Olympic silver medallist Dave Murdoch has called on the sports minister to follow through on the promise made that facilities would be provided to ensure that Scotland’s curlers can continue to provide Britain with what was its most successful Olympic and Paralympic programme in the last cycle.

The British team won medals in the men’s and women’s events at Sochi two years ago - their first Winter Olympic curling medals since Rhona Martin’s ‘stone of destiny’ brought the sport to a new audience in 2002 - as well as in the subsequent mixed team wheelchair event.

They were lauded for their efforts on their return, but Team Murdoch struggled last season and have now missed out to domestic rivals on going to two European Championships and a World Championship.

That was partly down to the competitive nature of the men’s game in Scotland, unlike the women’s scene which is dominated by Team Muirhead.

However following their confirmation of a return to form at the end of last year when they reached the knockout stages of one of the Canadian ‘Grand Slam’ events then won a major international tournament in Japan, Murdoch hinted at a bigger issue for the sport when he tweeted: “What a fantastic facility here in Karuizawa, Japan. Any chance @scotgov could build some of these?”

When they then reached the semi-finals at the prestigious Mercure City of Perth Masters on their first appearance at a tournament on home ice since Murdoch issued that tweet, the three time Olympian seized the chance to elaborate.

“Obviously we’re hoping for a training centre,” he volunteered.

“That’s the one thing that’s missing and it’s disappointing that we’re not getting that. Hopefully the Scottish government can maybe come in with something.”

He was entitled to be specific in placing responsibility at the door of Holyrood politicians since there has been no progress in terms of setting up the long-awaited facility in spite of a public commitment to its creation minister of sport Shona Robson immediately after those Sochi successes.

It was announced then that a £2.25 million facility, cross-funded by sportscotland and Stirling Council, was to be built in Stirling with Robson saying: “The Peak (Stirling’s multi-sport facility) has played a crucial role in the success our curlers have enjoyed so far in Sochi. A National Curling Centre will build on this success and secure a lasting legacy for the sport.

“Many people will have been inspired by the exploits of Eve’s and David’s teams in Sochi and it is crucial that we have the infrastructure in place to help those starting out in curling realise their dreams of performing on the world’s stage.”

That message was reinforced at the time by Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, who said: “Now is the time to capitalise on the surge of interest in curling and we’re delighted to be working in such close partnership with Stirling Council to help them further enhance the excellent facilities at Stirling Sports Village. This significant new investment into The PEAK will not only provide a National Curling Centre for performance athletes, but will also increase accessibility for local communities.”

With curlers having to share ice time with skating and ice hockey at The Peak, Murdoch noted that the task facing those preparing the surface is such that it is frequently not of sufficient standard for the full-time funded players who are supposed to be based in Stirling, to put in proper practice and they frequently have to head along the A9 to Perth.

The contrast with what teams from the home of curling are seeing put in place in the sport’s emerging nations is striking.

“We’ve been to a couple of facilities in Korea and Japan. These are not curling nations and they’ve got state of the art facilities. We don’t have that and why don’t we? Why, because our country’s not investing in that which is disappointing,” Murdoch observed.

He believes the benefit for the sport as a whole means it would be a worthwhile investment at a time when interest in curling in Scotland has reached new levels and he feels the politicians have to open the purse strings.

“It’s got to come from the government,” he said.

“There’s got to be money out there. It’s not elitist. It would be open to the public. It’s the same with the velodrome. Why have we not got a curling facility? We’ve got Olympic athletes in this country.

“Hopefully it can happen. It’s the one cog that’s missing for our whole funding projects, so fingers crossed that one day it will happen and sooner rather than later.

“We’ve got to keep beating the drum on this because we need it. It’s the one thing that’s holding us back because we have to go abroad and we don’t even get to train on the good facilities.”

In response a sportscotland spokesperson issued a statement which pointed to the recent successes of curling and claimed that it is being well supported, saying: “sportscotland, in collaboration with UK Sport, British Curling, and Royal Caledonian Curling Club, have been providing terrific levels of support through our performance programmes and financial investment to our full-time curlers for many years, and everyone involved in the sport was delighted when Dave Murdoch and his rink won a silver medal in the Olympics.

“Our curlers do currently have good facilities they use in Perth, Stirling, Aberdeen, Dumfries and Braehead, but we agree with Dave that it is important to provide an all-year round, curling-only facility for our athletes, which is why sportscotland remains fully committed to helping develop curling’s National Performance Centre at the PEAK in Stirling, have earmarked £1 million for the project, and continue to work closely with Stirling Council to help expedite the process.”