Winter Olympics: Edinburgh curling duo Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat are an inspiration – Angus Robertson MSP
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During Winter Olympics, we are reminded about the origins of curling and also the world-class standard of Scottish competitors.
Since at least the 16th century, men and women have slid curling stones across the ice towards a circular target. Apparently the oldest curling stone in the world (1511) and oldest football (1537) are both housed at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.
As with golf, where the Royal and Ancient Club at St Andrews is keeper of the rules of the game, the International Olympic Committee recognises the Royal Caledonian Curling Club as the developer of the rules of curling.
Today the RCCC is better known as Scottish Curling, the national governing body for the sport and, with about 10,500 members and 550 clubs, it is one of the largest governing bodies of sport in Scotland.
No-one was more surprised than me when I discovered genealogical records a few years ago showing that my great-great-grandfather John Robertson from Penicuik took part in the first ever RCCC curling bonspiel match in the 1840s. I have not inherited any of his curling prowess.
Instead we have talented young curlers like Bruce Mouat and Jenn Dodds, both from Edinburgh, who have been competing at the highest levels at the Winter Olympics. While it wasn’t to be a Gold medal at these games, they are an inspiration to young curlers at home and abroad.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary