Dewars Centre: Perth ice rink plan ‘threatens British curling medals’



“Perth and the Dewar Centre in particular have a huge resonance throughout the sport. There are gold medals galore at Olympic and world level.

“If we don’t have enough places for people to participate and be seen and identified as future talent and future champions, eventually we would lose our significant standing on the world stage.”

Eve Muirhead has also described the proposal to close what she regards as “the home of curling in Scotland” as a “shock” and pointed out the part it played in her journey to world and Olympic golds.

The council says Dewars is used mainly for curling and indoor bowling, which only account for 3% of sports use in Perth.

Closing it along with Perth Leisure Pool and the Bell’s Sports Centre would allow it to cut costs by creating a centre with a new swimming pool, fitness gym, sports hall, studios and family play activities.

The proposal follows the closure of an ice rink in Ayr last year because of a steep rise in energy prices.

Bryson added: “Curling is not the only sport that uses ice rinks, but we’re seeing a pattern where they are not viewed as a priority by investors and by government.

“If we lost Dewars, we would be down to 20 ice rinks, which would be a record low for the country, and we would be asking others to bear that burden.

“We would lose roughly around 1,000 curlers if we lost Dewars – 500 were affected negatively by the Ayr closure – and that’s difficult for any sport to sustain. Eventually, that would feed into the high level, elite end of the sport.”

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