The recent announcement by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club ahead of for February’s Scottish Curling Championships – tickets are now on sale for the both the women’s and men’s finals taking place on 20th February – heralds a superb era of spectator action for curling that is set to continue well beyond 2016.
The prospect of seeing the cream of Scottish talent on the ice in Perth is an enticing one for fans, as was the news earlier in 2015 that in partnership with Royal Caledonian Curling Club, UK Sport, and partners in Renfrewshire, Aberdeen, Stirling and Glasgow, EventScotland has secured four curling championships for Scotland. The championships in question being the 2016 European Curling Championships, 2018 World Junior Curling Championships, 2019 World Wheelchair Curling Championship and 2020 World Men’s Curling Championship.
The Scottish Curling Championships 2016, the flagship event of the domestic season, take place at the Dewars Centre between 13th and 20th February. Scotland’s curling stars will battle it out for the national women’s and men’s championship titles, not to mention the right to represent Scotland at the World Curling Championships taking place in Canada (women’s) and Switzerland (men’s) in March and April respectively.
In recent years the finals have played host to some of Scotland’s top curling talent including Eve Muirhead (main picture) the Olympic and European bronze medallist who last year lead her team to a thrilling 6-5 victory in the final against Team Fleming. Also in action last year was David Murdoch, fresh from his silver medal with Team GB at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, who lead his team all the way to the final before losing out to Team MacDonald.
Spectating is free at the Dewars Centre in Perth for the qualifying rounds from Saturday 13th to Friday 19th February. Tickets for the women final (11am) and men’s final (4pm) on Saturday 20th February can be purchased from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.
Later in 2016, in November, the Braehead Arena hosts the European Championships, with the 2018 World Junior Curling Championships and 2019 World Wheelchair Curling Championship forming an impressive second and third leg of a quadruple that concludes in 2020 with the World Men’s Curling Championship at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
These are exciting times for curling in Scotland with the current crop of stars inspiring a new generation players ready to light up the world stage. At the Scottish Curling Mixed Doubles Championship held at the Braehead Arena earlier this month Team Mouat (pictured), comprised of 21-year-old Bruce Mouat and fellow student Gina Aitken, were crowned Scottish Curling Mixed Doubles Champions after an 8-5 win against Team Hardie.
With the win came the opportunity to represent Scotland at the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Karlstad, Sweden next April. Having previously led their own teams to Scottish Junior Championship glory and World Junior Championship podium positions in 2015, few would bet against Mouat and Aitken making an impression at the very top level. And with mixed doubles having been confirmed as an additional event at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang there’s also the prospect of emulating Rhona Martin who lead the GB women’s team to a historic gold medal at the Salt Lake City Games of 2012.
We look forward to previewing all the Scottish curling action in 2016 and beyond. For all the latest spectator news make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter – and check out our Events! page in the week leading up to a championship for daily previews of the action about to unfold.
Photos: Richard Gray