In August, representatives from the World Curling Federation visited Estonia to discuss the future of the sport and organise three camps here.
Estonia’s connections with the WCF has become very strong – we have a very good arena and constructive people, which allows the organisation of major international curling events in Estonia. This is why the international team from the WCF selected Tallinn as the venue for their August workshops.
Three training seminars were provided at the Tondiraba Ice Hall, under the guidance of the WCF. First, Canadian coach Chris Bowden organised a wheelchair curling camp for Estonian wheelchair-bound curling athletes. This is becoming an increasingly popular sport and Estonian players have tested themselves at the international competitions already. Thus, it is only positive that our wheelchair-bound curling athletes had a chance to develop further under the watchful eye of international coaches.
To add to the momentum of wheelchair curling, an international training seminar for wheelchair curling instructors was held in Estonia. Canadian coaches advised instructors from Spain, Belgium, Taiwan, Korea, Hungary, Poland, Italy, and Estonia.
Besides training seminars focussing on wheelchair curling, the Stepping Stones Programme for Estonian curling teams was conducted by two Canadian coaches. The Estonian men’s, women’s and mixed teams, mixed doubles and our junior women’s team participated in the four-day training programme. Training was carried out by Ken Bagnell and Scott Arnold. Ken Bagnell is a two-time world champion as the coach of the Canadian women’s team and he also coached one of the world’s best men’s team, Brad Gushue, who won a gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Games.