FIFTH MAN GARY LOGAN MAKES SCOTLAND DEBUT AT HOME WORLD CHAMPS
Gary Logan will get his first taste of international competition for Scotland when they line up to take on Switzerland in their opening match at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships hosted at The Peak in Stirling, which starts on Sunday (3-10 March).
As the team’s alternate, he needs to be ‘game ready’ during the eight day tournament held in Scotland for the first time since 2005 and for Logan it will put a date in the calendar of the right kind as he makes his world debut.
Scotland’s fifth man formerly worked as an Agricultural Engineer, more specifically a steel erector for buildings, until he had a life changing accident more than 20 years ago.
“I slipped from a ladder on 7 February 1993 at 8.34am. It is a date I will never forget. I fell about 25 feet from the top of a ladder in St Boswells and from that point on I remember very little. I was taken to the local hospital, then transferred to the Western General in Edinburgh and then to Glasgow’s Southern General Spinal Injuries Unit, where I spent three months in recovery,” said the 47 year old.
“It was while I was in Glasgow that I was told my back was broken and to be honest I already knew that something was amiss. It was a tough time. Then ten years ago a guy came to measure me for my wheelchair and he told me about wheelchair curling and I decided on his recommendation to give it a go. I never looked back.
“We then set up a team called Northern Ice in Kelso and I curled for them for about eight years and represented England at two World B Championships too,” he said.
Northern Ice were a noticeable team on the wheelchair curling circuit for their Formula 1 style sponsorship branding on their kit and the wheelchair curler who is now based in Cornhill on Tweed does not miss those days chasing funds for the team.
“We used to wait outside B&Q, in fact we used to do very well there, with a collection bucket trying to raise funds for Northern Ice. We were very well supported by them and local companies and people. I don’t miss that at all and it makes me very grateful for the programme support we now receive, which is fantastic.”
Logan was among a number of new wheelchair curlers joining the British Curling wheelchair programme at the start of the 2018/19 season, including David Melrose, who will also be making his world champs debut later this week. As part of the performance programme, the wheelchair curlers benefit from a range of support services and expertise provided by the sportscotland Institute of Sport at the National Curling Academy.
“Having that range of services available since I joined the programme, from medical, physio and nutrition and going to the gym has really made a difference.
“With that support and putting in lots of practice hopefully we can go out there and do the business,” he added.
The competition is now just days away from getting underway and he reflects fondly on the day that he received the call that meant he would be making his first competitive appearance for Scotland at a world championships.
“I remember when I got the call up to the team, I was absolutely beside myself. I had just returned from walking the dogs and I was the only person in the house and I didn’t know what to do with myself, I was just brimming with pride and excitement.
“I am now looking forward to the competition starting and getting that Scotland kit on. Competing at a home championships is the cherry on the cake, it means my family can come and watch me for the first time. My Dad John is not around now but my mum said he would have been delighted and proud of what I have achieved and I am doing this for him,” Logan added.
Stirling’s hosting of the eight day event is the first time the world championships have been staged in Scotland since 2005 and the tournament will feature 12 teams for the first time. The member associations competing are Canada, China, Germany, Korea, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Switzerland and United States, along with nations Estonia and Latvia who are making their first appearance at these championships.
Tickets are now on sale for the championships hosted at the Peak, which is operated by Active Stirling. Ticket prices are £4 per session for round-robin group matches, £6 for Saturday’s knockout Semi Finals and £10 for Sunday’s Bronze and Gold medal matches.
For information on accessible seating please contact Box Office on 01786 473 544 / 274 000.
All tickets can be bought at: https://culturestirling.org/world-wheelchair-curling-championships/
You can follow the build-up and results of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling | @wwhcc2019) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation | /wwhcc19) and by searching the hashtags #WWhCC2019 #curling
Aileen Neilson (skip) – 47yrs, born East Kilbride, lives Strathaven
David Melrose – 52yrs, born Haddington, lives Duns
Robert McPherson – 50yrs, born Motherwell, lives Bellshill
Hugh Nibloe – 37yrs, born Stranraer, lives Stranraer
Gary Logan – 47yrs, born Berwick-upon-Tweed, lives Cornhil on Tweed, Northumberland
British Curling Photos - Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.