Inverness will host one of three events which will make up a new tour for the top junior teams in Europe next season. The series has been organised by the World Curling Tour-Europe. The elite tour is designed for the best European junior teams to test their skills against their rivals on a regular basis in international competition.
Oslo will host the first tour event, October 24-26. Inverness will be November 14-16, and Hamburg will go ahead January 16-18, 2009.
There will be two junior men's boys and two junior women's teams nominated from all countries involved in the tour and the plan is to have a total of twelve boy's and twelve girls' teams at each competition. Which countries will take part is still to be decided by the board of the tour. If selection is based on finishing position at the World Juniors, there is no guarantee that Scottish Junior Mens' teams will be represented.
Based on its big brother and sister, the men’s and women’s WCT-e events, teams will collect points at all of the events for each of the top eight rankings. There will be a page on the WCT-e website dedicated to the juniors, with tour information, event information, international points and ranking, and team information.
The prize for the top teams in the junior tour is entry to the main WCT-e events the following season.
The EJCT Chairman, under the Supervision of the WCT-e, will be Sune Frederiksen (Czech/Denmark). In his committee at the moment are Ole Ingvaldsen (Norway) and Rhona Martin (Scotland) with more to be added.
Armin Harder, the WCT-e director, hopes that further expansion and development of the EJCT will take place in future seasons.
Not everyone will be happy, as the consequence is that there will be one less event for Scotland's aspiring teams to compete in. The Highland Junior International was looked forward to by domestic teams each season. The event has a great record for attracting foreign teams, and they are always well looked after by the local organising committee. Rhona has proposed that if there are spaces in a tour event the host nation can fill up the spaces. That will go a little way to quelling the discontent.
On other junior matters, there had been fears that there would be no junior event at Greenacres this season, as plans for a European Seniors Invitation come to fruition. However, dates early in the season, September 19-21, have been set aside for a junior competition at the Renfrewshire rink.
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