Scottish Championships next on the agenda for Mouat after world universities success17 February 2017
Edinburgh Napier University curler Bruce Mouat is eyeing this week’s Scottish Championships after achieving his season’s goal of winning the World University Winter Games.
Team Mouat were devastatingly effective in Kazakhstan last week, with a clean sweep of 11 wins against the world’s best university teams.
“I've had to pinch myself a few times to think we actually did go 11-0,” admitted Mouat, who skipped the GB team of Gregor Cannon (University of Strathclyde), Derrick Sloan (Robert Gordon University), Alasdair Schrieiber (University of Strathclyde) and Bobby Lammie (University of Stirling).
“I thought we had a good chance of winning but to go undefeated just adds to the whole experience and makes it even more surreal. To be able to go out on the ice 11 times in eight days and not lose a game is a great feeling.”
Having beaten event favourites Norway in the semis, GB dug deep in the final to come back from 6-5 and beat Sweden 8-6.
“In the ninth end we said we have not done all this hard work for the past four months to lose a game like this, so we are going to fight back.”
Mouat is no stranger to winning titles after becoming junior world champion a year ago. And having turned fully fledged senior this season he is adapting well to the higher demands.
“A lot of the teams have got so much more experience,” he continued. “It's tougher game-wise and there's a more professional atmosphere around the championships but it's a really good place to be and you feed off the attitude of the other athletes.”
It has been a good season so far for Mouat and team who reached the final of the Edinburgh International and qualified for a tier two grand slam event in Canada.
His mixed doubles partnership with Gina Aitken is also developing. The pair won the Scottish championships which qualified them for the World Championships in Canada this April. If they are successful there they will secure GB’s place in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.
This upcoming week the focus switches back home to Perth for the Scottish Championships (18-25 Feb), an event in which Mouat has reached the play offs for the past two years.
“Our goal at the start of the season was to win gold at the university games,” said Mouat who will line up alongside the best teams in Britain including Sochi 2014 Olympians Team Murdoch.
“So now we've done that we are focusing on the Scottish and will hopefully start mixing some results up and causing problems for other teams.
“We want to reach the playoffs and if we are on form we are never going to go into a competition and not try to win it. So if we're playing well I don't see why we can't.”
Mouat, Cannon, Lammie and Schrieiber are amongst 150 students supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for student athletes.
Through the programme they receive funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies.
Eighteen Scottish universities and 25 colleges form the Winning Students network. Students at network colleges and universities benefit from a dedicated co-ordinator to ensure they can balance their studies and sport effectively.
“I took nine months off university to concentrate on curling full time,” said Mouat, who resumes Festival and Events Management studies in September for the start of his fourth year.
"The university has been great, they accepted my referral application and we managed to work out a good schedule to help with studying and competing.
“I'm very grateful to Winning students for giving me a grant again which has helped me with accommodation and travel costs to get me to training whether in Stirling or Edinburgh.
“That aspect has been really helpful to make sure that I'm able to fund myself and be as prepared as possible. It all seems to be paying off.”