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Aberdeen’s Rebecca Morrison on ‘massive year of progress’ where she took on weight of Scottish and British women’s curling hopes

Rebecca Morrison and her team in action at the European Curling Championships 2022, Östersund, Sweden. Image: WCF/Celine Stucki
Rebecca Morrison and her team in action at the European Curling Championships 2022, Östersund, Sweden. Image: WCF/Celine Stucki

For Aberdeen curling star Rebecca Morrison, naming a 2022 highlight was easy.

In November, the 26-year-old and her rink medalled on what was Morrison’s major championships debut at senior level.

Representing Scotland, Team Morrison eased past Italy 9-5 to win the bronze medal match at the Le Gruyere European Championships in Ostersund, Sweden.

Their success so far during the current August to April season, which also saw Morrison, vice-skip Gina Aitken, second Sophie Sinclair and lead Sophie Jackson win a tour event in Canada for the first time, follows the team’s first Scottish championships victory back in February.

Assessing the last 12 months, Morrison said: “Those three moments were great.

“The win in Canada was great because we beat two teams in the play-offs who were ranked a fair bit above us, so we weren’t expected to win that.

“Bronze at the Europeans was definitely top of the bunch – and the highlight of my career so far.”

On overcoming the pressure to get the medal win at Europeans over the line, Kincorth’s Morrison added: “It was a lot for us, because I’ve never played in a medal game before for anything like that.

“At that point you’re the only game on the ice, so it’s literally all eyes on you.

“I’m quite grateful we got off to such a flying start and went three up from the get-go, which made it a little less tense for us from the beginning. I think it did help me mentally a little bit, because it was whole new level of pressure I hadn’t experienced yet.

“I managed to keep cool and every time I started getting ahead of myself, I just had to calm myself, stay in the moment, and that’s what we did.”

Team Morrison’s European bronze was achieved in front of a large Scottish travelling contingent, including Scottish Curling support staff, their family and friends, as well as Bruce Mouat’s men’s rink – three-time European champions – with Morrison describing having her mum there for the moment as being “really special”.

Stepping up after Team Muirhead’s perfect ending

It has been a “massive year of progress” for Morrison and her side, who have stepped up to become the nation’s top women’s team following the disbandment of Eve Muirhead’s all-conquering rink earlier in 2022.

Team Muirhead went out on a high after winning gold for Great Britain at the Beijing Winter Olympics. 

Great Britain’s Mili Smith, Hailey Duff, Jennifer Dodds, Vicky Wright and Eve Muirhead celebrate with their gold medals after beating Japan in the Winter Olympic final in Beijing. Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Morrison knows her own rink’s new elevated position means they are now carrying the hopes of one of world’s top curling nations on their shoulders, saying: “At the beginning of the season, we didn’t know Eve was retiring and she did plan to play originally.

“Even when she was playing, our goals were still to go to the Europeans and go to the world championships and stuff.

“But obviously when she retired it put more pressure on us as a ‘that’s where we should be’ sort of thing.

“If we had made Europeans while Eve was still playing, we would’ve been the underdogs, but it changed to us being the team expected to rise to the occasion and changed our perspective on things I’d say.

“We saw the Europeans as where we expected ourselves to be, rather than where we aspired to be.

“Scotland’s historically been a great curling nation, so you never want to go out on the international stage and disappoint everyone, so it was a bit of pressure, but it was something we needed to go through to develop ourselves – the pressure of everyone watching you.”

Morrison on ‘devastating’ world championships derailment

With the on-ice success, jetsetting (travel is Morrison’s other great passion), and her graduation with a Masters in human resources from Robert Gordon University this year, it is easy to forget there have been real lows.

Morrison should also have made her World Women’s Curling Championship debut in Canada in March, only for Covid to intervene.

Rebecca Morrison. Image: WCF/Ansis Ventins

Instead of leading her then-newly-crowned Scottish champions at the tournament, Morrison – who became aware of a sore throat on the 10-hour flight across the Atlantic, before testing positive for the virus the morning after landing – ended up spending more than a week in solo isolation at Scottish Curling’s holding camp in Vancouver.

The three other members of Team Morrison did travel the hour north to host city Prince George for the start of the world championships, and played two round-robin matches – losing to Switzerland and Czech Republic – before further positive Covid tests ended Scots’ campaign.

Morrison, who thinks the ill-fated trip to worlds earlier in the year made her “more resilient” and more appreciative of curling, said: “It was pretty devastating to be honest. We’d had a pretty difficult season as it was with the Olympic selection (and not being chosen) back in October (2021).

“We finally felt we were getting our chance  to show everyone what we could go do and, yeah, it took me a while to get over that one.”

Future goals – including Italy trip in 2026

In the new year, before the current season is out, Team Morrison hope they will get the chance to put their world championships disappointment to bed.

The skip said: “We’ve got the Scottish championships coming up in February and we just want to win that, retain our title and put our mark down as the top team.

“There will then be selections ahead of the world championships being held in Sweden in March, and right now a huge goal of ours is to get selected.

“If we were to be at the world championships, we’ve got high expectations of ourselves. The first step would be to get to the play-offs and see where we go from there – but you’ve got teams like Canada, South Korea, Japan there, so it’s a new level compared to the Europeans.”

While finishing the season inside the world top-20 is also something Morrison and her team are gunning for in the short term (they are currently 21st in the year-to-date standings, having been 34th for 2021), long-term, being British Curling’s women’s latest podium side comes with a built-in mission – and a four-year countdown.

Morrison said: “When you go into a new cycle like we’ve just done coming off the 2022 Olympics, you look ahead – that’s exactly what British Curling do as well, and not just for the next year, but for the next four years.

“As a team and individually, we are all driven by the ultimate goal of getting to the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy to represent Great Britain.”

Aberdeen’s Sports Awards 2023

Morrison has been nominated in the Sports Achiever of the Year category ahead of the 2023 edition of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards, the annual celebration of Granite City sporting success, which will take place P&J Live on Thursday, March 23.

Entries remain open for the range of categories – from Sports Achiever of the Year and Club of the Year to coaching, volunteering and community sports project prizes – until January 6.

To enter an individual or organisation for any of the categories, visit: