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  • Anna Sloan competing at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 © WCF / Richard Gray

Scotland’s Anna Sloan can call herself many things – a World Junior champion, a European champion, a World Women’s champion and an Olympic bronze medallist. Since stepping back from playing as Eve Muirhead’s long-time third, she’s added a few more titles to her name.

Although you won’t find Sloan training on the ice or in the gym for her next curling event, you can still find her in her home ice rink where she now “sees curling from a different angle”.

Along with her new role as Scottish Curling’s Development Officer at Lockberbie – her home ice rink – she is one of ten winners of the ‘Athlete in Excellence’ award from The Foundation for Global Sports Development. Sloan received $USD 10,000 in recognition for the award and has plans to give back to her childhood rink.

In addition to this achievement, Sloan kicked off the new year with the World Curling Federation’s Development Officers for their first stop on the Olympic Celebration Tour – another curling initiative funded by Global Sports Development.

The tour visited Dublin, Ireland for the first time in January 2019 and moves on to the United States for its next stops. Sloan, along with fellow Scottish Olympian Michael Goodfellow, promoted curling to students for a week in hopes it will raise more awareness and eventually results in Ireland’s first dedicated curling facility.

Read more about the Olympic Celebration Tour - www.worldcurling.org/oct-2019

We caught up with Anna to see what life has been like from the other side:

Tell us about your experience in Dublin with the Olympic Celebration Tour?

Dublin was a great experience. Michael and I were there to showcase the sport of curling to lots of pupils throughout the city of Dublin. The first two days were spent going around schools and chatting to the students about our experiences. We then set up the floor curling so that they all could get an idea of the sport. The unfortunate thing was a lot of the pupils were desperate to sweep! However, they had a great time playing the game and it was amazing to see the kids pick up the tactics so quickly. We then did Come and Try sessions for the next two days. This was with a mixture of school pupils and members of the public that had signed up. Everyone had a great time.

What was your reaction to receiving the ‘Athlete in Excellence’ award?

It was a huge privilege to win this award and to be able to give a little back to the ice rink. For me, it was a no brainer to put the money into somewhere that I spent a lot of my childhood. I have not yet decided what I will be doing with the money. We held a workshop to get feedback from people of the ice rink and I will use that to come to a conclusion.

What has life been like since stepping back from playing and moving into development?

Since stepping back from curling I have now been appointed the role as Lockerbie Development Officer. I am now seeing curling from a different angle and loving this experience. Right now, instead of being an elite curler I am focusing on the participation aspect and coaching.

What have been the biggest learning curves?

The biggest learning curve is probably focusing on participation and not the elite. Having said that there are of course a lot of cross overs. We need more people in the sport of curling to participate in order for there to be competition at elite level. That is definitely what our sport is lacking right now. My job is to make sure that everyone that comes to Lockerbie has a great time and wants to come back through the door.

What do you enjoy most about giving back to the curling community you grew up in?

The thing I enjoy most is definitely coaching the after-school club. Someone once gave up their time to coach me and I feel it’s very important for me to now give that time back. I think it’s really important for any elite curler to give back time and act as a role model to encourage people to participate in this sport.

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