Olympic champion Rhona Howie insists now is the right time for her to walk away from curling after more than three decades in the sport.
As a competitor Howie won her first national title in 1988 as junior champion and went on to represent Scotland at six European and one World Championship.
She also donned Great Britain colours for two Winter Olympics, famously winning gold in Salt Lake City in 2002.
Howie then turned her hand to coaching and helped Eve Muirhead’s rink win Olympic bronze in Sochi earlier this year.
But after four years as head coach of the women’s performance curling programme Howie believes now is the right time to turn her attentions elsewhere.
“It has been a difficult decision for me to leave curling but I am looking forward to some new challenges,” she said.
“I will be taking some time off over the summer, watching some great sport at the Commonwealth Games.
“I haven’t decided what’s next but I feel it is the right time to move on.”
Bruce Crawford, chief executive officer of Royal Caledonian Curling Club and British Curling added: “Rhona’s departure from being the head women’s coach from the multi-medal winning curling programme is a tremendous loss to the sport.
“She has put everything into her work, gone the extra mile and kept going to support young and talented athletes.
“Rhona has provided many years of leadership and inspiration to Scottish and British curlers. We wish Rhona every success in whatever she chooses to do next.”
© Sportsbeat 2014