Rachel and Bobby team up on ice
Stirling University students Rachel Hannen and Bobby Lammie are among those taking part in the Scottish Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Aberdeen which began yesterday (Thursday).
Despite being good friends 22 year-old Hannen and Lammie (18) have, until now, never joined forces on the ice, although Hannen has tried the mixed event in the past.
“I played mixed after the main competition in the Youth Olympics a few years ago,” she said. “They paired us up with someone from a different country and I was put with a Czech guy, so there was a bit of a language barrier.
“It actually felt like a kind of blind date competition but it was a really good opportunity to try out mixed doubles and really good fun.”
The event will make its debut at next year’s Winter Olympics and Hamilton-born Hannen and Lammie from Stranraer, will be hoping to win in Aberdeen - a title which would see them progressing to Sweden for the World Championships.
The duo are amongst 150 students supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships programme for student athletes. Through it they receive funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies.
Hannen believes that combining a part-time masters degree with curling at Stirling, home of the National Academy, is a winning combination.
“The university is really flexible and as long as you keep them in touch with what you are doing and where you are going to be then it’s fine.
“Now we have the curling centre at Stirling we’ve now got everything we need here.
“I was lucky to get a scholarship through Winning Students and I wouldn’t be able to do the masters at all without them.”
Mixed Rachel Hannen on the ice