November 18, 2008

Sports Minister at Lockerbie

It was a big day for curling in Lockerbie as Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell and sportscotland Chief Executive Stewart Harris were in town to officially open the upgraded Lockerbie Ice Rink, which received sportscotland funding. Also announced officially today was the sportscotland annual investment in the governing body for curling, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.

As previously reported (see here and here), Lockerbie Ice Rink received a sportscotland investment of £214,151 to enhance their facilities including the upgrade to the refrigeration plant and changing rooms, improving the insulation and installing energy efficient light and a lift for wheelchair users.

I liked the header for today's press release, 'Leaving no stone unturned - sportscotland supports curling development!' £385,000 has been granted for the development of the sport across the country. This investment will play an important part in enabling the Royal Club to grow and develop the sport at every level. To quote from the press release, "A drive to increase participation at grassroots level is complemented by a strong coach development programme to ensure that curlers are given every opportunity to progress, becoming the stars of the future who will carry on Scotland’s proud curling tradition."

This is the money that goes towards ACDO salary contributions, all the aspects of the Royal Club's development and coaching programmes, and the National and Regional Academy initiatives. In addition, the Scottish Institute of Sport, the high performance arm of sportscotland, receives an additional £200,000 to support the national coaches and the elite teams.

The full text of today's press release can be found here.

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland said, “Curling is one of Scotland’s most successful sports with thirty-five medals on the world stage over the last ten years but investment in the sport is essential if we are to continue that excellent track record. The sportscotland funding of £385,000 to the RCCC will allow them to build on this success and nurture the champions of the future."

In 2007-08 sportscotland invested over £11.5 million in forty-one sports governing bodies.

Stewart Maxwell addresses a large number of guests at the rink.

After a short lesson from David Murdoch and Euan Byers, the Sports Minister lines up for his first ever curling delivery, with young curlers Thomas Sloan, Alice Spence, Hannah Fleming and Lisa Jardine in attendance. Needless to say, his stone finished in the four foot!

Mind you, it could not have been easy with all these lenses pointed at him. Our Sports Minister is definitely a good sport!

Pics by Bob.

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