Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wheels on a Wednesday

There was a lot of wheelchair curling news awaiting me in my email inbox when I got home this evening. Hugh Stewart's photo (above) shows the GB Paralympic Squad training last summer at Inverness - all six of them. L-R: Jim Sellar, Rosemary Lenton, Michael McCreadie, Aileen Neilson, Tom Killin and Angie Malone. Tom Pendreigh is the squad coach.

The news today, here, is that this squad has now been reduced to five. Rosemary Lenton (left) is the one who misses out. I saw her recently training at The Peak in Stirling (see here) and I'm sure she will be disappointed. So, while my best wishes go to the others as they embark on several hard months before the Paralympics, I have a thought today for Rosemary. I'm sure she has a big future in the sport still ahead of her.

In contrast to the two GB teams named for the Olympics, the Paralympic lineup is not certain. It will be interesting to see who will emerge as the team's skip.

Now, back in August, I mentioned Jim Taylor's efforts to raise funds for the Marie Curie Big Build Hospice Appeal, see here. That involved challenging the World Champions to a game at Stirling. The event was organised by Give Them a Sporting Chance, which is a registered charity giving carers and those with disabilities, of all ages, the opportunity to make their sporting or recreational dreams come true.

All credit to David Murdoch and his team for getting involved. Jim says, “Give Them A Sporting Chance provided seamless organisational skills and what can I say about GB Men’s Olympic coach David Hay and Team Murdoch taking on this challenge in the year leading up to Olympics? Fantastic! The whole event emphasised camaraderie, friendship and good sportsmanship. It was a surreal experience and passed by too fast.”

There's a lot of generous people out there! Jim has raised £1720 so far, and if you feel you can contribute, it's not too late, go here.

Here is the official record of the day. Front: L-R: Ian Donaldson, Jim Taylor, Angie Malone, Jim Elliott, Bill Masterton. Back: David Hird, Euan Byers, Peter Smith, Graeme Connal, David Murdoch, Andrew Bain.

A postscript. Active Stirling’s Curling Development Officer, Logan Gray, said, "Immediately after this event, there was an Active Stirling Come and Try opportunity for wheelchair curlers at The Peak. Four new wheelchair curlers turned up and thoroughly enjoyed learning the basics of curling and have come back for follow up coaching sessions. Wheelchair curling is a growing network with clubs being started all over Scotland and plans are now in place for Stirling to become a new centre for wheelchair curlers to take to the ice."