Category Archives: Sport

Glasgow sports news

Team Cowan take the High Road at the National Wheelchair Pairs

Wheelchair Curling 2014 winners

Team Cowan are the Stars at the 2014 National Wheelchair Pairs Curling Championship

There is a new pair of champions following this year’s Star Refrigeration National Wheelchair Pairs Curling Championship, which took place last weekend at Braehead Ice Rink in Glasgow.

The much-loved competition saw 16 pairs of curlers competing for the grand prize this year, with teams hailing from all over Scotland. After making it through the round robin stages, John Doyle from East Kilbride and Daniel Cowan from Lockerbie managed to claim victory in their High Road final against Paul Webster and Angela Higson, taking the crown from two time winners Mo Simpson and Ian Donaldson.

Alan Walkinshaw, Star’s Director of Sales, attended the championships to present the prizes to the lucky winners. Speaking about the event, he said: “It was a pleasure to attend the finals again. The standard of play seems to improve with each year and  it was great to see new winners in John and Daniel come to the fore this year.

Star Refrigeration has been proud to sponsor the National Pairs competition for the last 9 years in a period when participation levels and performance levels have increased, as has the profile of wheelchair curling.”

As well as Team Cowan, the curlers were also celebrating another team’s win after the success of Team GB at the Winter Paralympics earlier in the year. The bronze win of the Scottish curling team in Sochi propelled the sport into the spotlight, and tribute was paid to their victorious friends (with skip Aileen Neilson having previously won the Star Championships herself) in the form of a Sochi 2014 banner hung up at the event.

David Morgan, Chairman of the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association, said: “I would like to thank Star Refrigeration for all the support afforded to the Wheelchair Curling Championship by sponsoring us over the past nine years at Braehead Ice Rink.

Interest levels in our sport have been soaring after Sochi. This has been a landmark year for wheelchair curling, and Star have really been a tremendous contribution to the promotion of wheelchair curling in Scotland.”

PHOTO (L-R: Daniel Cowan, Alan Walkinshaw of Star Refrigeration, John Doyle).

For more information about the weekend’s matches, visit the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.


Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championships – penultimate day


Murdoch out guns Jamieson in classic final

There was much anticipation amongst the large crowd at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow ahead of the men’s 100m breaststroke final on the penultimate day of the Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championships.

Headlining the race were Ross Murdoch and Michael Jamieson who are establishing a great rivalry and this was evident, with both athletes coming onto the block with a steely determination showing on their faces.

It was Murdoch who made the better start and powered his way down the first 50m although Jamieson was never far behind. With the crowd roaring all the finalists on, it was Murdoch who came through to take the touch in 59.75, not only a qualification time for Team Scotland consideration, but a new Scottish Record.

Jamieson’s time of 1:00.82 was also within the Team Scotland criteria, but third placed Craig Benson (Warrender) agonisingly missed out, posting a time of 1:01.58 just 0.01sec outside the time required.

Craig McNally timed his 200m backstroke final to perfection, not only taking the title, but making the all-important consideration time. Having just missed out in last night’s 100m final, the 21 year old was focussed and came home in 1:58.87. The smile on his face was clear and he said:-“What a relief. I knew it was a decent time because I’m cramping up right now and that tends to happen to me when I’ve swum a good race. I’ll be fine for tomorrow’s 50m but it is taking longer to recover. At least tonight I can sleep well knowing I’ve got the time.”

McNally made headlines last summer at the World Championships in Barcelona when he was the fastest Commonwealth swimmer in the final and said of his experience:-“I think with that performance there are added expectations which could lead to some pressure on me to do well in the summer, but I relish that, I like pressure and the extra nerves that pressure gives me, which is ultimately what drives me to do better and post fast times.”

University of Stirling’s Ryan Bennett finished 2nd but was disappointed not to have posted a time but will go into next week’s British Championships determined to seal his place.

The sprinters were also in the mood for Team Scotland consideration times. First off was Richard Schafers (Edinburgh University) who not only broke his own Scottish record, but his time of 22.47 was well within the qualification standard needed for Glasgow. This was quickly followed by Sian Harkin (University of Stirling) who sealed her second nomination of the meet following her victory in the 50m butterfly with a time of 26.92 and both athletes were in buoyant mood.

Schafers said: “I’m pleased although if I’m being honest I would have liked to have gone faster. I felt relaxed which is what I need to do to race well. I’ve had a rough couple of years, and this may sound strange, but I think I was taking things too seriously, which had a detrimental effect on my performance.

“I’ve changed my approach now, I’m much more chilled about everything and I’m enjoying some good results.”

Harkin had hoped to post a time during the morning heats but fell short by 0.01sec. Explaining her approach to the final she said:

“I didn’t sleep well last night. The reality of me making a Team Scotland nomination time hit me and all of a sudden I started thinking about the Athlete Village, what it would be like, so really struggled to sleep.

“After this morning’s heat I spoke to Ben (Higson, coach of University of Stirling) and watched an analysis of my race so knew what was missing. The margin of error in a 50m race is so small so every bit of information is important to help make the difference. I’m feeling happy right now.”

In other finals Hannah Miley (Garioch) won both the 400m free and 200m breast finals, while Stephen Milne’s (Perth City) domination of long distance events continued with victory in the 800m free. Kathleen Dawson (Warrington Warriors) won the 100m back title but none of the times met the Team Scotland selection standard.

Listen to an interview with Hannah Miley here:-

The Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championships take place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre between 3rd and 6th April 2014.

The event can also be followed on social media by using #SGNC2014 as hashtag, as well as on Scottish Swimming’s recently launched website. A new section, Swim Buzz, will provide users up-to-date information about the Championships and other Scottish Swimming events, and can be visited at

If you missed any of the action you can watch all races again on Scottish Swimming’s YouTube channel at  free of charge.

Listen to the round up of Day 2 here:-



Merchant Square in Glasgow is giving you the chance to catch all of the action from Sochi on its giant big screen TV in the courtyard as the world’s top athletes go for gold.

Escape the nip of the Sochi climate and enjoy all your favourite sports from figure skating and ice-hockey to snowboarding and skiing all under the warmth of Merchant Square’s twinkling courtyard lights.


After the adrenalin of watching your favourite game there’s no better way to relax than to enjoy a cheeky cocktail, an ice cold beer, or a bite to eat in your favourite Merchant Square restaurant.

Located in the heart of Merchant City, Merchant Square is a hub of stylish independent bars and restaurants all under one roof including Boudoir Wine Bar, Metropolitan, Arisaig, Fanelli’s, Beer Café, Mercado, Bar Square and Mercado.

For the latest news and updates on Merchant Square, visit or the Facebook page,

Submitted by Lisa Arnold


Ford will be in the driving seat at the Games

Ford, the UK leader in automotive sales, engineering and manufacturing, has signed up to become the latest partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

As a partner with a presence in 90% of Commonwealth countries, Ford is well matched to this iconic sporting event that will be watched all across the world.

As the Official Automotive Partner, Ford will provide the Organising Committee with over 1,100 vehicles for use during the Games and for transport when the Scotland leg is under way of the iconic pre-cursor to the Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay.

The Baton, which departed from Glasgow last month to begin an epic 190,000km, 248-day international journey, returns in June 2014. Ford vehicles will then convey it and its support team the length and breadth of the country throughout the 40-day domestic leg before it arrives back in Glasgow for the momentous Opening Ceremony.

Ford will support the Games with a wide range of market-leading vehicles, including Ford Focus, Ford C-MAX, Ford S-MAX, Ford Galaxy and Ford Tourneo. The importance of delivering a sustainable Games will be reflected by a low CO2 emissions output across the majority of the fleet. A dedicated line-up of Ford Focus Electric Vehicles will be available to transport the Organising Committee.

Ford will also become an Official Partner of Team Scotland, Team England, Team Wales and Team Northern Ireland.

The Games will take place in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August 2014 and will feature 6,500 athletes and officials from across the Commonwealth. They will compete in the largest sporting and cultural event to happen in Scotland in a generation.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to attend 11 days of world class competition, with up to 15,000 volunteers showcasing the best the city has to offer. A global TV audience of more than one billion will also share in the Games experience.

Ford has a long history of sports-related sponsorships, most notably sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman, Glasgow 2014 said:

“It’s a proud moment in our journey to Glasgow 2014 to be able to welcome Ford into the sponsor family and we are excited to be working with them as our latest partner. The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are a great opportunity for sponsors to be involved in a unique occasion which reaches across the globe. Ford is perfectly placed to help us deliver a successful Games and leave a lasting legacy throughout the Commonwealth.

“With the success of the ticket launch, the volunteer programme and our commercial partnerships, we are on way to achieve a memorable Games experience for all.”

Mark Ovenden, Ford UK Chairman and Managing Director said:

“Ford is delighted to be an Official Partner of Glasgow 2014 and to be able to support this important cultural and sporting event.
“Our best-ever vehicle range enables us to provide a fleet inclusive of low-CO2 cars that will help deliver a sustainable and inclusive event for a huge global audience.”

Michael Cavanagh, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said:

“It is great to have yet another strong global brand on board for 2014, and I am sure they will be a great partner for Team Scotland and the other Home Nations.
“Ford brings with them a long track record of support for sport and their expertise and passion will be beneficial in the run up to, and duration of the Games.”

Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said:

“Ford will play a pivotal role in keeping the Commonwealth Games moving and joins a growing list of companies that are helping make next year’s Games world class.”

Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said:

“It is very pleasing to see that another sponsor at such a level has now joined with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. To ensure the best possible event next summer, it’s essential to work with partners capable of delivering services of the highest quality, and this has certainly been achieved here. I am delighted that Ford is the latest Tier One sponsor for the Games.”

Commonwealth Games to improve Glasgow

John Mason, MSP for Shettleston, this week outlined the benefits Glasgow can expect to be in receipt of after the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

His announcement followed the news that the stadium and other facilities are being built on-budget and on-time, including the Emmirates Arena containing the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The creation of these facilities will help to regenerate Glasgow’s east end, it is hoped. 80% of the Commonwealth Games are being funded by the Scottish Government.

After the games, local residents will be able to use the facilities as part of the government project Glasgow Life. 300 homes from the Athletes Village will also be handed over to the city’s housing council in an attempt to alleviate local housing problems.

Commenting on the forthcoming games, Mr Mason said: “The Games represent a unique opportunity for us to showcase our city to the rest of the world and I have every confidence that we will do that well. The 2014 Commonwealth Games will be a real boost to the economy of Glasgow and will provide a lasting legacy for the people of my constituency and across this great city. There have already been jobs for local people in construction and there will be more jobs in the longer term actually operating the facilities.  In addition local residents can obviously use the facilities just as they do other places operated by Glasgow Life.

He went on to say: “It’s an exciting time to live in Glasgow and that excitement will only continue to grow as we approach 2014. Not only are we seeing the upgrade to the Tollcross Leisure Centre but there will be useful new complexes built such as the recently opened Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow Green.”

Olympic Football at Hampden

Now that the Olympic football has started at Hampden, First Minister Alex Salmond, said:

“Olympic football at Hampden promises to be something pretty special and I’m very excited about being there to see it for myself.

“Many, many Scots have been working incredibly hard for months behind the scenes to make the Olympics get off to a safe and successful start here and I’m grateful to them all.

“The tie between the USA, the current women’s Olympic champions, and France will focus the eyes of the world on Scotland and I know our home crowd will do them – and us – proud.

“We have made tickets available to thousands of children and I hope thousands of families are going to make the most of the school holidays – not to mention the sunshine – by taking part in this once-in-a-generation experience.

“Scotland is playing host to some of the very first Olympic events and I can think of no luckier place to be than in the Hampden stand. All the very best to all those taking part!”

Olympic Rower at Scottish Conference to Promote Hospitality Talent

Scotland’s only event bringing together professionals and students to talk about the future of the country’s hospitality, leisure, tourism and travel industries takes place in Glasgow next week.

On Tuesday 7 February 2012, the Glasgow Science Centre hosts the eighth Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland emerging talent conference.

Attendees, including young people from Scottish businesses and colleges, will hear from Katherine Grainger MBE, the Olympic rower, as she makes her only public speech before competing in London 2012. The Glasgow born athlete has won a record breaking three Olympic medals and is a world champion rower.

Other keynote speakers are Peter Fisk, bestselling author of Creative Genius, founder of innovation business GeniusWorks and advisor to some of the world’s leading brands, and Captain Nick Bates the former captain of the QM2.

A series of workshop include experts such as award winning chef Willie Pike MBE; Shirley Spear of the Michelin starred Three Chimneys; the Green Tourism Business Scheme; Costa Coffee; Ecole de hotelier de Lausanne, Europe’s leading hospitality school and Women 1st.

The conference aims to raise standards and aspirations across Scotland. HIT Scotland will also announce the recipients of a £100,000 emerging talent scholarship programme.

This year, HIT Scotland has selected 80 of the 500 applicants who have the most potential to become future leaders. HIT Scotland scholars are expected to use their experiences to raise the skills and standards of their peers and take a future leadership role in the industry. Destinations include hotels in Dubai, Cornell University, schools in Switzerland and Cornell and Michelin starred kitchens.

The HIT Scotland Emerging Talent Conference is supported by Skills Development Scotland, People 1st, Xpress recruitment and Jupiter Hotels.

On the conference, Peter Fisk said, “Economic downturns are times of great shake-up when innovators can capture new moods and gaps in the market. Hospitality has seen less innovation than most sectors. It will be the emerging talent of the industry who take these opportunities, who try new ideas and ways thinking and dare to be different. They should forget Tripadvisor and think like the Thunder Show, instead of Facebook try Path, switch off X Factor and learn from their X Box. It is up to them to shape the future of hospitality.”

Captain Nick Bates, said, “Having worked on some of the most famous Cruise ships in the world I can quite empathise with HIT Scotland and the Emerging Talents they help to support. The service industry is one of the most important in Scotland and it is a pleasure for me to help share some of my experiences and encourage those who are making a career in the Hotel and catering industry.”

Shirley Spear, proprietor of the Three Chimneys, in Skye said, “The conference is wonderful chance to speak to people not only about the great career paths in hospitality but about the opportunities working for small and rural businesses.”

Tickets cost £ 80.00 and are available from

HIT Scotland is supported by I am Clothing Solutions, Highland Spring, Robert Wiseman Dairies,, Enterprise Rent a Car, Phillips and Brakes Fresh Ideas

Photo courtesy of Peter Devlin SportScotland

Miller’s departure another sign of downsizing at Rangers

by Stewart Primrose

When hearing the news that Rangers had accepted a bid of around £700,000 from Birmingham City for striker Kenny Miller, my initial reaction was not of surprise but of acceptance and apathy.

I would, however, be shocked to see Miller move to Birmingham, especially with the likes of Fiorentina and Marseilles reportedly linked with the SPL’s top goalscorer. If it were me, an offer abroad to France or Italy would seem far more attractive than moving down south in what will most probably be a relegation battle.

Miller has been to England twice, with mixed success, and it would be good at this stage of his career, in what is probably his last contract, to try something new. Also the prospect of European football would remain, with Championship football being a distinct possibility next year at Birmingham.

Miller can pick and choose his clubs. He has earned the right to do so after two and a half excellent years at Ibrox. This season, in particular, has been fruitful for the ex Celtic man. 22 goals at the half way stage of the season has seen him in strong contention for the golden boot, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo his main challengers.

Whatever Miller does, though, it is not good news for Rangers fans. They cannot afford to give Miller a new contract. It simply is impossible for a club in Scotland to offer the £30,000 a week Miller is reportedly looking for. However, would it not be sensible to keep Miller on for the rest of the season and let him do what Kris Boyd did last year and leave on a Bosman?

£700,000 is not a lot of money and Rangers are going to struggle to get someone near Miller’s quality for even double that amount. The financial problems have been well documented at Ibrox, but surely keeping Miller could bring in more than his potential transfer fee?

Firstly, Rangers are still in Europe. Progression into the last 16 of the Europa League will mean more games, and the TV money and gate receipts alone would amount to more than £1 million.

Without Miller, Rangers do not have any suitable forwards to lead the line domestically and in Europe. Nikica Jelavic is cup tied which means the much maligned Kyle Lafferty is the likely candidate to replace him.

Steven Naismith can also play there but the squad is already too small at Rangers to contemplate losing its best player this season. If they could bring in David Goodwillie for around £1 million it would soften the blow, but he is potential and not someone to rely upon to fire the goals towards a third consecutive domestic title.

Secondly, another title gives Rangers a chance at Champions League qualification and a possibility of £10 million. The SPL winners would be pitched in with champions from other small nations, like Romania and the Czech Republic, but they will be seeded, giving them a favourable draw.

Is the gamble that much to take? £700,000 is not a lot of money in today’s mad football world, even with Rangers debt.

The problem, of course, is it’s not football people running the club but bankers. You do wonder what kind of influence absentee owner Sir David Murray has over transfer policy. He still owns the club and should be taking far greater responsibility than he currently is over the financial mess that was allowed to engulf on Scotland most successful sporting institution.

It was him, after all, who ran up debts of £80 million chasing an unrealistic dream. Then, after a share rights issue of over £50 million, he ran up more debts. This is mismanagement at best. Murray may have been a good thing for Rangers initially, and he has overseen some fantastic moments with the club, but his legacy is fast becoming known for financial ruin and embarrassment.

The decade of downsizing continues for Rangers with Miller’s expected departure. How long for and to what extent is now the real worry for everyone connected with the club.

First Published on Stewart’s own blog

STV to screen Champions’ League match

STV is delighted to confirm that it will be screening Rangers’ vital Champions League match against Manchester United on Wednesday 24 November live from Ibrox.

Former Rangers captain Richard Gough and Everton Manager David Moyes will be joining Sports Centre presenter Gerry McCulloch for full analysis and discussion of the evening’s football action.

Live coverage of this crucial game will be on STV from 7.30pm to 10pm, with an online video chat from the stadium on from 5pm to 6pm.

The match commentary will be provided by Derek Rae and Craig Burley.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s ‘Battle of Britain’, Gerry said: “It will be fantastic to present this key match live from Ibrox with two such knowledgeable guests.

“I’m sure our viewers will appreciate unique Scottish coverage of such an important game and I’m looking forward to welcoming Richard and David to the programme.”

In addition to live coverage of all the action from Ibrox, STV will also be screening a live two-hour highlights show at 10.30pm from the STV studios.

STV sports presenter Raman Bhardwaj will front the programme and he will be joined in the studio by ex-Rangers striker Peter Lovenkrands, currently playing for Newcastle United, and Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez as he brings viewers highlights of all the Champions League matches from across Europe.