One Border curler is making a flying start to his international career in Berne, Switzerland this week.
Cameron Bryce from Morebattle is making his first international appearance at the inaugural World mixed curling championship.
Last season Cameron and his team won the Scottish Mixed Championship at Aberdeen, which qualified his team to go to Berne. Along with team mates Katie Murray (Stirling), Bobbie Lammie (Stranraer) and Sophie Jackson (Dumfries), they were all teenagers when they won the title last season and are one of the youngest teams ever to win a Scottish national championship.
They got off to a great start on Saturday by a score of 13 shots to 2, with the Brazilians conceding three quarters of the way through the match. On Sunday they had two games and played Estonia in the morning session. The match was even after four ends, but a five in the fifth end resulted in Scotland running out victors by 12-4. In the evening they took on Japan in a much tighter game and despite trailing by one shot at the half way mark, but Scotland dug deep and recorded their third straight win by 4 shots to 2.
A single game on Monday against Belarus proved to be very one sided with Scotland winning 12-1 with Belarusians conceded the game early. With the competition at the half way mark, so far Scotland have scored 41 shots and conceded just 9, which would make any football manager happy never mind the team’s coach!
Scotland still has to play Austria, Hungary, Turkey and United States, but at the moment they are looking good for a place in the quarters finals which start on Friday. You can keep up to date with the teams’ progress by visiting the Border ice rink Facebook page or the competition website.
They are coached by Barbara McFarlane, herself a former Scottish ladies champion and were training on a regular basis at the Peak in Stirling, which is also the base of the Olympic curlers. Being youngest team competing at these world championships is not fazing them and they are clearly enjoying the challenge of being on the international stage.
Cameron is being cheered on this week by his parents Andrew and Louise, who also curl at Border ice rink with Roxburghe curling club. Also supporting are Cameron siblings Amy and Angus who are both promising curlers in their own right. Amy is skipping her own rink this season and she finished third at the Scottish junior championship last season. Younger brother Angus won the under 14 Scottish slam series last season, going undefeated throughout all three competitions. Cameron uncle and auntie are Tommy and Rhona Fleming, who have both represented Scotland at the World senior curling championship, with Tommy winning a gold medal in 2007.
Cameron learnt to curl at Border ice rink starting when he 10 years old. At 13 he made the difficult decision to choose between rugby and curling as he couldn’t dedicate enough time to train for both sports, and he then quickly developed into a promising young curler at the Monday junior coaching. He joined the Border Young curlers club to play and train alongside fellow juniors, as well as joining Roxburghe and Coldstream curling clubs to test himself against more experienced curlers.