Stones were thrown for the first time at Scotland’s new national curling academy yesterday generating considerable excitement among some of the sport’s leading players.

Ice at the venue has been prepared by Tom Brewster, one of the silver medallists at the last Winter Olympics, while Dave Murdoch, his team-mate at that event three years ago expressed his delight that the facility they had campaigned for and, on the back of their success as well as that of Eve Muirhead’s women’s rink and Aileen Neilson’s wheelchair team - both of whom also won bronze medals in Sochi - were promised by the national sports agency, registered his delight.

“I’ve waited a long time for this to happen. First day in the new National Curling Academy. Huge thanks to @sportscotland @StirlingCouncil,” he tweeted.

At a cost of more than £2 million, jointly funded by sportscotland and Stirling Council, the facility is seen as key to the long term health of the sport, providing high quality facilities that will be available throughout the year, unlike traditional ice rinks that close their doors in summer months.