Hero’s welcome to Perth for Canadian curlers

© DC Thomson
Play gets under way at the Strathcona Cup in Perth

Canadian curlers received a hero’s welcome when they swept into Perth at the weekend.

Ten touring teams from across the pond are competing against local players and other Scottish rinks as part of the prestigious Strathcona Cup.

It is the first time in a decade that the tournament has been held in the Fair City.

The games, hosted by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, are being played at the Dewar’s Centre.

A packed itinerary has been prepared for the Canadian players, including a distillery tour and a traditional Scottish ceilidh featuring music and entertainment from the Perth Strathspey and Reel Society and the Julie Young Dancers.

On Monday, the teams will be greeted at a civic reception hosted by provost Dennis Melloy, before a final round of games at Dewar’s in the afternoon.

Some of the Canadian players have come across from Winnipeg, which boasts more curling clubs than the whole of Scotland.

Royal Caledonian Curling Club secretary George Delgaty said he was thrilled the high profile games were returning to Perth.

“The event comes to Scotland every 10 years,” he said. “It has been running for 115 years and really is the pinnacle of club curling. Just to be selected for one of the teams means a lot.”

He said: “When I started curling in the 1980s, I would never have thought I’d get the chance to compete in the Strathcona Cup.”

The games come hot on the heels of the Mercure City of Perth Masters, which was held at the start of the year.

The event was seen as the number one men’s curling event in Europe and was used as preparation for the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

For four days, the Dewar’s Centre rink hosted teams from as far afield as Japan, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland. Team GB – which won silver at the recent European Curling Championships – also took part.

The Mercure Hotel-sponsored event was hailed as a major boost for the local economy.