An hour or so after Tom Brewster’s Scottish men’s rink had lost a potentially crucial match to Germany on Tuesday evening an official shook his head and pronounced, dead pan: “Ticket sales have plummeted.”

When I observed that he could not possibly be suggesting that the players’ performance at this major event could be blamed for the poor attendances he chortled: “Very selfish of Tom isn’t it? Losing all these matches.”

Brewster and his men had just lost a close match to Germany that meant not only were they in danger of missing out on the play-offs but were now in danger of dropping out of the top eight in the event which would mean Scotland would not qualify for this season’s World Championships.

His comments could, of course, only be seen as joking given that a) it is impossible for tickets that have been bought to be un-bought, b) no-one with a serious interest in sport could surely think that it ever becomes less interesting when there is a lot at stake and c) even if it is all about winning these days the most dominant team in the championship so far is the other Scottish team, that led by skip Eve Muirhead.

There is, however, many a truth spoken in jest and the subject he was addressing is of considerable concern.

Here we have a sport that Scotland invented, a sport that Scotland is good at, a major championship set up in an arena that attracts huge audiences to watch men play ice hockey and a sportswoman who is reckoned by some of her peers to be the very best in the world leading a national team.

Yet attendances this week have been sufficiently poor to prompt the following observations from Maureen McGonigle, founder of the organisation Scottish Women in Sport, who expressed concern that a relatively rare opportunity to showcase a leading female Scottish sports star was possibly being missed.

“It is extremely disappointing to hear of the poor attendance at the European Championships and I think the reason is quite complex,” she wrote.

“There is still a strong chain of thought that women playing sport is not as interesting, exciting, etc as the male side of any game and that is down to many factors.

“For instance, I caught Radio Scotland sports news the other day. They went on at some length regarding the men's curling who had lost and then went onto a very short piece talking about the women's winning team, who are cleaning up. Which shows that women have to achieve more than men to get similar recognition. That by default gives the listeners the impression that whether winning or losing - the women's game is not as important. Can you imagine the reverse happening?

“Also whilst your paper may have covered the build-up and competition itself, I am sure you will have been a lone voice in this.

“Curling is not a particularly high participant sport in Scotland, with many people not having access to rinks or funding to participate. In terms of its spectator profile I would think that the perception is that it is a sport for the more mature person - no matter the reality. The challenge then for the Royal Caledonian Curling Club is making it interesting to young people of both genders and getting that message out.”

McGonigle believes there is a need to modernise thinking in terms of the way women’s sport is promoted in order to attract new audiences, curling being a perfect example because of the contrast between the sport’s traditional image and the make-up of Team Muirhead, a quartet of athletic, highly professional sportswomen in their twenties.

“Social Media, particularly for women's sport, has a long reach and strong persuasive powers and can be used to 'get to know' a team,” she noted.

“So a robust SM marketing plan prior to an event is a must. It is not enough to let people know where, when and why, they want to know who, they want to connect with the athletes and become passionate about them.”

Of course the one thing no self-respecting sportswoman will ever countenance and that is the notion that they are somehow inferior to their male counterparts and that is certainly not the case for Muirhead.

Indeed her star quality is such that in spite of the domination of the world rankings by their own rinks, the Canadian organisers of the charity fund-raising ‘Women of Curling’ calendar have chosen the Scottish skip to be their 2017 cover girl.

That publication in itself is an example of innovative thinking in terms of how the sport can be promoted and its image changed to the extent that women’s curling is reckoned to be at least as big a draw as the men’s game in terms of Canadian television audiences.

All the more reason to feel disappointed, then that relatively few of Team Muirhead’s compatriots have witnessed this group of Scottish women who, in their approach to their sport are, for all that it is an over-used term, genuinely worthy of being considered role models.