just been beaten by a team whose combined age was the same as his – 62. On that occasion youth triumphed. This year while playing in the ECA Mixed Doubles Championships I looked around and suddenly realised (after a quick mental calculation) that the combined age of the 6 juniors that were also on the ice was less than that of my partner and I combined! But it was the team that was not on the ice at the time, a combination of experience and relative youth, who were the eventual victors in the English Mixed Doubles Championship at the weekend. John Sharp has won the last 3 English MD titles playing with Jane Clark, but Jane has decided to have some time off from curling and so John found himself a new partner in Lorna Rettig and they came to the Championships fresh from a win in the Wetzikon MD in Switzerland. There were originally 6 entries for the Championships but unfortunately Nigel Patrick and Alison Hemmings had to withdraw when Nigel was admitted to hospital just a few days before, leaving John and Lorna, and myself and Jean Robinson to face the massed ranks of the Kent Juniors!! For the first time in the ECA LSD was used to determine choice at the first end with each team having 5 minutes practice before throwing their draw. In the event of a tie for a play-off position the average LSD would be used instead of tie breakers and so it was very important to get your draws close to the tee. With 5 teams in the competition even those with a bye went through the practice / LSD routine to give an extra LSD to use in the average. In the first session the Sharp / Rettig combo swept aside Harry Mallows / Lucy Sparks by 13-1 while the junior pairing of Ben Fowler and Hetty Garnier had a fairly easy victory over Brown / Robinson by 7-2. Session 2 and the first appearance of Anna and Sam Fowler, who were runners-up last year, but against Sharp / Rettig they were to fall to an 8-2 defeat while, in the battle of the juniors, Mallows / Sparks surprisingly got the better of the Fowler / Garnier pairing. It was in the middle of the next session, when Sharp / Rettig had their bye, that my mental arithmetic about the relative ages kicked in as we were in the process of defeating Mallows / Sparks by 73. In the battle of the Fowlers, youngest sibling Ben gained the bragging rights by defeating his elder brother and sister by 10-6. Sunday morning and a bad session for all the Fowlers as Sharp / Rettig defeated Ben F and Garnier by 9-5 while Brown / Robinson defeated Anna F / Sam F by the same score. So it all came down to the final session and the game between Brown / Robinson and Sharp / Rettig. A win for the former would mean a play-off was required while the latter would be crowned champions if they won. While Sam / Anna Fowler scored a full house 6 on their way to defeating Mallows / Sparks by 12-1, Sharp / Rettig had a fairly straightforward victory by 10-3 to win the right to go to Erzurum, Turkey in April as English champions. Well done to John on his 4th successive title and to Lorna for winning her first opportunity to play in a World event. John Brown

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Competition Reports Reflections on Moscow So the main question I have been asked since returning from the European Championships in Moscow has been – and what did you think of Moscow? And I have to say that my reply has been – well apart from the hotel and the ice rink and the half mile walk in between - I have no idea!! So here are pictures of Moscow from my point of view: First the hotel:

And now the ice rink (outside view)

And inside the B Group arena;

And the walk in between:

And yes that is an old Russian military helicopter rusting by the side of the road in the suburbs of Moscow (a Mil Mi-6 (‘Hook’) if I am not mistaken) – just one of about 20-30 old military aircraft lined up along the edge of an old airfield which is now surrounded by high rise blocks of various sizes and shapes: And to help explain why I (and president Alison) never saw anything of the rest of Moscow – here is the diary we were following: Pink blobs are the Women’s games, blue the men’s games and the red squares are the meetings we have to attend. And as it gets dark about 4 pm you can see that sight seeing time was pretty limited – to Friday afternoon actually – and by that time it was time for a drink!!

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Reflections on Moscow cont’d It was of course worth it all in the end when the men won the bronze medal as seen in Newsletter 33, but here is another picture just to remind you:

(Isn’t there a story about the cheese?? Editor)

Medals were presented by President Alison seen here waiting in line to follow the Russian (centre) and Hungarian (right) Presidents presenting the gold and silver medals respectively:

And not forgetting the ladies who did a lot better than the raw statistics show and but for an inch in 4 of their games would have been up there on the podium with the men I am sure. John Brown

100 CLUB DEC

JAN

FEB

(Double prize money in Dec) £80 Jean Picken

£40 Keith Wilson

£40 Keith Wilson

£60 Michael Sutherland

£30 Eric Hinds

£30 Jean Picken

£40 Susan Young

£20 Stephen Hinds

£20 Christine Short

Reminder: The more shares you buy the more chance you have of winning! Contact Susan Young at susankyoung@hotmail.com for more information and to set up a standing order.

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Snow almost stops play –Men’s Playdowns Of course we all know that the South of England has a great climate and it never snows very often, but when it does, it stops everything. Well it nearly stopped the English Championships in its tracks this weekend and, but for a fortunate bit of programming, I think we would still be waiting to hear who had won this year’s English men’s Championships. The curling rink at Fenton’s sits on the border of Kent and East Sussex and, like many boundaries, this runs along a rivercourse. And of course rivercourses all lie at the bottom of valleys, which is where the problems occur because to get out of valleys you generally have to climb hills, which is why during Saturday evening’s session at the Championships worried spectators were periodically peering out of windows to see if the snow that was forecast had indeed arrived. Indeed it had started to fall as it was time to leave and the convoy of cars that would up the lane to the A21 left distinct tracks on the flurry of snow that presaged the storm to come. By the early morning three to four inches had fallen and there was a curling session due at 0900 to settle the Championships, with a possible tie break at 1400. Except there wasn’t because the Championship had been won the previous evening just as the snow began to fall and, instead of a ski ride down the lane to the rink, a relieved group of curlers could begin to contemplate driving home. And the piece of good fortune was that the draw for the 7 team competition, which gave each team a bye in one of the sessions, had given the bye on the Sunday morning to the team which won all of its 6 games and so could not be caught. So it was a case of game over, shut up shop and let’s hope it clears up for Tuesday evening’s league games. So who were the winners – well the teams entered were the reigning champions, skipped by Alan MacDougall; the previous championship winning rinks of Jamie Malton and James Dixon / Bruce Bowyer; the English junior men’s team of Ben Fowler (with some overage help from brother Sam); John Brown’s team of Canadian English skipped by Greg Dunn; Ken Maxwell’s team skipped by another Canadian, Bryan Zachary and a final multi-national team skipped by another Canadian, Doug Andrews with Duncan Spence (ex-Lockerbie) throwing last stones (most of the time)!! Probably the most cosmopolitan English Championships of all time. For the first time at the National Championships the procedure followed the WCF rulebook with a pre game practice and Last Stone Draw to decide the hammer and then at the end of the competition the use of the average LSD to decide ranking if unobtainable by the results in the round robin between the equal teams. Only one tie breaker was programmed and so any decision on who should be in a final tiebreaker could depend on the LSD results. Thursday night and it is wins for Alan MacDougall (v Greg Dunn by 10-6), Doug Andrews (v Ben Fowler by 8-4) and for Jamie Malton (v Ken Maxwell by 10-7). Nothing unusual there but in the next session at 0930 on Friday morning it seemed as though Doug Andrews had caught Jamie Malton napping as it took an extra end to decide the game 11-10 in Malton’s favour. MacDougall beat Maxwell 8-3 and Dunn beat Dixon by 8-5. Just an hour or so after the end of the session, for those playing slowly and long, it was back on and Sheet 1 threw up another extra end finish. After just 3 ends, James Dixon was 5-0 up on Alan MacDougall and a shock looked likely but a thrilling comeback eventually saw MacDougall win 8-7 in 7


Snow almost stops play –Men’s Playdowns (cont’d) the extra while Greg Dunn shocked Jamie Malton by winning 8-5 and an outrageous fluke helped Ben Fowler defeat Ken Maxwell 8-3. An early finish on Friday but it was a full day on Saturday with, for some teams, 3 games to played between 0900 and 2200. The first session saw the game considered by many to be the most crucial one of the weekend, that between MacDougall and Malton and the latter needed to win after losing to Dunn on the Friday. Jamie’s wife was expected to deliver their first child over the weekend and so he had to dash off to the hospital that morning leaving Michael Opel to skip the team. And what a game it was, finally decide by a great draw to catch the edge of the 4 foot by Alan for a 6-5 win. So with 4 wins out of 4 it looked like the reigning champions would retain their title and only Greg Dunn could realistically hope to catch them if they slipped. He had recorded a 14-5 win over Ben Fowler while James Dixon won his first game by 8-6 over Doug Andrews. Greg Dunn had the bye in the middle of Saturday and while he and his team were off enjoying a long lunch, a session which featured probably the least excitement of the day saw MacDougall beat Fowler 8-1, Maxwell win his first game by 14-5 over Andrews (though Ken Maxwell did not play in this game) and Malton got back on track with an 8-5 win over Dixon. And so to the last session on Saturday, and with snow threatening to cut them off from their accommodation, James Dixon and his team forfeited their game against Ben Fowler as neither could win the title, leaving just Alan MacDougall and Greg Dunn to record further wins, and, by dint of winning 6 out of 6, that was enough for Alan MacDougall, Andrew Reed, Andrew Woolston and Tom Jaegii to win their third consecutive championship (and they have a win - loss record of 18-1 over those three years). A quick drink and presentations and it was off into the wintry scenes and the convoy to safety……….. John Brown

Joys & Stresses of Men’s National Playdowns (courtesy of Ken Maxwell)

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And this week the snow stayed away — Women’s Playdowns The weekend after the English Men’s Championships escaped from being snowbound by an early finish, the English Women’s Championship went all the way through from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon as two teams battled for their trip to Sweden. A light flurry of snow on Sunday morning as the teams arrived at the rink came to nothing and battle continued. Mind you when we all left the rink on Friday evening it was -9 degrees and that was probably why the teams were wrapped up in multiple layers the following day having experienced the bitter cold on the ice the previous evening. So who was playing – well originally it had been going to be Anna Fowler’s Junior team against Fiona Hawker who had recruited a team older than herself this year since two of her team from last year had defected to the juniors. However, a mix up over dates saw two of Anna’s team drop out and she recruited her mother, Jules, to join Angharad Ward and Lauren Pearce in her team. Fiona had her lead from last year, Debbie Hutcheon, together with Susan Young and Alison Hemmings. The first game was nip and tuck all the way and it was 3-3 after 5 ends (remember those numbers) but Fiona had last stone at the 10th and she used it to win 6-5. Game 2 on Saturday afternoon saw Fiona jump into a 3-1 lead before Anna pegged it back to 3-3 after 5 (again). It was still close at 5-4 to Anna after 8 but a 3 for her at the 9th saw handshakes from Fiona and her team. So, one game all. Saturday evening and once again Fiona got the early jump to 3-0, but once again when it came to the 5th end break the score was….3-3!! It was then 5-5 after 8 and this time Fiona was unable to make last stone at the 10th count and a steal for Anna saw her win 7-5 and take a 2-1 lead overall. Sunday morning and an early start for us all at 0900. This time it was Anna who got the early lead with a 4 at the 3rd end and after 5 ends, for a change, it was 5-3 for her. But after 6 we were all square at 5-5 and then Fiona stole a big 3 to make it 8-5 after 7. However Anna was not done and got a 2 back at the 8th, which Fiona copied at the 9th to go into the last end 10-7 up without the hammer. A brave attempt by Anna to remove 3 of Fiona’s tightly packed stones to force the extra end just failed to come off and the 1 she scored was scant consolation for an 8-10 defeat. And so it all came down to the 5th and deciding game and after 4 tense struggles it was a shame that Anna and her team ran out of steam in this one as Fiona raced into an 8-1 lead after 5, a further single at the 6th leading to handshakes all round and a very relieved Fiona, Alison, Susan and Debbie celebrating their success and looking forward to Sweden in December. It was Fiona’s 4th Championship victory, her first having been back in 2000 when she played with Joan Reed, while she also won it in 2002 (with Sarah Johnston) and then again last year as skip in her own right. In 2002 she was successful in getting a large sponsorship deal from Twinings Tea which helped them gain promotion to the European A Group at the Europeans in Grindelwald and then in 2003, when the same team had been unchallenged in the English Championships she was thrown into skipping in that A Group when Sarah had to stay at home when she fell ill. A baptism of fire indeed. Again in 2004 she represented England in Sofia when there were no other English challengers. For Anna and Angharad, having done so well in Moscow in December, it was a bitter disappointment for them to lose, and while Angharad still has Juniors to look forward to next season, and has memories of Innsbruck to keep her spirits up, Anna is now too old for Juniors. It will be a long year before she gets another chance to win the Championships, but she has time on her side and I am sure she will become one of England’s great champions in the future. John Brown 9


Joys & Stresses of Women’s Playdowns

Yes, Yes, curl!

“I’ll just slot one in here”

But it is all worth it in the end

Posting scores & umpiring takes concentration

For some it is all too much!

And while we are on the subject of Women ….. High fashion comes to Fenton’s ….. Kim & Tracey bring us “Skirts on Ice”

Want to buy a Pair of Curling shoes? Then why not shop at the ECA’s partners at; www.curlingSupplies.com.

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More Competition Reports

Four Nations An action packed 4 Nations weekend kept everyone on tenterhooks right up to the last stone of the last end of the last of the 30 games as England’s ladies tried to squeeze one shot out of Ireland to win back the Turnbull Trophy. In a situation typical of the to-ing and fro-ing of the weekend the Irish had fought back from a 12 shot deficit after 2 games (5-7, 3-13) and, while their men had increased the deficit by losing by 3 shots following a spectacular triple raise double take-out from England, their ladies were holding a 15-0 lead to tie the match with their match- winning stone well guarded. With no repeat of the final stone on the next sheet forthcoming an amazing turnaround was complete and Ireland won by 29-28, their third win in 5 years by the same 1 shot margin! Ireland won just one more trophy when they beat Wales, also by one shot (25-24) in a match where, by comparison, all the games were close and two of the games ended up peels, both achieved by the same Irish skip! It was 7 years since Scotland last beat Ireland but they came out fighting this year and after two games (men and women) it was 19-8 in their favour. Unlike England, Scotland managed to hold on to their lead and actually extend it by 2 shots to win by 30-17. It is only in the last few years that Wales have managed to consistently beat Scotland and they were the holders of the Big Bertha Curling Stone Trophy. The first session of games showed that they meant to retain the trophy as the scores were 12-1 (women) and 12-3 (men) for the Welsh and an amazing 20 shot deficit faced the Scots as their mixed teams took to the ice. While one team clawed back a couple of shots with a 12-10 win the other could not find the 19 shots required and in fact lost by 1 to make the final score 43-24 for the Welsh. The Welsh also held the Kay Trophy having beaten England on home soil in Kent last year and with three of their teams winning by close margins it looked like they might retain it but having performed heroics against Scotland, the Welsh ladies suffered against England, losing 1-14 and enabling England to regain the Kay Trophy, their only win of the weekend. Scotland against England is the bedrock on which the 4 Nations weekend is founded and the matches between the two retain the old format with men and women playing separately for two trophies and, as Andy Tanner, the Welsh President, pointed out at the dinner on Saturday evening, it has a long history with the Tom Ballantyne Trophy (for men) having been first presented in 1933 though of course matches between the two countries date back to the 19th century. The trophy, which the Scots won last year, was absent this weekend but the competition was as strong as normal. Eight games were played and after 4 it was 30-27 to the visitors. With one score still to come in it was still England leading by 5 shots but that last game saw the Scots turn that around with a 12-3 victory to retain the Trophy by 55-51. The Connie Miller Trophy (which Connie originally won for a points competition at Crossmyloof in 1955) had spent the last year in my house following England’s thrilling win last year and after the 11


Four Nations (cont’d) and after the first game it was on course to stay there as a close fought game ended up 7-7. After 5 ends of the second game it looked even more certain that it would be coming back South as the English led 5-3 but a late rally by Scotland produced a 9-5 win and an overall score of 16-12 to leave the trophy back in Scottish hands ( for a short while!!). Once again the staff at Greenacres did a marvellous job producing ice which stood up to 2 days of almost continuous curling and also a great carvery on Saturday evening at which the speeches were short and sweet. Thanks go to the Welsh Curling Association for the hospitality which should transfer to the Irish for 2013. I say “should” but the likelihood is that it won’t – but not for any sinister reason. Bill Gray, the Irish President, announced at a meeting on Saturday that they were hoping that a new ice rink in Dublin would be ready for curling next season and they would love to hold the 4 Nations there, but he did not think it would be ready for January 2013. He asked if the Scots would consider swapping their hosting duty of 2014 to 2013 while the Irish took responsibility for 2014, either in Dublin preferably or elsewhere if that venue was not ready. The RCCC reps were going back to consult and a decision would be forthcoming soon, but Pat Edington, RCCC President, was fairly sure that the Irish wishes could be accommodated. Watch this space!! John Brown

Jan 21 2012 saw the 5th staging of The Great Gordino Classic, at Fenton’s Rink in Kent. It’s an event that’s been staged every season since the first one in 2007, and organiser Gordon Bryan explains why he started it… “I was in the winning team for the Fleming trophy, carried along by team mates to be honest, and when I saw the lovely trophy, it occurred to me that the best way to make sure my name was on a trophy each year was to start my own tournament! I wanted to stage an event that fitted into one day, and offered entry to teams or individuals. I found a great curling trophy from Switzerland, and medals, and hoped that it would be a combination of proper competition while maintaining the social atmosphere that I love about curling” The first event went as planned, and since then it has become a regular fixture on the season’s list. This season the demand for entry was oversubscribed, the 6 teams could have been 10. There was a first this year, as it was the first time anyone had become a two time winner, with Gary Tapp and Henry Carter both winning in previous years. They were joined by Gordino first timer Fee Hawker and Forbes Fenton at skip. Gordon was pleased with another successful event…

Winning team

“ I was thrilled that everyone enjoyed themselves, and to see new faces playing - we had juniors and seniors, total newbies and internationals, all going in with continued support from Ernest and everyone at the rink, to make another enjoyable day - roll on Great Gordino 6!”

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Junior Jottings

Junior Training

Kent Sussex Junior Curling Club (KSJCC)

The increased support for junior training has boosted the players’ confidence and competitive attitude. Tuesday night practice sessions have had an influx of new curlers and, with support from helpful coaches, they have been improving dramatically along with the more experienced players who have used the Tuesday night as extra practice to refine their techniques. Additionally, for the more experienced juniors, an Elite training has been set up on Sunday afternoon for professional coaches to provide new tactics and improve our skills. The extra training really paid off when the Teams went to compete in the European Junior Championships, the girls came back having played extremely well and ending up 3rd overall and the boys also doing very well and ending up 4th in their division. Furthermore, Angharad made it into the British curling team; this is an amazing achievement as she is the first English curler to have made it to an Olympic event! This has inspired the rest of the juniors to try even harder and two teams are being sent out to Germany to play in a competition which, for some, will be their first competition abroad so it will be a fantastic experience. Hopefully we will follow in Angharad’s footsteps! Niamh Fenton

The Kent Sussex Junior Curling Club is up and running! The Club’s constitution was accepted at the January 24th meeting and we now have a bank account. I have had a couple of constructive meetings with Guthrie Miller and Bianca Logorina of Kent Sports & Leisure. As a result we are now registered for Clubmark accreditation and have joined Club Connect Card program which will give the club discounts on courses and equipment. I have also met with Natalie Coode at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and sent her our wish list for next season. From this we will produce a development program to source funding for the projects. The Club executive also met with Ernest and Tracey at Fenton’s Rink to discuss how we can partner on junior activities. Now all we need is some Juniors to join the Management Committee and set up a web page and come up with some social and fundraising ideas for next season! Rosaleen Boardman (Chair)

With a little support from junior coach Charles Murphy, young Ethan Simpson enjoys his first day on the ice with the other junior curlers. 13


Fun and Games at the Junior European Championships in Copenhagen More can be seen at http://ejcc2012.com/

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My Olympic Experience by Angharad Ward When I first applied to be a part of the Team GB Curling squad, actually making it to the Winter Youth Olympic Games was a dream I did not dare to think would come true. Even after the announcement that, yes, I would be representing the nation along with Tom Muirhead, Duncan Menzies and Rachel Hannan on the mixed curling team, it did not feel like it was actually happening; not until the whole GB team was gathered at the Sofitel Hotel at Gatwick and we received the kit that we would be wearing with immense pride over the next two weeks. Then the excitement set in. We all spent the day before our departure with the staff of Team GB. We took part in media training with the BBC team that would be with us throughout the Games, and listening with rapt attention to our lovely Chef de Mission, Sir Clive Woodward, as well as other speakers, as they gave us a taste of what we were to experience in the coming days. Friends and family came to admire our new outfits as well as send us off with hugs and wishes of good luck. (Brad Askew photo) The next morning, the whole team made the short walk over to the terminal where we were greeted with our very own ‘Team GB’ check-in desks. Our enormous GB bags (which in my case, still was only just big enough to fit all of my kit in!) were sent through security and after that, it was just a brief wait before we were boarding the plane and onto the next leg of our adventure. (Brad Askew photo)

After a somewhat bumpy landing at Innsbruck airport, the team was greeted by sunshine, snow and an amazing view of the mountains that would become a familiar sight over next few days. Buses took us excited teenagers to the Olympic village where we received our accreditation before we raced off to inspect our accommodation. We were greeted by lovely apartments and found, to our joy, that each bed had a Team GB bedcover along with pillows sporting our name, all laid out by the thoughtful GB staff members. Each apartment housed up to 5 athletes and our entire block was home not to just Team GB but also Japan, China and Korea. Snowball fights erupted every time a group of us stepped outside, and each apartment had their nation’s flag proudly flying from the balcony. The breakfast hall, being the only building to have internet access, became the gathering place of all the athletes and many a friendship was started by the words ‘You want to YOG?’ Each athlete was equipped with a YOGGER, a little memory stick that once activated, would transfer your basic information to any YOGGER you connected with. All you needed to do was touch the ends of the YOGGERs and a green light would glow, confirming that you had just exchanged information. Very futuristic! (Bill Ward photo)

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My Olympic Experience (cont’d) The opening ceremony was simply astonishing. Stepping out into the bright lights of the Bergisel Stadium with thousands of supporters cheering for each country, is a moment I will never forget. The lighting of the cauldrons and the raising of the Olympic flag really drove home the fact that we are all now Olympians, and will be for the rest of our lives no matter what happens in the future. That is something that amazes me still.

We had a shaky start to our week of curling with a power cut during the night that caused the ice to melt enough for our first game against Austria to be rescheduled. So our first game was up against Sweden where we just lost. Every game, apart from Canada, was so tight, with the winner being determined by the last stone every time. It seemed victory waited, just out of reach, until the last three games where we really pulled it together and snatched it for ourselves. Despite it being too late for us to make it into the quarterfinals, we went into our last games determined to win and ended the Games with a convincing score of 9-1 against Austria. It was a terrible shame that our winning streak started that little bit too late but I am proud of everything that we achieved as a team. We must remember that no matter what rank we came, the experience we have gained by dealing with the pressure, the media attention and the atmosphere of the Olympic Games will make us better curlers and prepare us for anything that the sport can throw at us. A big thank you to all the GB team supporters who were constantly cheering us on during the Games. Also, to everyone at Fenton’s Rink who have been so encouraging.

Having some fun on the ski hill

GB supporters including Gordon Muirhead, Pat Edington, Dave Crosbee and Eve Muirhead (Photo Leslie Ingram-Brown)

Angharad and Rachel sweeping hard (Photo Brad Askew) (photo Rosaleen Boardman)

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Club News

JUNIOR TEAMS HEAD FOR GERMANY Two teams from Fenton’s Rink are heading for the International Junior Curling Club Bonspiel (IJCCB), to be held at the end of March in Geising, Germany. This follows the highly successful event last season in Edinburgh when 20 teams took part. This year the sponsors expect a similar number with entries from all over Europe – and North America . The IJCCB is run by a group of volunteers to help develop the game internationally at junior level. We are fielding a strong boys’ team in the A League – Ben Fowler, Harry Mallows, Conor Simpson and James Pougher - who is joining the squad from the Welsh Curling Association...nice to combine forces with our neighbours! In the B League, we have a young girls’ team, comprising Lucy Sparks, Sarah Decoine, Niamh Fenton and Louisa Partridge. It will be a new experience for this team and we wish them – and the boys – good luck! Fenton’s Rink Feb 2012

Preston Curling Club rd

The match against Dalbeattie on 23 January was close – but we lost. That means Dalbeattie keep the cup and we keep the framed cartoon of a curling match between Beano characters and Preston Curling Club. (Sounds great doesn’t it) The tradition is also that we hand over a hunk of Lancashire cheese to the best up Dalbeattie rink – and we get a haggis in return. We look forward to playing Wales in March. Our new star player (Guest) has been Martin Gregory (who is a member of the Welsh CA – so he will have to be careful at the Kershaw Cup – when Preston aim to hold onto the trophy and defeat Wales. Our annual Dinner and Prize giving will be on 30th March at the Derby Arms, Longridge, nr Preston.

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The ECA is YOUR Association

Where To Curl

London & the Southeast

Lockerbie Ice Rink on alter-

The only dedicated curling

nate Thursdays. Please

rink in England can be

contact the club secretary,

Curling in this area is

found near Tunbridge

Phil Barton on

played at the Kelso Ice

Wells in Kent. Further de-

pb@starleyhall.co.uk .

Rink, just over the Scottish

tails can be found on the

border. The main English

curling rink website, Fen-

Curling can also be played

based club in the area is

ton’s Rink.

in Wales at the Deeside

North-East England

the Glendale club. For further details please email James Dixon at James.Dixon8@btopenwor

Leisure Centre, QueensferNorth-West England & Wales

The main English club in this area is the

ld.com

Preston club who play

London & The South

up in Scotland at the

English Curling

Useful Links

President: Alison Arthur

www.englishcurling.org.uk English Curling Association website

President elect: Vacant Competitions Convener: Philip Barton Secretary: John Brown Treasurer: Sandra Moorcroft

www.worldcurling.org World Curling Association http://toothytalescurling.blogspot.com/ John Brown’s curling comments

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ry, just over the Welsh border to the west of Chester Welsh Curling Association.

ECA NEWSLETTER Contact:

Rosaleen Boardman: rosaleen_w@hotmail.com


English Curling Newsletter 34