World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships come to Aberdeen
Teams have already started arriving in Scotland in preparation for the upcoming World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships. The competition begins on Monday 17th May and runs throughout the week, ending with the bronze medal match and final on Sunday evening. The previous tournament was meant to take place in Canada in 2020 but was cancelled due to COVID-19.
As the game is said to have originated in Scotland, there is a sentiment that curling is “coming home” with this tournament. However, while this year’s competition will little resemble 16th century Scots throwing stones across frozen lochs, it will also have some notable differences from recent editions too.
The World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships both took place in COVID-secure bubbles in Canada earlier this year, and this competition will do the same, with the safety of competitors and officials being the main priority. With 20 teams competing this year and entering the country from around the world, organisers and volunteers have their work cut out to ensure that the competition is carried out in a safe and secure environment.
Scotland have an illustrious history in the international game, with Rhona Martin, David Murdoch and Eve Muirhead leading strong Scottish sides over the past 20 years. The Scottish pair in this tournament consists of Bruce Mouat, who is currently the skip of a Scotland men’s team in tremendous form, and Jennifer Dodds, who is a vital part of Eve Muirhead’s women’s team. They will be hoping to win on home soil, going one step further than the men’s side who won the silver medal earlier this year.
The Scottish pair are in Group A, the first of two ten-team groups, with games being played in a round robin format before the knockout stages begin at the weekend. The top three in each group will enter the knockout stages. Scotland will play against Italy in their opening round robin fixture on Monday evening at 5:30pm.
There is plenty on the line in this competition as well, with 7 Winter Olympic qualifying spots up for grabs. At the lower end of the standings there is also all to play for, as the teams who end up in last place in each group will be forced to enter the qualifying tournament next time around. The nations finishing in eighth and ninth place will enter relegation play-offs to avoid joining them in the qualifiers for the next edition.
Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, supporters will not be allowed at this event. However, if you are interested in getting involved in curling in Scotland, there are a wide range of opportunities available. There are hundreds of clubs across Scotland, divided up into 13 areas.
For beginners who would like to try a curling session, the opportunities to do so in Scotland can be found here: https://www.trycurling.com
For those looking to find a club to join, here is an inventory of all the clubs, rinks and regions in Scotland with contact details: https://rcccmembers.org/index.php?CATEGORY=1-Membership
Even if you don't want to try curling yourself, get involved and support the Scottish team next week by following their progress online and getting involved on social media. Send messages of support on Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtags #WMDCC2021 and #backingblue or mentioning @scottishcurling in your messages.