August 28, 2008

Search for future elite wheelchair curlers

You may well already have seen the post on the Royal Club website (here) which purports to be looking for wheelchair curlers for the GB Squad for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games. You may well have been puzzled by it, as indeed I was, as the GB Squad was announced way back on May 1 (see here), and is shown above.

What British Curling, and its Wheelchair Curling Coach Tom Pendreigh, are looking for now are wheelchair curlers with the potential to be the Paralympians of the future, in 2014 and beyond.

Athletes who register their interest by the end of September will be tested at a number of events next season. The tests are based on curling figures. The wheelchair curlers will be scrutinised for directional accuracy using a plumb line and camera, and for weight control using laser time gates. The tests will be scored and the results recorded. The top fourteen ranked athletes will be considered for Podium or Development Programmes and be eligible for Scottish Institute support.

These tests and the ranking procedures are aimed at experienced players, not beginners.

The five events where the tests will take place are (1) a Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association Integrated Performance Camp, at Perth, October 3, (2) the National Pairs, October 31, at Braehead, (3) the British Open, November 28, at Kinross, (4) a SWCA Integrated Performance Camp at Braehead, January 23, 2009, and (5) the Scottish Championship in Aberdeen, March 20, 2009. Registered athletes are required to participate in at least three of the five events.

Closing date for applications is September 20, 2008.

The squad for Vancouver 2010. L-R: Jim Sellar, Rosemary Lenton, Michael McCreadie, Aileen Neilson, Tom Killin and Angie Malone. Photo by Hugh Stewart.

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