It’s taken a while, with the new season just about to start, but the full British Curling programme for the new season has now been announced.
And the selection of two English curlers for the first time is the eye-catching news.
Brother and sister Ben and Anna Fowler are one of the mixed-double pairs.
I’m sure there are people out there who maybe think this has been a token gesture, with a view to growing the game down south, but that isn’t the case.
Mixed doubles is still a new format and in the events that have been played so far, they have earned their spots on the team.
I only know them both to say ‘hi’ but it will be interesting to hear how they got into the sport, whether it comes from Scottish heritage or they’ve just taken up curling because they liked the look of it.
I can’t see this being the start of a big change in the balance of power in British curling terms because the sport has been ingrained up here for generations.
But it is totally correct that English, Welsh and Northern Irish athletes get the chance to fight for a place on the GB programme and anything that raises the profile of the sport across the country can never be a bad thing.
* I must admit that missing the start of a season for the first time ever is a strange feeling.
As much as it hasn’t come a shock – I always knew that it would be a real long-shot to be back from injury for the start of September – seeing the girls get ready for China in a couple of weeks without me isn’t nice.
But there have been no set-backs with my rehab and being fit in the long-term was always the main goal. It’s only been 14 weeks since a serious hip operation.
I haven’t set public targets about when I’m going to come back but there is a two-week trip to Canada ahead of the Europeans in November that would be good to make.
Jen Dodds is being thrown straight into the deep-end with a new team as skip. I know she’s nervous and excited at the same time and I’ve told her she’s got nothing to lose.
I’ve been back on the ice recently doing some posture and technical work. It definitely feels that I’m starting to see the finishing line.
* I’m finding it hard to get excited about the Tiger Woods v Phil Mickelson Las Vegas head-to-head.
I can’t see what the big deal is. We’re not even talking about the two best players in the world anymore.
Money talks and somebody must think it’s worth it (the players certainly will at nine million dollars!)
For the game of golf though, this seems like a bizarre idea. With the European Championships being an anti-climax and the US PGA not being on TV in this country, there have been a few of those lately.
* Good luck to Andy Murray in the US Open next week.
Fingers-crossed there won’t be another late drop-out from a grand slam.
Just getting there has been an achievement. It will be an even bigger one if he can make people start talking about a Big Four again.