Scotland’s rising star Malcolm Smith


The Adventure Centre, Ratbo, Thu 3—Sun 6 Dec

The quarry at Ratho, just west of Edinburgh, once supplied the kerbstones for London bus stops. In 1995 it was bought by three keen local climbers aiming to create an international-class adventure centre. As anyone who’d been keeping an eye on Edinburgh’s other key building projects may have noticed, these things have a tendency to defy predictions. Dates and deadlines came and went - and the development’s original £6m budget soared to £24m.

The results are impressive: the Adventure Centre’s highlight, the National Rock Climbing Centre for Scotland, is the world’s biggest indoor climbing arena. It finally opened to the public on Saturday 22 November. The immense space has a hell of a baptism, hosting the four-day-Iong UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) World Cup Finals.

Some 200 competitors from 20 countries are expected at the competition, which has never been held in Scotland before. The event will result in the crowning of the series champions as well as the finals of competitive

climbing’s two key disciplines.

In the ‘difficulty’ part, competitors scale an overhanging 60ft wall, clipping themselves into regular safety points with the rope that falls behind them. ‘Bouldering’ takes place on smaller constructions, often barely above head height, and requires great flexibility and strength as unharnessed climbers

work their way through each route.

Most of the top athletes hail from continental Europe, with Alexandre Chabot of France and Ramon Julien Puigblanque of Spain expected to dominate the ‘men’s difficulty’ event, while Belgian Muriel Sarkany and Frenchwoman Sandrine Levet are the women’s frontrunners. In ‘men’s bouldering’, meanwhile, Jerome Meyer of France and current World Champion Christian Core of Italy are expected to come under some serious competition from Scotland’s Malcolm Smith, who finished second in last year’s competition. Whatever the result, it’ll make a change from slumping in front of the football. You might even be inspired to do a spot of scrambling yourself. (James Smart)

Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least ten days before publication. Sports listings are subject to change, so please check in advance. Listings are compiled by Maureen Ellis.


I Football: Hearts v FC Girondins de Bordeaux 'I’ynccastle Stadium. (iorgic Road. 200 7201. 6.30pm. The Iiui‘opean spotlight falls on Ty necastlc as the Jambos desperately try to protect tltat precious one goal advantage in this I'IiI-A Cup match.

Friday 28


I Rugby: Glasgow Rugby v Llanelli Scarlets lluglientlen. 33 llugheiiden Road. 353 3468. 7.30pm. £I() £14 (£5 £7). A \isll from highly~ placed Llanelli won't be welcomed as (ilasgow try to lift llIL'lltsCl\cs off the bottoiti of tlte ('eltic League table.

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I Horse-racing: Musselburgh Races Musselburgh Racecourse. Linklield Road. .\ltisselburgh. 665 2859. 1pm. £I() £15 (£5; under 16s free). National hunt racing.

Saturday 29


I Rowing: Head of the River Race (ilasgow (ireen. (ireendy ke Street. 287 4422. 12.30pm & 2.30pm. Rowing fours from all over Scotland gather to compete in this boat race.

I Football: Celtic v Partick Thistle Celtic l’ark. Kerry dale Street. I’ai‘khcad. 551 8653. 3pm. .\1at'tit) ()‘Neill pt‘c‘pttl'cs his side 101' the lil‘sl ()1~ a double ltcadci' against the Jags.


I Snowsports: Scottish University Snowsport Championships .\l1tllt)llllttll Ski Centre. Biggai‘ Road. Hillend. 445 4433. 9am 4pm. liree to spectate. See photo caption.

I Basketball: Edinburgh Kings v Troon Tornados Meadowbank

Sports Centre. 139 London Road. 661 5351. 6.30pm. £5 (£2). The Scottish basketball champions take on the west coast opposition.


I Basketball: Scottish Rocks v London Towers Braehead Arena. Kings Inch Road. 561 1140. 5pm.

£7 £I() (£5 «£8): family ticket £20. Following a great start to the BBL season. the Rock are slowly slipping down the table. They need to pull their socks tip for the visit of the Towers.


I Football: Hibernian v Rangers Iiaster Road. 12 Albion Place. 661 1875. 3pm. Alex .\Ic1.eish no dotibt returns to the delight and jeers of the Ilibees. We suspect it will be the (iers‘ fans smiling at the end of the game.

I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Fife Flyers .Vlurt'tlyllcltl Ice Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £10(£6): famin ticket £26. I’BNI. League ice hockey match.

Wednesday 3


I Football: Rangers v St Johnstone lbrox Stadium. Iidmiston Drive. 0870 600 1993. 7.45pm. Rangers play host to first division opposition in this CIS Cup quarter final. played the day before Celtic's third round tie.

Thursday 4


I Football: Partick Thistle v Celtic I’irhill. 8015irhill Road. 579 1971. 7.30pm. CIS Cup third round fixture and the second meeting of these two sides in live days.


I Climbing: UIAA-ICC Climbing World Cup Adventure Centre. Sotith Plait IIiII. Ratho. 333 6336. 9am—3pm. £5 £I() (£3 £7.50). The world's biggest indoor climbing arena is launched in style with this prestigious World Cup mountaineering event. The ‘1)ifficu1ty' qualifying rounds take place on Thu 3 Dec. with the semi-finals and finals taking place on Sat 5 Dec. Over in the 'Bouldering' section. qualifying rounds take place on I‘ri 3 Dec and the final is on Sun 6 Dec. See preview.


I Basketball: Scottish Rocks v

Brighton Bears Braehead Arena. Kings Inch Road. 561 1140. 7.30pm. BBL basketball match involving Scotland’s only professional basketball team.


I Climbing: UIAA-ICC Climbing World Cup Adventure Centre. South

I’Iatt Ilill. Ratho. 333 6336. 9am—9pm.

£5 £10(£3»-£7.50). See Thu 4.

Saturday 6


I Football: Rangers v Dundee United Ibrox Stadium. Iidmiston Drive. ()870 600 1993. 3pm. The (iers clinched a 1 victory over the Tangerine men at 'I‘annadice. Will the thrashing be even more brutal at Ibrox‘.’


I Climbing: UIAA-ICC Climbing World Cup Adventure Centre. South I’Iatt IIilI. Ratho, 333 6336.

9am 8.30pm. £5 -£10(£3s-£7.50). See Thu 4.

I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Newcastle Vipers Murrayfield Ice Rink. Riversdale

Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £I() (£6); family ticket £26. FBNL League ice hockey match.

Outside the cities

I Football: Livingston v Celtic Almondvale Stadium. Almondvale Stadium Road. Livingston. 01506 417000. 12.30pm. Yet another away televised match for the Celts. Livvy will need to raise their game to avoid a similar 5---I drubbing to when the two sides last met.


I Cycling: Go Bike Cycle Meeting Bells Bridge. Congress Road. 07932 460093. I 1am. A 25-mile round trip taking in Neilston. Dunlop. L'plawmoor and Barrhead. Suitable for all ages and abilities.

I Football: Partick Thistle v Motherwell liirhill. 80 FirhiII Road. 579 1971. 3pm. There was a time not so long ago when this tie could have gone either way. With Motherwell still on form. the points are likely to go back to Lanarkshire.


I Climbing: UIAA-ICC Climbing World Cup Adventure Centre. South Platt Hill. Ratho. 333 6336. 10am—5pm. £5-<£1()(£3-—£7.50). See Thu 4.

I Rugby: Edinburgh Rugby v Toulouse Meadowbank Sports Centre. 139 London Road. 661 5351. 1pm. £I5—£20 (£10~£I3). Heineken Ctip first round rugby match. The other teams in this competition are Leeds Tykes and Neath/Swansea ()spreys.

I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Solway Sharks Murraytield Ice Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £6 (£4). S.\'L League ice hockey match.

Tuesday 9


I Football: Rangers v Panathinaikos lbrox Stadium. Iidmiston Drive. 0870 600 1993. 7.45pm. Rangers should take all three points from this match qualification all depends on events elsewhere in Iiurope.


Jack Frost has failed to produce agreeable wintry conditions up north, so why not head to the dry ski slopes for some top notch downhill action. Representatives of Scottish universities will take to the mesh matting of Hillend to compete in skiing and snowboarding competitions, incorporating racing and freestyle disciplines. Onlookers can keep themselves entertained with the bar, live music and fire eaters.

l Scottish University Snowsport Championships, Midlothian Ski Centre, Edinburgh, Sat 29 Nov, gem—4pm. Free to spectate.