Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scotland's Aileen Neilson to be first female skip at World event

Team Scotland at Edinburgh Airport en route to Prague Feb 18
Michael McKenzie, Tom Killin, Aileen Neilson, Gregor Ewan, Angie Malone
[photo - Judy Mackenzie via
Bob Cowan's blog]

Aileen Neilson, a 39 year old primary school teacher is set to become the first woman to skip her national side at a World Championship when she leads Scotland against Russia Tuesday afternoon in Prague.

“Last year, I was used to throwing the last stone for the team, but now I’m skip I’m having to make all the big decisions as well for the team, so there’s a bit of pressure that comes with the role," she told Paul Thomson of the East Kilbride News.

“But, hopefully, I can use all the skills and knowledge I’ve gained over the last year to our advantage.

“We want to be at the business end of the tournament so as long as we qualify for the semi-finals we won’t be too disheartened.

“But we want a place on the podium – that is our goal for this championship."

The team competed in an international spiel in Lanarkshire in January, losing to Canada in the final, and were in Perth for some training, game practice and team bonding last week.

While Sheila Swan will coach the team in the place of visa delayed new National Coach Tony Zummack, Aileen says: “The team feel good about our chances, so hopefully Tony likes what he sees and we can come back to Scotland with a medal round our necks.”

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