72 juniors, all entered on an individual basis, were allocated into teams for the annual Royal Club Newcomers Competition yesterday.
Juniors as young as 8 up to the age of 16 were place together and it didn’t take long for new friendships to be formed and team bonds to be developed.
Lanarkshire had a large support for the event with 25 young curlers competing from the area! James Hair, pictured below, was sporting his ‘curling jumper’, one of many made by coach Norman Whitfield.
All 6 sheets of ice were in use from 9am to 5pm with teams initially playing 4 x 3 end games in the round-robin to determine qualifiers for the High Road and Low Road final stages. At 3pm, the final stages of the competition commenced and those not involved competed in a team Hotshots Challenge.
The final of the High Road saw Emma Hair (Lanarkshire), Ross Mills (Braehead), Drew Thomson (Kinross) and Laura Johnston (Aberdeen) take on George McConnell (Greenacres), Kieran McCleary (Kinross), Ryan Kennedy (Ayr) and Lynsey Fleming (Lanarkshire). Emma’s team collectively had good draw weight and managed to build up stones in the house, putting pressure on their opposition. The game was just one step too far for George’s team and Emma’s team took the 2011 Newcomers Trophy.
Those competing in the final stages of the Newcomers played 18 ends of curling; a massive achievement in itself for many of the youngsters who displayed excellent sportsmanship and manners all day.
Thanks to Curling Supplies for sponsoring the first team prizes, to Greenacres Curling Rink for superb ice and catering, and to the many coaches and volunteers who ensure the event was once again a success.