Curling in this country has got a tradition of family names continuing through the generations.
I’m obviously proud of all the Muirheads who have made their mark and the same will be true for the Hays, the Smiths and a fair few others.
The latest one in the headlines in Scotland is the Craiks.
I couldn’t tell you how far curling goes back in their family but I do know that they’ve been supporting our sport in Angus and nationally for as long as I can remember.
He had the great claim to fame of being part of the Edzell Curling Club team that won the Grand Match on the Lake of Menteith in 1979 and became the unofficial World Outdoor Curling Champions.
Bobby’s son, Gordon, is a passionate supporter of curling and a familiar face at big tournaments.
And now Gordon’s boys, James and Ross, are making an impact at the top of the sport.
James is currently competing in his first Grand Slam in Canada.
He’s in one of four Scottish teams inside the top 16 of the world – which is the sort of strength in depth only Canada are used to enjoying.
And younger brother, Ross, has won his first senior title in Denmark.
— British Curling (@BritishCurling) November 5, 2023
He’s got the Scottish Juniors coming up but the more exposure he can get to playing with the men, the better.
It was huge for me to be able to do both juniors and ladies.
Having a dad who was steeped in curling – and brothers who were very good curlers – was a big support over the years.
It will be interesting to watch the Craiks and to see how far they can push each other.
Some sports lend themselves better than others to the advancement of technology.
Cricket is the first one that springs to mind in terms of helping the game rather than fundamentally changing it.
Football seems to be going through a real crisis, with more and more people questioning whether the introduction of VAR was worth the disruption it has caused to the flow of the sport and supporter enjoyment.
I was famously left cursing technology at the 2018 Winter Olympics when my last stone in a round robin game against Sweden had to be taken away after the light came on to say that I had released it after the hog line.
— CurlingZone (@CurlingZone) February 18, 2018
Given it had never happened to me before – or since – I was pretty confident that it was an error.
There was no way of appealing, though. It’s just a case of having to accept it and move on.
Seven years later, if you asked me whether technology has moved on, I’d have to say ‘no’.
In a lot of tournaments you still see the stone handle being switched off because they’re not working as they should.
You can see a skip cleaning a stone before a crucial shot and the light is already flashing because batteries have run out or something.
Curling hasn’t got on top of this yet.
If you’ve got technology in sport, athletes need to have confidence that it’s reliable.