Rachel and Bobby team up on ice

Stirling Observer - - AMATEURS -

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

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