Renfrewshire's Provost Anne Hall visited Paisley Abbey to celebrate curling's return to its historical roots in Renfrewshire when the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships are staged at the intu Braehead Arena from Saturday 19th November.
Paisley Abbey plays a key role in the origins of the game, with a certain John McQuhin recording a challenge about throwing stones across the ice between a monk at the Abbey and a relative of the abbot in February 1541 - the first-ever formal record of the existence of the sport of curling.
The opening reception for the European Championships will be staged within the Abbey for the players of the 27 competing nations.
Provost Anne Hall said, "We are delighted to be hosting this prestigious competition and extend a warm welcome to athletes and officials from all across Europe to Renfrewshire."
“Curling has strong roots in the area, and Paisley in particular, and the showcasing of elite level athletes is a chance to inspire a new generation of curlers."
"Hosting an event of this size in Renfrewshire provides another boost to Paisley's bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and highlights yet again our capability for hosting large-scale events. The Championships will be of real benefit to the local economy and I look forward to hosting everyone involved with this esteemed event."
From these origins in Paisley, Scotland has taken curling to the world. Now the World Curling Federation has 56 member nations - some of which - like recent arrivals Guyana and Mexico - seem much less likely to have curlers than some of the better-known member nations, such as Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
The Royal Caledonian Curling Club is the governing body for Scottish Curling and represents over 12,500 members and 640 clubs in Scotland. Bruce Crawford, CEO, said “The Royal Caledonian Curling Club is seen as the “mother club” of curling for spreading the sport around the world and we are delighted to welcome teams from across Europe. We are keen to see more people try this great game in Scotland as it comes into the spotlight in Braehead, Renfrewshire in November. Over 3,000 school children will be engaged with the event and work by staff and volunteers at ice rinks around the country will see 2,500 people signing up to play through the trycurling.com website as part of the legacy from this event.”
Tickets for the European Curling Championships are on sale here.