Edinburgh University Curling Club celebrated 40 years of Sports Union recognition last month with a bonspiel and dinner held at Murrayfield Curling Rink. The tournament, which featured mixed teams of alumni and current students, was the culmination of a year spent building relations with alumni, many of whom have continued the sport, often to national and international levels.
The Club President during the season 2012-2013, Fraser Stockton, had dubbed the year as ‘The Year of Alumni’, such was the importance given to forming a bond between current and former curlers -'It has been brilliant to see the response to this event from not only our alumni but our current members who have proved the effort put in by the club's committee was worth it to make it such an enjoyable event for all.'
With the help of Kirsty McConnell, EUSU’s Alumni Officer, the Club was able to contact a large number of previous members, many of whom were thrilled at the chance to celebrate the anniversary of the club. Of the 40 or so alumni who responded, around half were able to attend the competition and dinner, which saw the Curlers’ Grace given by Norman Watt, one of the original members of the Club before it gained EUSU recognition. Stockton welcomed everyone to the dinner and then introduced McConnell who praised the efforts of the Club, and encouraged the alumni present to join the EUSU Alumni Association.
With alumni including former Scotland international, Lindsay Scotland, and former Scottish Ladies Junior Champion Alison Dick, a straightforward students v. alumni match was always going to be a one-sided affair, so eight teams of alumni and students were formed instead. After some very close matches the team skipped by former President Alan Chalmers (1988/89) won, and were presented with a trophy by Alan MacDonald, one of the Club’s founding members.
Following the success of the competition and the demand from alumni for an annual event, the Curling Club now have a firm foundation on which to build their relationship with their former members – a relationship which the Club’s current alumni officer, Rory Williams, is proud of. “It’s exciting to see how pleased people are that their old club is still going strong, and I’m confident we can keep this momentum going to the 50th anniversary and beyond”. Whether that will happen remains to be seen, though it certainly seems this year has seen the Curling Club blaze a trail for alumni development within sports teams.
The above article appeared in The Student dated 20th March 2013.