Friday, October 2, 2009

Welsh ambitions stymied for lack of a female

Team Wales members practicing at Deeside Ice Rink

The North Wales Pioneer reports that the Welsh wheelchair curling program's ambitions to compete in the upcoming British Open and international events have come to an abrupt halt with the unavailability of their lone female curler.

The Deeside Ice Rink based program began six years ago. Team member Peter Knapper explained: “We’d be going to the British open as well as world championship qualifiers – these could be in Prague, Vancouver, they could be anywhere.

“I don’t know why we have such a problem getting female members but we have to have a mixed team to play in the internationals.

“I’ve played in two world championships – the first was in Switzerland and the second was in Glasgow – and a couple of British opens but it’s difficult because of lack of practice – we can only have this rink on a Monday, 6pm to 10pm."

The team is specifically looking for female members but anyone interested in trying it out should contact team coach John Stone on 01244 810673 or team member Allan Young on 07516479053.

John added: “I’d encourage anyone who might be interested to come along and try it out, it’s safe and fun, we provide coaching and they are a great crowd.”

Read more on the Welsh wheelchair curling program HERE

Lack of female participants is one of the reasons competitive wheelchair curling has struggled to establish itself as a winter recreation. National championships and international events are run under WCF rules that mandate mixed gender teams, despite far fewer than 25% of active wheelchair users being female.

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