Cornhill man’s silver ‘a dream come true’
Cornhill man Gary Logan recently won a silver medal at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Stirling.
The competition provided the first opportunity to gain crucial qualification points for ParalympicsGB towards the next Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2022.
Gary, 48, is a familiar face at the Active Northumberland Swan Centre in Berwick, which he visits four times a week to carry out weight and cardiovascular training as part of his exercise regime.
He was introduced to the sport 10 years ago by a friend following a life-changing accident which left him in a wheelchair.
He fell in love with it from the off and since then he has played regularly, progressing to the GB Scotland performance squad and working his way up into the Scotland squad, of which he has been a member for seven months.
Gary said: “I remember when I got the call-up to the team, I was absolutely beside myself and was just brimming with pride and excitement.
“It is always an honour to be selected to represent your country and to win a silver medal within seven months of entering the team and on a world championship debut is a dream come true and testament to the extremely hard work of the whole squad.”
There is a lot of commitment and training involved. Every other week Gary travels to Stirling for ice training, and then on alternate weeks he trains at the Swan Centre, working on strength and aerobic training.
Vicki Ord, manager of the Swan Centre, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled for Gary and the team on their fantastic result. We know Gary well and know how hard he has worked in training to achieve this dream, turning up day in day out to work on his strength and fitness programme.”
As part of the performance programme, the wheelchair curlers benefit from a range of support services and expertise including nutrition, physio and medical, provided by the sportscotland Institute of Sport at the National Curling Academy.
Gary worked as an Agricultural Engineer, more specifically a steel erector for buildings, until he had a life changing accident more than 20 years ago.
“I slipped from a ladder on 7 February 1993 at 8.34am. It is a date I will never forget. I fell about 25 feet from the top of a ladder in St Boswells and from that point on I remember very little. I was taken to the local hospital, then transferred to the Western General in Edinburgh and then to Glasgow’s Southern General Spinal Injuries Unit, where I spent three months in recovery.”
“It was while I was in Glasgow that I was told my back was broken and to be honest I already knew that something was amiss. It was a tough time. Then ten years ago a guy came to measure me for my wheelchair and he told me about wheelchair curling and I decided on his recommendation to give it a go. I never looked back.”
Wheelchair curling is played with the same rocks and on the same ice as regular curling, though the rocks are thrown from a stationary wheelchair and there is no sweeping. Rocks may be thrown by hand while leaning over the side of the wheelchair, or pushed by a delivery stick.
Gary was joined on team Scotland by David Melrose a former firefighter from Duns, Aileen Nelson who was the team skip, Hugh Nibloe and Robert McPherson.
There were 12 countries taking part in the curling competition: Canada, China, Germany, Korea, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Switzerland, United States, Estonia and Latvia.