If I ask friends to list all the curling rinks in Scotland, which, do you think, is usually the last to be mentioned? Or another question. Which of Scotland's curling rinks presents the sport most obviously to the general public? The answer in both cases is East Kilbride, the rink being in the centre of the shopping mall. Hence I was delighted to receive this story from Jim Morrison.
Jim writes, "Each year at East Kilbride Ice Rink the volunteer coaches arrange for around thirty local schools to participate in the Curling's Cool programme. Over 500 primary 5/6 children are introduced to curling and encouraged to follow up the experience by joining the local 'After School' club.
Such was the interest aroused in parents by watching from the Shopping Centre viewing galleries and food courts that the centre management volunteered to provide a trophy if a competiton could be arranged amongst the participating schools. Always up for a challenge, an extra session was added to the Curling's Cool programme which allowed the coaches time to pick out promising newcomers and form them into school teams, all with the enthusiastic help of the schools involved.
The result, after an elimination process, Wednesday, December 21, saw forty kids take to the ice in their first proper game watched over by ten rather anxious coaches.
Castlefield Primary, the eventual winners are shown above with the other semifinalists and the event is now part of the East Kilbride rink's schools' programme."
Well done to the winning team, and to all the competitors. Great story, Jim, thank you. We sometimes forget all the good work that goes on in introducing young people to our sport through the Curling's Cool programme.
Photo courtesy of Jim Morrison