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EVE MUIRHEAD: No exaggeration to say government have saved Scottish curling

Curling in Perth.
Curling in Perth.

It really isn’t an exaggeration to say that the £2 million of government grants for Scottish ice rinks has saved curling in Scotland.

As I’ve said in my column over the last few months, there have been rinks shut which wouldn’t have been able to reopen had it not been for this financial help.

At the elite end of curling our UK Sport funding hasn’t been affected by the pandemic. This was all about grassroots.

And by that I mean keeping those who already love the sport involved and sparking a passion in those who don’t know yet they are going to love it.

So a big ‘thank you’ to the Scottish Government for stepping in and a congratulations to everybody who played a part in the campaign to speak up for curling.

Myself and Bobby Lammie were disappointed to lose in the semi-finals of a mixed doubles tournament that has taken place at the National Curling Academy this week.

We’d won all our matches up until that point and were in control of the whole game against Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds.

One of the things about this format, though, is you are likelier to get bigger swings in the last end and that’s what happened to us.

There is definitely a higher unpredictability factor that comes into play.

Myself and Bobby have committed to the format and we’ll hopefully get more chances to prove that we’re an improving team with big potential.

What British Curling decide to do for selection remains to be seen.

In Sweden, Anna Hasselborg’s team have all decided that they won’t make themselves available for the mixed.

And in Canada, I believe that they will have a policy that means if you’re competing in the men’s and women’s you can’t do both.

Although we’re all fit athletes, you can’t underestimate how hard it would be to take on back-to-back tournaments in the high-pressure environment of an Olympic Games over a long format.

It was nice to see my team-mate Vicky Wright receive a Spirit of Sport Award a few days ago.

This has been no ordinary year and Vicky was quick to get back into full-time nursing for the first wave of the pandemic when sport got put on hold.

It’s not the sort of award she would have been expecting to pick up at the start of 2020 but it is thoroughly deserved, that’s for sure!

Optimism never seems to last very long in Scottish rugby, does it!

We go and beat Wales away for the first time in goodness knows how long and then our best players get injured and performances and results fall away.

The outlook for the two pro sides seems bleak and then comes a World Cup draw that was pretty depressing.

The full draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup made in Paris.

I do have a bit of sympathy on the last one, I must say.

It seems crazy that a draw can be made this early for a tournament in 2023.

So much will change in terms of form.

It makes a bit of a mockery of seedings if you don’t wait until much closer to the time.

Let’s be positive, though – maybe Ireland will be rubbish by then!

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