Veterans Curling Sessions
31/07/2019
 
Allen Gibson, Active Stirling (right) with the veterans.   Group of veterans Try Curling.

Over recent weeks veterans from veteran support services 'Combat Stress' and 'Stand Easy Stirling' have visited the National Curling Academy at The PEAK in Stirling to take part in Curling sessions with Active Stirling. The sessions are part of a wider Veteran Sports programme managed by Active Stirling to engage veterans in sport and physical activity.
 
'Stand Easy Stirling' is an amateur dramatics group that engage veterans to create showcases of their past experiences and serving life. Active Stirling have recently partnered with the group to offer sport and physical activity to the group with curling being the first taster.


Hammy McMillan, Active Stirling (right) with the veterans.

'Combat Stress' works with veterans across the UK with such conditions as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) via residential care or peer support groups. The charity have recently also partnered with Active Stirling with a referral pathway in place for veterans residing in the Stirling area.
 
Combat Stress, Senior Occupational Therapist, Joanna Bird commented on the engagement of the group,
"Combat Stress works with veterans who have mental health difficulties and this can make engagement in meaningful sports and leisure activities very difficult.  Combat Stress has recently begun working with Active Stirling and this has opened up really exciting opportunities to the veterans in Forth Valley.  Participants from a recent Occupational Therapy Workshop chose to experience curling for the first time and loved it.   Allen Gibson, Active Stirling Community Activation Officer, ensured that the veterans would be comfortable in the environment and our curling instructor was very inspiring.  It was fantastic to witness the veterans smiling and getting a real sense of achievement from the activity.  They enjoyed it so much that some hope to continue curling and some voiced dreams of a veterans' curling team in the future.  Thank you so much Allen!”


Group of veterans Try Curling coached by Hammy McMillan, Active Stirling (left).

Active Stirling's Curling Development Officer and European Gold and World Bronze medallist Hammy McMillan Jnr. who led the sessions said,
"Both of these sessions were a joy to coach, myself and the participants felt we got a lot out of the experience. It was amazing to see the feedback we received. It was great to see them try a new sport, in a new environment. We will now look to do more veteran sessions at The PEAK and potentially start a Veteran’s Curling club."
 
Active Stirling Community Activation Officer and Veteran Sports Lead, Allen Gibson echoed Hammy's comments and added,
"I am delighted the groups enjoyed their experience with Hammy with a few giving him a run for his money. We will continue to offer sessions across many sports and forms of physical activities to gauge popularity and I am in awe at the response we are receiving both from veterans and their support workers. I am in the process now of engaging a veterans steering group who will shape sport and physical activity for Stirling and the surrounding area. If you are a veteran and interested in getting involved please get in touch. Similarly if you are a club that want to engage with this group please also get in touch".
 
For more information about Active Stirling’s Veteran Sports, you can contact Allen Gibson at gibsona@activestirling.org.uk or call 0300 028 0041.


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