The political world isn’t one I’m particularly familiar with.
It’s not often that curling and politics collide.
But I’m intrigued to see what comes out of next week’s debate in the Scottish Parliament about the future of the Dewars Centre and other facilities for my sport across the country.
Perth’s ice rink was saved from closure a couple of months ago but it would be all too easy for it to fall off the agenda.
And if long-term ideas and solutions aren’t found, the reprieve might not last long.
Sometimes when you’re caught up in a sport you’re not actually in the best position to take on innovative suggestions.
Maybe curling at grassroots level needs to move away from its traditional autumn to spring season and spread out over the course of the year?
Opening up for the Easter and summer school holidays feels like a no-brainer.
A parliamentary debate on Dewars Centre, Perth will take place on Wednesday 31 May at 5pm. You can watch it live on https://t.co/GnCD2DBe5w.
Our members are encouraged to contact their local MSPs to share information on curling in their area. 🥌
— Scottish Curling (@scottishcurling) May 25, 2023
If golf can have a winter league, maybe curling should have a summer league?
And do we need to start being less in the shadows as a sport and really start to showcase the achievements we’ve made?
For example, there’s no such thing as a national curling museum.
Could that be brought to the Dewars Centre in Perth?
What I do know is that we’ve got a sport that has cross-generational appeal and a history of elite success that would be the envy of others.
Hopefully Wednesday’s motion and debate at Holyrood will start to put some political momentum behind it.
I’m a traditionalist when it comes to sport in many ways.
And, having been a spectator at the French Open, there’s definitely a lot to be said for the big tennis tournaments holding on to what makes them unique.
With Wimbledon you think of players in all white and the US Open is about the New York razzmatazz.
The sight of an umpire getting down off his chair to check out a mark in the clay is part of the charm of the French.
So I can see why the organisers are resisting pressure to conform to some other events and do away with line judges and go all-in with technology to decide if a ball is in or out.
But I do think that, ultimately, they’re fighting a losing battle.
Andy Vermaut shares:French Open: Is it time for Roland Garros to use electronic line calls?: Seeing a chair umpire pointing out the mark of a ball is one of the French Open's great traditions. But is relying on the human eye now outdated? Thank you https://t.co/dY17A9CdZS pic.twitter.com/qsFY5wyoUn
— Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) May 24, 2023
Player power is pretty strong in tennis – as it is in most sports – and the voices are getting louder and louder behind taking away human error.
As an athlete, I think that’s the side of the argument I’d be on.
The French is the only one of the four grand slams to not use and technology whatsoever.
There’s a fine line between tradition and progression and I’d be surprised if they are able to hold back the tide for much longer at Roland Garros.
That’s my run of new challenges over for a while.
London Marathon, Etape cycle were ticked off and last weekend I was in the gym at Rotterdam for the Hyrox championships.
— Eve Muirhead OBE (@evemuirhead) May 24, 2023
I’m too young to remember Superstars but if they bring it back I’d like to think that’s a good mix of events which would give me a decent chance!