I have been scouring the highways and byways of Scotland in an effort to come up with some commentators to add colour and insight to the games we plan to webcast during the Championship. Expect some controversy, some laughs, some explanation, but, perhaps above all, lots of passion! The people we have lined up have 'an opinion'! You may not agree with their take and their views, but they will express them honestly, passionately and with spirit! What more would you want? Of course, it is always interesting for the viewer to analyse what the commentator says and then compare it with their own thoughts on what might happen next as an exciting end develops. It’s the debate and the exchange that makes our sport such an exciting one for the aficionado.
Curling is surely the most tactical of games, is it not? Its pace of play allows for discussion on the bleachers or in the bar. Hopefully the commentators that we have lined up will be able to act as your guide and mentor as games unfold. You might not like what we say; search for the 'mute' button on your laptop if it all gets too much!
The commentators will have the Scottish Curling Forum (www.scottishcurlingforum.co.uk) open in front of them throughout the webcasts, so will have a direct and interactive link with their viewers.
Sheila Swan is a former World Ladies Champion Gold-medallist and multiple winner of the Scottish Ladies Championship. She is currently the National Disability Curling Officer in Scotland and is a highly-respected coach; she was in charge of the Sarah Reid team that famously broke Scotland’s ten-year Gold Medal duck in World Junior Ladies Curling Championships three years ago.
Kenny Edwards is a former two-times Scottish Junior Champion and World Junior Championship Bronze medallist. He hails from one of Scotland’s curling hotbeds, Lockerbie, the home rink of many world-class curlers, the most famous of whom is David Murdoch. Kenny reads the game really well and has an uncanny knack of calling the right shot. He is also famously trenchant in his views on curling and its future. Expect some fireworks when Kenny is on the mike!
Keith MacLennan is a jovial soul who loves his curling and cares passionately about the sport and its future. He is no mug on the rink, having won a Scottish Junior Curling Championship in what many still believe was as fine a tactical skip’s performance in a Scottish Junior Championship Final as ever there has been in recent years. He proved that was no 'flash in the pan' by winning the Scottish Mixed Doubles Championship with Vicky Sloan last season. He is a regular traveller to European bonspiels, so is well known on the Continent. Like Kenny, Keith has a forensic eye for the game; in addition, he is bound from time to time to let rip at perceived injustices in the curling world. He is, above all, a great team man and you will enjoy his insight.
Bob Kelly will commentate occasionally, if his duties as coach and fifth man for Team Loudon allow. Bob is a regular commentator on Eurosport, so we are honoured to have him appear – even if fleetingly – in the commentary box for our webcasts. Bob is a former Scottish Junior Champion and a three-time Scottish Champion. He is a multiple winner of events on the Scottish Domestic circuit and has recently been elected on to the Royal Club Board. He has forgotten more than the rest of us ever knew about the sport, so will be an insightful member of the commentary team.
Robin Copland is a former Scottish Champion and twice winner of the Edinburgh International. He currently writes a monthly column for the Scottish Curler magazine and is the secretary of the Organising Committee of the Edinburgh International.
Edith Loudon is a multiple Scottish Ladies Champion, who has medalled at three European Championships and who was in Kirsty Hay’s team that came so close to making the final at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. She was fifth player on Jackie Lockhart’s Gold Medal winning team in Bismark in 2002, so has plenty of top-level curling experience. She is now giving back to the sport by serving as an elected representative on the World Curling Federation.