Jan 8th 2015 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:

    • Panthers (Fla.) Curling Club members hosted a great learn-to-curl session for 14 representatives of newest USCA sponsor Life Wear Technologies on Wednesday, which I was pleased to be able to attend to interact with Life Wear as well as the Panthers Curling Club.
    • Don’t forget that the first episode of Curling Night in America 2016 is on NBCSN tonight (10 p.m. ET). This episode will also re-air twice this weekend.
    • Interested in learning about coaching directly from Bill Tschirhart, author of “A Pane in the Glass?” Sign up for the WCF Coach Mentor Program by Sunday and receive a FREE hotel room in Jacksonville, Florida. This is a great opportunity for U.S. coaches to learn from some of the best in the sport. Registration is open to all dues paying members of the U.S. Curling Association, but also opens to coaches outside of the USA after Jan. 15.
    • The USOC’s NGB Tier Working Group that I am a part of met Wednesday and will meet a third time later this month. Plans are in place to gather further input from all NGBs, and an overall communication plan is also being developed.
    • USOC leadership conducted a webinar for the NGB Council on Thursday to outline the financial picture and resource allocation strategies for the 2017-20 period. (The NGB Tier Working Group is helping to define the resource allocation strategy.)
    • The USCA Men’s Challenge Round is underway at the Madison (Wis.) Curling Club.
    • USCA club membership information must be reported by Jan. 31 in order to ensure your club’s eligibility to vote on items important to member clubs at the 2016 USCA Members’ Assembly in Tempe, Ariz. 
    • All USCA member clubs are asked to complete a brief diversity survey as part of the annual  membership reporting. Only seven have completed the survey so far this season, so please encourage your club to provide this important information.
    • Application information for the Optimist U18 International Curling Championships has been distributed to regional presidents, members of the USA Curling Coaches Association, and promoted through social media. This program is an exciting opportunity for three boys and three girls teams (under age 18) to gain international curling experience and high level training.
    • The USA Curling SafeSport Handbook has been developed to protect athletes, volunteers, and staff while participating in events conducted under the auspices of the USCA. As part of this program, board members, staff, coaches and others must pass background checks and complete USOC SafeSport online training.
    • A Paralympic High Performance Camp is underway at Coyotes Curling Club in Tempe, Ariz.
    • The men’s HP White Team (led by Craig Brown) is competing in the Perth Masters, and the women’s HP Red (Nina Roth) and White (Jamie Sinclair) teams are competing in the Bernese Cup in Bern, Switzerland.
    • All seven USCA HPP teams competed in the U.S. Open in Blain, Minn., last week. The men’s White team finished second and the men’s Red (John Shuster) team reached the semifinals. On the women’s side, the women’s Red team reached the semifinals, as did USA’s Erika Brown rink. The HP women’s Blue team (led by Cory Christensen) was topped by Brown’s team in the quarterfinals.
    • The Men’s and Women’s Arena National Championships will be increasing to a possible 20 teams in each category this season. Pre-registration information is available on the website.
    • Curling in the Gym equipment shipped out to two locations in Wisconsin. If you are interested in teaching local youth about the sport in schools or community centers, you can borrow equipment through our online request form at no charge (clubs are responsible for shipping costs).
    • The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling host bid packet and request for proposals has now been released. The Trials are expected to take place on or about Nov. 12-19, 2017.
    • NBC VP of Olympic Programming Peter Diamond has called me several times over the past two weeks regarding their plans for TV coverage of the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

    What’s up next week:

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Jan. 17-23, 2016)

    • USCA Junior Nationals, Willmar, Minn., Jan. 16-23.
    • ACES Winter Conference, Jan. 19-21, Snohomish County, Wash.
    • USCA Operations Group meeting, Jan. 19.
    • Special USCA Board of Directors Meeting (by teleconference), Jan. 20.

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