Curlers no longer retire; they ‘step back from competitive curling’.
So in the manner of that tradition, it’s time for me to ‘step back’ from curling blogging.
Work and personal commitments mean that I no longer have the time to dedicate a weekly blog and the social media that comes with it.
What a week to go out on though, eh?
Team Mouat have become European champions in their first European Championships – beating Team Edin of Sweden 9-5 in the final.
This is a remarkable achievement by Bruce Mouat, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan – putting Scotland right at the heart of the elite men’s picture once again.
Team Muirhead were edged out of the play-off places in the women’s competition, as defeats to the Czech Republic and Latvia proved costly, ahead of an extra-end loss to eventual silver medallists Switzerland.
But with a new team line-up for this season, and their skip just back from surgery, I’m sure this is just the start for them.
There was success for another Team Muirhead, though, as Glen Muirhead (plus Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead and Cammy Smith) beat fellow Scots Team Paterson 5-4 (after an extra end) in the final of the Ashley HomeStore Classic in Penticton, Canada, for their first title as a new rink.
It was reporting on Kyle Smith and Hannah Fleming’s World University Games rinks which got me hooked on curling, before I went to watch the Scottish Championships in 2014.
The blog followed, and I am grateful to all the curlers who gave up their time to speak to me, and everyone else who helped along the way.
Since I started this blog, curling as a sport has really embraced new technology – be it social media, YouTube streaming or video features – as a way to communicate with fans and attract new ones to watch its events on TV or live in arenas.
Scottish Curling/British Curling and the World Curling Federation are doing a great job of promoting the sport, whether that’s to potential fans or even future European Championship winners.
And with podcasts regularly popping up – 2 Girls and a Game, From The Hack and Rocks Across the Pond to name but three – coverage of the game is getting better all the time.
I will always remain a fan of the roaring game, and who knows what the future may bring?