RGU iceman aiming for curling clean sweep

A Robert Gordon University (RGU) student is targeting success this month when he takes to the ice at the World University Winter Games in Italy.

Derrick Sloan has been selected for the Great Britain Curling team which will compete at the World University Winter Games in Italy. Second year Pharmacy student Derrick Sloan has been selected for the Great Britain Curling team which will compete at the 26th Winter Universiade in Trentino.

The event, which is organised for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), will feature more than 2,500 athletes aged between 17 and 28 from 50 countries and take place between Wednesday, December 11 and Saturday, December 21.

Derrick (19) will compete alongside his teammates Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddle and Cammy Smith against other curling teams from Korea, China, Italy, Norway, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

Derrick is also an RGU: SPORT Scholar and benefits from a tailor-made package of support from the university which allows him to combine his studies with the demands of training and competing against the best curlers in the world.

He said: “It’s a proud achievement to be selected to represent your country and I can’t wait to compete at the World University Winter Games where my teammates and I will be doing everything we can to bring home a medal for Great Britain.

“Being an RGU: SPORT Scholar is extremely beneficial as it gives me access to strength and conditioning training and also provides many other services which help me to compete to the highest possible standard. I’m also able to get time off to go to competitions as well as support to keep me up-to-date with my university work.”

The former Lornshill Academy pupil from Clackmannan took up curling from a young age after watching his dad play the sport as a child.

“Curling runs in the family,” Derrick said. “My dad curls and when I was younger I went to watch him and wanted to give it a go. Things progressed from there and I started playing when I was eight years old and a few years later I started to compete in U17’s competitions when I was just 14.”

Career highlights for Derrick include winning Scotland’s U17’s competition during the 2010/11 season which gave his team the opportunity to attend a curling training camp in Germany. He has also successfully represented Scotland on the European Junior Curing Tour in several events held in Glasgow, Norway and Switzerland.

Derrick added: “As well as targeting a medal at the World University Winter Games I’m aiming to win the Scottish U21 Championship which would give the team the opportunity to represent Scotland at the 2014 World Junior Curling Championships which will be held in Flims, Switzerland.”

Sport Programmes Manager at RGU: SPORT, Neil Brown, said: “We’re proud to play a supportive role in Derrick’s career and wish him all the best at the World University Winter Games.

“His skill and determination on the ice is of the highest standard and we remain committed to offering Derrick the cutting-edge training and support programmes which we provide for all our scholars.

“Competing in Italy will be a fantastic experience for Derrick and we look forward to following his progress.”

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport