SCOTLAND’S WHEELCHAIR CURLERS LAST EVENT AHEAD OF WORLD CHAMPS
Scotland’s wheelchair curlers will mix with it with some of the world’s best this weekend at the Euro Super League in Stirling’s National Curling Academy in what will be their last taste of competitive action ahead of the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Switzerland next month (29 February – 7 March 2020).
After reaching the final of the Kisakallio Cup in Finland last weekend when they were up against nine of the 12 teams they will meet in Wetzikon at the end of February, Team Scotland will face three of their world rivals in Stirling tomorrow, in the town which hosted the World Championships in 2019.
“Last weekend exceeded expectations, as we had managed to hang on to a couple of games, but then got ourselves into a really strong position into the play-off stages,” said the 38 year old.
“It is certainly a good confidence builder competing at that level in that company and making the final and overall it was a better performance compared with this time last year with a less experienced team. However, we know that as we take another step closer to the Worlds, we need to tighten up on some of games so we give our best performance next month.
“Last weekend was probably the toughest field that Charlie (McKenna), Gary (Smith) and Meggan (Dawson-Farrell) have played in and it was a good eye opener. I also got the chance to play last rocks as skip against the best teams in the world, so there was something to be gained from for all of us.”
Nibloe also acknowledged that replicating the busy schedule of a World Champs was insightful to the relative newcomers to the programme.
“Experiencing the two game days and early rises whilst playing the world class line-ups that we will face again was excellent preparation and has put us all in a good place for our next event and we are looking forward to competing again this weekend against old foes and well known faces,” he added.
“Competing on home turf provides us with familiarity and a degree of comfort but the ice will be good and consistent for everyone, so no real hidden advantage for us which is actually good in that respect. It means we are competing on a level playing field so to speak, which will provide us with a good marker ahead of next month and a great way to round things off before the Worlds.”
Nibloe also commended the organisers of the Euro Super League, which he believes has been a welcome addition to the wheelchair curling schedule, without which there would have been fewer high class events to compete in and prepare for their biggest test to come.
“The Euro Super League has been enjoyed by all nations and we need more opportunities like these and they have provided highlights in the season and really helped preparations.
“This past year has flown by in what feels like a blink of an eye and this new line-up has one final opportunity, thanks to the League, to really come together as a team, build on what we have achieved and fine tune things ahead of our biggest event of the year.”
Euro Super League Team:
Hugh Nibloe (skip)
Players selected for World Championships:
Please click here for results from the Euro Super League.
Please click here for more information on the World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
Images: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.