June 08, 2007

Performance Plan 2007-2011 highlights

The news released over the last couple of days about the Elite Scotland Squad and new National Academy, and about the curlers receiving support under these banners, is only part of the Royal Club's Performance Development Plan 2007-20011. The plan has received support from partners sportscotland, Scottish Institute of Sport, the Area Institutes, UKSport and British Curling Ltd.

I note three other areas where changes will influence the sport. First of these is in team coaching support. Currently what team coaches there are are unpaid volunteers who only receive travel expenses and per diems when at events. The new plan will see support for up to twelve coaches, four at the Elite level, and eight at National Academy level. This support will extend to travel to competitions, honoraria and expenses, and training and development.

Secondly, the fledgling Regional Academy structure is to get increased support. The curlers supported under this scheme have not yet been announced, the names expected next month.

Lastly, the Development Plan gives an inkling of what is in the minds of those planning for British representation at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, assuming we qualify, of course. The second year of the Plan 2008-2009 has provision for support of two GB Olympic Squads of 6-8 players, under the Elite banner, while continuing to support two Scottish men's and two women's teams. The following year 2009-2010 the support will be for two GB Teams (5 or 6 players in each), in addition to continuing support for the four Scottish teams.

Given that details of the Olympic campaign are yet to be announced by British Curling Ltd (expected later in the summer), these proposals in the RCCC Performance Plan go some way to addressing the deficiencies in what happened in the last Olympic Cycle. It looks as if the squad selection process is to continue, but that was expected. Last time, the selection of the actual teams for the Olympics was decided too late, and one consequence of this was that four women curlers who had never even played one game together before were sent out to represent Scotland at the European Championships.

Last time the resources of the Scottish Institute and National Coach were diverted entirely to the GB squads, and Scottish curlers and curling took second place and suffered as a consequence. That's been covered in the New Performance Plan which has continuing support for top Scottish teams during the Olympic cycle.

The above is short on detail, and I guess we will have to be patient until British Curling Ltd reveals their plans.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm - heres a thought - most of elite squad were the top teams in scottish last year - minus the oldies! With the exception of ne team .. Mr Murdoch. Coaches pet?
How about some transparancy and instead of coaches picking those who qualify - have them qualify on merit .. ie the 3 or 4 teams who came top of the pile last year. If Mr Murdoch & Co want some funding then they have to fight for it the same as the rest of us at the scottish. Hows that for an incentive?

Bob Cowan said...

Team Murdoch finished fourth in the Scottish Championship last season. So what's your point exactly?

Earlier in the season the team won the European qualifying competition and were runners-up at the Europeans.

They have fully earned their right to funding IMHO.

PS Why post anonymously? Please put your name to your opinions.

Anonymous said...

The point being that everything is up front and transparent - everybody knows at the atart of the season that top three /four teams and players qualify for the funding.
If consideration is taken on past performance in Major International Championships (after having received funding for competing in these !)then that reduces the chances of other teams to access funding and smacks of a closed shop.
At the start of the scottish every team should start from a clean slate with the "prize" being elite funding for the top teams - keep the transparancy and the incentive for all the teams.
By the way didnt you realise that the whole point of web blogs is to allow free comment and as such nicknames and anonymous posts is the order of the day!

Tam said...

Go to Scottish Curling Forum for more comments

peterdb said...

Anonymous - your idea is valid but while there is the level of funding currently available the coaches will always have a significant say in who is in the elite squad. Money talks and they are in the position to make the call. Whilst your theory would make for a potentially more transparent and equitable system it will not happen while the money is pouring in.
We must be grateful for the increased scope of the funding which now seems to be identifying individuals at various stages of their curling development not just those who have made it!
With the rules as they are no self-respecting coach would not include Murdoch and his team in the mix - gold World and Europeans and a Finnish draw to the button from the Olympic final speaks for itself.

Bob - great site!