By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Rhona_Martin_by_curling_rinkDecember 23 - Rhona Martin, who led Britain's curlers to the Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002, has been appointed head coach of the women's team for the 2014 Games in Sochi, it has been announced.

Martin was one of five new appointments named by British Curling, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, sportscotland and UK Sport to help deliver further Olympic, Paralympic and world success for the sport.

The appointments follow the announcement earlier this month by Government agency UK Sport that curling's funding for the build-up to Sochi had been increased from £1,136,000 ($1,792,363) to £2,055,100 ($3,242,505).

The 44-year-old, who has been a member of UK Sport's Elite Coach Programme since 2007, will officially take up her new role as head women's coach for British and Scottish Curling on January 10. 

It was Martin's cool delivery of the final stone which won Britain's gold medal in Salt Lake City eight years ago and was dubbed the "Stone of Destiny".

"I am very proud to be taking on the challenge of head coach for women's curling," said Martin.

"Working within a world class coaching set-up and with the support of British Curling, The Royal Club, sportscotland and UK Sport, I look forward to giving Britain's most talented female curlers all the support they require to deliver success over the next four years at Olympic, World and European level.

Martin will be joined in the New Year by new men's head coach, Soren Gran (pictured below on left in back row), one of Sweden's top curling coaches.


The 1982 world junior champion has been Sweden's men's national coach since 2007, during which they won the European title in 2009 and reached the semi-finals of the Olympics in Vancouver earlier this year. 

Under the guidance of Performance Director, Dave Crosbee, the restructured British and Scottish high performance programme will also see Calgary-based Tony Zummack come on board as head coach of Wheelchair Curling.

Perth-based Cate Brewster will continue in her role as high performance coach based at the sportscotland institute of sport in Stirling.

The final member of the team will be Nancy Murdoch, the British women's coach at the Olympics in Vancouver, who will take on the role of high performance coach with the Royal Club.

Mike Whittingham, the executive director of the sportscotland Institute of Sport, said: "Under the leadership of Dave Crosbee and with British Curling, the Royal Club, sportscotland and UK Sport all working in partnership, these elite coaching appointments will give British and Scottish Curling every opportunity to realise its aim of achieving international success, not least in Sochi 2014."

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