OLYMPIAN Eve Muirhead has said she is shocked at the proposed closure of an ice rink that played a “significant role in her journey” to curling gold.

Perth and Kinross Council had announced plans to shut down the rink at the Dewars Centre where Muirhead learnt to curl.

However, council leader Grant Laing on Friday released a statement asking officers to prepare a report looking at retaining the ice facilities.

Vincent Bryson, CEO of Scottish Curling, told The National this week the centre was the “Hampden Park of curling” and insisted its closure could eventually have an impact on Scots contending for medals at the Winter Olympics.

Ice rinks are closing across Scotland at a rapid rate, with the facility in Ayr having closed last September due to surging energy prices.

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That was preceded by the rink at Braehead near Glasgow closing in 2019.

The council said Dewars was used mainly for curling and indoor bowling, which only account for 3% of sports use in Perth.

Muirhead, who was born in the Fair City, said it was "a real shame to see such an iconic venue potentially close its doors".

She told BBC Scotland News: "It has definitely come as a shock, especially considering the rich history at Dewars ice rink.

The National: Eve Muirhead

"It's known to many as the home of curling in Scotland for a reason, and it has been an integral part of many curlers' careers, including my own.

"I truly hope that something can be done to preserve venues like this going forward."

Bryson told The National that around 1000 people curl at Dewars and almost everyone who had been successful in the sport, including the likes of Bruce Mouat and Rhona Howie, will have honed their craft there at some stage.

Mouat – who led Scotland to victory in the World Championships last year and is an Olympic silver medallist – told The National last year the hike in energy prices was destroying momentum sparked in the sport following the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

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Councillors will be asked next week to consider recommendations to bring together leisure provision in Perth on to one site "to ensure future affordability and provision".

Bryson – who is set to attend the key meeting on Monday – said there had to be curling in some form in Perth, even if it wasn’t at Dewars.

“We have to have curling in Perth. It [Dewars] is the Hampden Park of curling,” he told The National.

“People come from across the world because there is a tangible history around the Dewars Centre. If it’s not Dewars, then we need to have a conversation about what curling does look like in Perth and have a seamless transition.”