The Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association is planning a series of Roadshows this season, travelling to various clubs describing all the competitions and pathways available for wheelchair curlers and coaches to advance their skills.
First stop was last Saturday at the Borders WCC in Kelso where SWCA Chair Judy Mackenzie and Players’ representative Michael McCreadie talked about the new Skills Awards and the Shotmaker initiative, before taking players and coaches onto the ice for some practical tips.
This initiative is a good demonstration of what can come from empowering players to help guide the sport. Established Scottish players see it in their interest to grow participation. Wheelchair curlers have formed their own clubs within clubs, as have some in Canada, the better to organise and advertise their activities. At the Star Refrigeration National Pairs event, most of the established Scottish players paired with less experienced partners.
Canadians obviously face distance challenges for it to be easy to travel as wheelchair curling evangelists, but they can perhaps learn something from the player inspired initiatives underway in Scotland to nourish the game at the grassroots.