Curling: University champions return to Scottish competition
In Perth this weekend Edinburgh curler Bruce Mouat is looking to capitalise on his outstanding year during which his team won at the World University Winter Games.
Team Mouat, comprised of Gregor Cannon (University of Strathclyde), Derrick Sloan (Robert Gordon University), Alasdair Schrieiber (University of Strathclyde) and Bobby Lammie (University of Stirling) was skipped by Mouat in Kazakhstan where they swept to victory winning all 11 of their games.
Mouat said: “I’ve had to pinch myself a few times to think we actually did go 11-0. I thought we had a good chance of winning but to go undefeated just adds to the whole experience and makes it even more surreal. To be able to go out on the ice 11 times in eight days and not lose a game is a great feeling.”
The win didn’t come easily as Team Mouat had to beat favourites Norway in the semi- finals before staging a late comeback against Sweden in the Final, eventually beating the Swedish team 8-6.
Mouat expects this competition in Perth for the Scottish Championships to be tough as the field includes Sochi 2014 Olympians Team Murdoch.
Mouat progressed to the playoffs in each of the last two years and hopes that they can go further this year.
He continued: “Hopefully (we can) start mixing some results up and causing problems for other teams. We want to reach the playoffs, and if we are on form, we are never going to go into a competition and not try to win it. So if we’re playing well, I don’t see why we can’t.”
Team Mouat are amongst 150 students who are being supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for student-athletes. The Winning Students network helps students with funding and academic flexibility that allows them to compete without negatively influencing their studies.
Mouat described how helpful the dedicated co-ordinator had been “I took nine months off university to concentrate on curling full time,” said Mouat, who resumes Festival and Events Management studies in September for the start of his fourth year. The university has been great, they accepted my referral application, and we managed to work out a good schedule to help with studying and competing.”
The Scottish Curling Championship starts February 18th and ends on the 25th of February and takes place at the Dewars Centre, Perth.
Photo Richard Gray