Robin Niven stepped up to the role of Chair of British Curling at a key time in 2020, having already established a track record of overseeing important change in the sport.
Niven had been Chair of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club when it re-branded itself as Scottish Curling and, already a member of the British Curling Board, he took over as its Chair just as it was establishing itself as an independent body. That brought about a change of headquarters from the sportscotland Institute of Sport to offices alongside the performance hub at the National Curling Academy in Stirling’s Sports Village, a move that was successfully completed in spite of the logistical difficulties created by national lockdown.
With British Curling having to develop an increased capacity to stage events in order to maintain a competitive edge for elite players who have been unable to travel internationally, he has also been perfectly placed to advise on that process as a past Chair and current member of the organising committee for Scotland’s only World Curling Tour event, the Perth Masters.
As well as benefiting from that formidable track record in the administration of the sport, which includes his appointment as one of Scotland’s representatives to the World Curling Federation, British Curling is able to tap into the expertise Niven has developed as a highly successful businessman, who has served as a Director on the Perthshire Agricultural Society, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and the Kinross Partnership.
Born into a farming family, he worked in partnership with his parents from 1992-2003 after completing his degree in agricultural economics at Newcastle University and he has also graduated in the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme.
Niven set up then ran, between 1999 and 2002, a contracting company before he and wife Emma moved to Channel Farm near Kinross in 2003 where daughters Amy and Emma grew up. The couple set up the multi-award winning Loch Leven’s Larder in 2005, a farm shop/rural destination which normally attracts 200,000 visitors per annum and run that business in partnership with Niven’s brother Mike, along with Channel Farming Company, their 1000 acre arable and vegetable farm. They have also created a Nature Trail link to Loch Leven’s Heritage Trail, home to Kinross County Cricket Club, the Lucinda Russell Horseracing Training Gallop and the Loch Leven ParkRun.
Along with curling his other sporting interests are golf and cricket and more recently he has taken up running as what he describes as “a mid-life crisis,” having completed the Edinburgh and London Marathons.