I spent a very pleasant day yesterday at the Murrayfield rink, watching the first day's play in the Scottish Schools Championship. Fifty-four teams, representing some forty-four different schools, started out in the competition. Colin Hamilton, the Royal Club's competitions' manager, confirms that's an increase over last year's entry, an encouraging statistic. After local playdowns, twenty-four of them are competing at Murrayfield in four sections. You can follow all the results here.
I've tried with a few photos to give a flavour of the championship. Top photo is of the Stranraer Academy team in action, from left, Scott Wilson, Euan Kyle and Bobby Lammie.
Ross Whyte skips the Wallace Hall Academy team.
Beth Dandie and Hayley Duff, Forfar Academy.
That's Zak Stewart, skip of the St Joseph's College team, in front, with Stewart's Melville Ross Kwok and Andrew Johnston behind.
Zak's front end - Darcy Howat and Natalie Doidge.
Perth Academy in action. Callum Kinnear and Mili Smith are on Cammy Smith's stone.
Here's another of Cammy.
Mhairi Paul, in front, is skip of Lockerbie Academy, here with Naomi Brown, skipping the Mary Erskine team.
Here's Mhairi again.
And here's the rest of Naomi's team. Karina Aitken is delivering. Sarah Morris and Kirstin Munro are the sweepers.
Here's Naomi's delivery.
Robin Brydone, skip, Perth High.
Strathaven Academy's Katie Scott and Lucy Fleming on Luke Carson's stone.
Lockerbie v Wallace Hall. Lynn Paul is in charge of the head for Lockerbie, with Heather Morton and Ross Whyte behind. Trevor Dodds, at back, is chief umpire for the event.
Jayne Stirling is skip of the Dollar Academy team.
Fraser Kingan (Dumfries Academy) and Bruce Mouat (George Heriot's).
Cameron Bryce, skip of Kelso High, with Garnock Academy's Peter Dagen and George McConnell behind.
Two thirds. Karina Aitken and Lynn Paul.
Fiona Spain (Kinross High) and Ross Whyte (Wallace Hall). Caption time?
How about, "Here's looking at you, kid!" (See here)
Here are the other members of the Kinross High team. Alison Wood has delivered the stone, and Finlay Campbell and Linzi Sim are ready to sweep.
Ben Bremner and Craig Cameron on Robert Fawns' stone. Arbroath Academy.
Fraser Kingan, Dumfries Academy.
Photos © Skip Cottage. As usual, let me know if I've made any mistakes with names.