Wheelchair Curlers Bringing Their A Game To World Champs in Korea
Scotland’s wheelchair curlers are set to return to top flight action this weekend when the World Wheelchair Curling Championships get underway in South Korea (4-11 March).
It has been an eventful season for the Scottish quintet who battled back from relegation by winning silver at the World B Championships to re-qualify for this event held at the Gangneung Curling Centre, one of the host venues for the Paralympic Games in 2018.
“We have been lucky to have a preview of the venue whilst watching the World Junior Champs and it looks sensational so we cannot wait to get on the ice there – it looks like it will be a great venue for the Paralympics next year,” said Aileen Neilson who will be skipping the Scotland team.
“We are all looking forward to competing in the top division again at the Worlds. We have worked really hard to get back there and we hope we can put in a really solid performance for Scotland.
“We have been putting in a lot of training beforehand and the training camp at Lohja, Finland was excellent preparation for us. We played six games against Finland during the camp which was hugely beneficial to get that level of competitive experience against one of the teams that we will be competing against at the Worlds,” noted the Sochi bronze medallist.
Scotland, Finland re-qualified for this championship following their success at the World B Division event and Korea as hosts are also in the line-up, along with seven other competing nations who qualified from last year’s World Championships in Lucerne.
“After relegation it means everything to us to now put in a solid performance – that for us would be payback to all of those who have continued to support us through challenging times and let everyone know we are back at the level where we are meant to be,” added Neilson.
Following the World Juniors this will be the second test event for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and Head Wheelchair Coach Sheila Swan has seen first-hand the changes that have taken place at the venue over the last 12 months.
been part of a site and planning visit over a year ago, it is incredible how this area has been transformed to provide world class facilities which will be utilised at next year’s Olympics and Paralympics.
“Like all the teams here, we will be very keen to test out this facility at this event which will provide invaluable experience for our preparations for the Paralympic Games, which will take place in just over a year’s time.
“It has been an eventful year for the Scotland team who have worked incredibly hard to be back competing consistently well at world class events and I am confident they will put all of that preparation into practice in the coming week,” concluded Swan.
Aileen Neilson – skip
Gregor Ewan – third
Hugh Nibloe – second
Robert McPherson – lead
Angie Malone - alternate
Please click here for results from the World Wheelchair Championships.
Photos: Aileen Neilson - Tom J Brydone. Team photo - Simon Lovelock.