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Scotland has had to make a late change to the team that will represent them at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships hosted in Wetzikon in Switzerland,  which gets underway next week (29 February – 7 March 2020).

David Melrose from Duns, who made his debut at the World Champs when it was hosted in Stirling last year and was part of the team which claimed silver medals, has had to withdraw due to injury and his British Curling programme squad mate, Gary Smith has now been drafted in to the team.

“Every coach has to deal with late call-offs from team members due to illness or injury from time to time and obviously there can be additional complications when we are dealing with our wheelchair athletes,” said Head Wheelchair Coach Sheila Swan.

“However, that is why we are working so hard to generate competition for places in our squad and, in turn, increased strength and depth.

“We are very disappointed for David and wish him a speedy recovery, which we will do everything we can to assist him with.

“Any situation of this sort always represents an opportunity for another player and we are delighted for Gary that he is now going to get the chance to be involved in the biggest annual event in our sport."

Smith who hails from Edinburgh joined the programme at foundation level in 2018 and has worked hard to graduate to the performance squad just a year later.  He has made a number of international appearances this season, including the recent Euro Super League - gaining valuable experience of the gruelling World Championship format - as well as reaching the final at the Kisakallio Cup in Finland, where Scotland faced a number of the rival teams they will meet in Switzerland next week. 

“It is really unfortunate timing for David ahead of the World Champs and I know that I speak on behalf of everyone on the team and squad in wishing him a speedy recovery, so he can get back into competitive action as soon as possible, where he always wants to be,” said Smith.

“It is never great benefiting from another’s misfortune and that is one of the many challenges of being involved in sport, trying to avoid injury and illness at key times in the season. David has passed on his best wishes to me and the team and I hope to make the most of the opportunity and I am delighted and excited to be representing Scotland at a World Championships for the first time.”

Players selected:
Hugh Nibloe (Stirling)
Robert McPherson (Bellshill)
Gary Smith (Edinburgh)
Charlotte McKenna (Bridge of Allan)
Meggan Dawson-Farrell - Alternate (Tullibody)

Please click here for more information on the 2020 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.  

#curling #WWhCC202

Images: Graeme Hart. 


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