Good Causes

Scottish curling champ returns to the NHS front line

Scottish curling champion Vicky Wright was heartbroken when the coronavirus pandemic forced the abrupt cancellation of the World Championships in Canada last month. But it didn’t take the 26-year-old long to realise she wanted to be on the front line in the battle against the disease by resuming her career as a general surgical ward nurse at the Forth Valley Larbert Hospital in Stirlingshire.

Vicky said, “We got the call that we wouldn’t be taking part the day before the World Championships were supposed to start. It’s an event that you prepare all year for, so to not compete is heartbreaking.”

By the time Vicky and her Scottish teammates – Eve Muirhead, Lauren Gray, Jen Dodds and Sophie Sinclair – arrived back from Port George on Canada’s west coast, she knew she wanted to get back to nursing. She said, “Once I was home in Stirling, I contacted my supervisor and said I was back and could be available to do whatever I could to help. I realised that it was my time to help and that I had to go back. I arrived home on a Sunday and my first shift was on Tuesday.”

According to the curling champion, the atmosphere at the Forth Valley Larbert Hospital is overwhelmingly positive. Vicky said, “We’re all pulling together and it’s great to be back. I work with a fantastic bunch of guys.”

“There is an amazing team spirit on my ward and as public transport is not an option now, we are all helping each other out with lifts and childcare. It’s nice to know that my curling team mates are proud of me and want to help me in any way they can.”

Last year Vicky took time out from her nursing career to chase her dream at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Things were looking good after the Scottish women’s team won silver at the European Championships in 2019 and were among the favourites to win the World Championships in Canada.

Now her focus has shifted back to nursing, but she and her teammates continue to train for their sport while observing social distancing rules. Vicky said, “I’m talking to my physical prep coach every day and I’ve bought some gym equipment for the back garden.” And while she’s a long way from an ice rink, a polished wooden floor in her house is helping her maintain her curling skills.

The team’s next big event should be the European Championships in November, but at the moment no one is sure if it will go ahead. Vicky is staying focused on nursing and training – and hoping for the best.

“I love my job and I love my curling so having that balance and flexibility really is the best case scenario for me,” she said. “It is why I do it and why I need it and I am just so grateful that both parties see the benefits.”

23rd April 2020

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