Thursday, 7 March 2019

Parent's Eye View of the 2019 World Junior Ladies Curling Championship, Liverpool, Nova Scotia

As those of us who have been there and done that, attending any curling event where your children are competing can be a nerve-wracking thing.  Jimmy and Agnes Barr are past masters, of course, having supported first their own children, and now their grandchildren at Scottish and World level.  Now, it is their children's turn to go through the pain, and the joy, the ups and the downs!

Sunbathing in the Snow!
Jenny Barr captures the whole atmosphere of the event perfectly in her report and pictures below 

Team Scotland set off for Liverpool in Nova Scotia, Canada on Monday 11th February with most of their kit but due to the short turnaround time, some was to follow. They were staying at White Point which was about a 15 minute bus ride from the arena. Liverpool is a very small town with a population of just 2500 and is a Canadian summer holiday resort. This meant that there was very little accommodation available at this time of year but the team accommodation but was just lovely and right on the beach.
Team accommodation was just lovely...

The 22 strong support crew arrived in various stages over the next few days with the event starting on Saturday 16th February. Sadly this travelling support group didn’t arrive until Sunday 17th and missed the first girls game and the opening ceremony. The first game was against Canada, played while we were jetting over the Atlantic. Another Team Scotland parent was on the same flight as us and asked if the pilot to find out the score of the girls Canada v Scotland game. The pilot had been going to announce that the Scottish girls had beaten Canada but felt that perhaps as we were on an Air Canada flight then perhaps it wasn’t appropriate! 

Support team arrived later
but made a lot of noise!
Proud Grampa and a scion of sartorial
elegance, though not necessarily
in that order!
The arena was lovely and very modern and the local organising committee extremely helpful and keen to ensure we had a great time. A small bar was available at the end of the ice and if you watched any of the streaming and saw folk you recognised then they were in the bar! The local curling club ran various events each night though I don’t think many of the Scottish support managed to reach the club as we were always busy in the arena. It’s tough going when you are supporting all both the boys and girls’ teams as you are present for all three draws each day.

Royal Caledonian Curling Club Ladies President, and
C&B member, Margaret Nicol presents the Bronze Medals
to the Scottish Junior Men's Team
The girls had several close games with last stones being involved frequently. The boys however were in command from the start. Again, if you watched the streaming then you will have heard the Team Scotland support crew who won the award for the loudest support – our singing was amazing I’m told!

There were a number of C&B members over in Canada, namely the extended Barr family, plus Nook Weir, Norman and Margaret Nicol and we were joined by former member Peter De Boer, who now resides in New Zealand and was coach to the NZ boys’ team. WCF trainee sports media photographer was none other than Rachel McCrae who has curled with C&B several times, including at the recent Tom Holmes event. Further surprise midweek when none other than Gillian Smith (nee Barr, formerly a C&B member and a twice former World Junior Ladies Champion) surprised us by flying in from Sydney for a wee family re-union. Her father’s words when he saw her are unprintable (edit: but doubtless less offensive than his dress sense!)!

The event culminated in a Lobster Banquet at the local fire hall, served by the local fire team! A great night was had by all and we appreciated the efforts by the local organising committee. Thanks also to the team Scotland drivers – you know who you are!
Proud Uncle, Dad and team coach, Andrew Barr with the Scottish Junior Ladies Scottish Champion Team
at the Gala Closing Banquet

All in all, a great week was had with lots of laughs and nail biting moments. I know the girls really enjoyed themselves, learnt lots and beat Canada in Canada! The boys have come home disappointed with their bronze medal but we have loved supporting them all and just wish the boys could have made the gold medal game as what a game it would have been.

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