World University Games 2015 – Granada, Spain
By Angharad Ward
I recently partook in the World University Games as part of the GB curling team. Curling, is a widely Scotland dominated sport in the UK and so I was honoured to be the only English member out of both the men and women’s teams. I joined the other four girls as their alternate. We received all our new GB stash, playing kit as well as matching everyday outfits, and then along with our two coaches and physiotherapist, we were ready for the Games!
The curling aspect of the Games (GB had representatives in other sports too such as snowboarding and figure skating, all of whom had their own competing schedule) started on February 3rd, with a team meeting involving all the other countries to have a briefing about the rules of competition and an opportunity for any questions to be answered.
Practice was held the next day as well as the official opening ceremony of the Games, and then we were into our first round robin game the next morning. We played 9 games over 6 days against Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, USA, Norway, Spain, Russia and Korea (I was subbed on to play these last two mentioned games). While not playing, I was on the bench with the coaches making notes on our next opponents, as well as preparing the all important half time snacks.
We got off to a bit of a slow start in the competition, narrowly losing to Norway, followed by defeats from USA and the competition favourites, Canada. Our first win was a satisfying 14-1 against Spain, the host nation, before losing to Russia (the same team that competed in the Winter Olympics). We clocked a second win against Korea, before very closely losing to Switzerland, 4-5. We finished the competition on a high, beating Sweden and Japan, and so ended 7th with our 4-5 record.
Overall, we were pleased with our performance, although had hoped for a few more wins on the table to make the top 4 and the playoffs. Our last few days were spent exploring Granada city as well as cheering and making up chants for our mens team who eventually went on to win bronze. We were joined by our many supporters; mainly our parents but we roped in some of the local school children who had come to watch as well.
We departed for home with heavy hearts on Valentines Day, sad to leave the great atmosphere and knowing that uni work awaited us upon arrival. However, the Games was such a great experience and I really enjoyed the event; being part of the BUCS team was a privilege and definitely a positive step in the direction of furthering my curling career.