Beacon Academy students Joe Sugden and Felix Price recently played at the World Junior Curling Championships in Finland.
The pair were part of a team of five local students who represented England at the Under 21 Junior B event in Lohja, about an hour,s drive away from the capital Helsinki. Being in Year 10, they still have 5 more years of eligibility, and so to make their debut on the international curling scene at such an early age is an achievement in itself.
The boys learned to curl as part of the Beacon Curling programme, which runs weekly from October to April. As two of the club’s founding members, they are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of talented curlers who have learned and developed their skills at Beacon. In total, the Beacon Curling Team has 24 members who are dedicated to this unique winter Olympic sport. Over the last few years, Joe and Felix have become strong leaders within the club and are receiving the rewards for their hard work and commitment to the sport.
In Finland, the boys and Team England finished 10th out of 24 countries. In round robin play, they scored victories against hosts Finland, the eventual finalists Denmark (who were previously undefeated) as well as Slovenia, Estonia, and Austria. The defeats were against strong curling nations, Spain and Russia. Finishing in their group with a 5-2 record, the boys had a tie-breaker play-off against Spain to see who would advance to the quarter finals. Unfortunately, Spain were victorious and Team England’s competition was over.
The team they were very pleased with what they achieved but were slightly disappointed not to have progressed further. Staff, students, and especially the other curlers at Beacon were incredibly proud of Joe & Felix for their achievements, and the boys were the talk of the school for a few days.
The Beacon Curling League continues has three weeks to run, with the trophies being awarded after the final league games on 24th February.
It should not be a surprise then that Joe & Felix are leading their teams towards success, along with promising young skip Sydney Boyd and her Yellow team just behind. You can follow the Beacon Curling programme on Twitter: @BeaconCurling
With nine new curlers having joined the Beacon Curling team this year, the club has grown significantly, and all of them have settled in well. The future is bright for Beacon Curling, and the most recent development is another indicator of this. Seven of our young curlers will be competing at the International Junior Curling Club Bonspiel in Fussen, Germany, from 7th – 11th April. Representing England at this “invitation only” tournament will be: Orlagh Hensey, Olivia Millar, Holly Austen, Sydney Boyd, Anna Howey, Archer Woods, and Stuart Shaw. As a school we are incredibly proud of the fact that out of 10 young curlers heading to Germany for this competition, 7 are students from Beacon Academy.