January 17, 2008

The past meets the future

As many who read this Curling Today blog will know, I have an interest in the sport's history and traditions, as well as what is happening 'today'. So I was delighted that the organisers of the Glynhill International at Braehead chose to go with an unusual trophy for the event. The 'Ladies International Curling Kettle', as the trophy has been named, is an old toddy kettle in the shape of a curling stone. David B Smith describes it here.

The trophy is unusual... and valuable! It was gifted to the organisers by Leslie Ingram-Brown.

What's happening this weekend at Braehead is a far cry from the traditional outside curling when toddy kettles might have been in use! How things have changed in recent years. When I began my curling career, there were few women on the ice. When the first women's world championship was held in Perth in 1979, very few young women curled in Scotland. Now, in 2008, the women's game is as competitive as it ever has been, the standard of play high, even though the numbers playing competitively here in Scotland are not perhaps as great as we would like. Internationally, women's curling is flourishing. It is attractive to watch, and it's colourful. Braehead this weekend is NOT going to be a sea of black - as it was at the Ramada Perth Masters recently when more than half of the men's teams on the ice sported dark coloured uniforms.

Who to look out for this weekend? Three pics below. More to come after play gets underway Friday morning, and of course some will appear in February's Scottish Curler magazine. The results from Braehead will be on the event website here.

Russia's Ludmilla Privikova at the European Championships (photo by Bob).

Lene Nielsen of Denmark (photo by Richard Gray).

Calendar girl Jackie Lockhart plays third for Scotland's Kelly Wood team who were runners-up at the European Championships (photo by Richard Gray).

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