For the 2007-08 season, top curlers in Scotland will be supported in one of two ways. The very best have been invited to become members of the Scottish Institute of Sport. No change there, you may say. But wait. This group will now be known as the Elite Scotland Squad, the name change reflecting a new funding partner, British Curling Ltd, as well as sportscotland as before. And support will not just be restricted to full teams as in the past. Some individuals will receive the full Institute benefits too. This involves sports medicine and sports science, technical support, squad training, and overseas competition funding. Derek Brown and Cate Brewster, who are employed by the Scottish Institute of Sport, have the prime responsibility for the Elite Scotland Squad.
The National Junior Squad, which last year encompassed eight junior teams, is no more. In its place is the RCCC's new 'National Academy' supported by the Area Institutes and funded by sportscotland. Nancy Murdoch (photo), the Royal Club's Performance Development Coach, has brought forward an initiative to support not just juniors but also teams and individuals who are no longer under-21.
The National Academy Squad comprises eight teams and twelve individuals. Members will receive individual and team support from the Area Institutes and the RCCC, including technical on-ice coaching support, strength and conditioning training, as well as providing opportunities for their teams to compete internationally. In contrast to the Elite Scotland Squad, which was by invitation, National Academy Squad members have been selected after an application and interview process.
Names of curlers in the two squads will be announced tomorrow on the RCCC website.