Last season, junior curling was given a boost with the launch of the European Junior Curling Tour. Three events took place, in Oslo, Inverness and Hamburg. Organised under the auspices of the World Curling Tour-Europe, the idea was for two junior men's teams and two junior women's teams from each country to match up at each venue, with a total of twelve boys' and twelve girls' teams at each.
It was a great idea, but, not surprisingly, there were a few hiccups in the first year. I wondered about the support the whole thing was receiving and even wrote, "Does it have a future next season?" I'm pleased to say that it does!
The new season is upon us, the WCT-e has been rebranded as the Curling Champions Tour, and the European Junior Curling Tour is off and running again. The first event is in the Snarøya Curling Arena in Oslo. Twelve junior women's teams and fourteen junior men teams from eight different nations will compete for the Radisson SAS Oslo Junior Cup(s). The format is group round robins, progressing to knockout on Sunday.
Teams competing in Oslo will gain points, with the 1st ranked team gaining 12 points, 2nd 10, 3rd 9, 4th 8, and so on. The European Junior Tour Champions will be the junior men's and junior women's teams with the best ranking after Inverness, November 13-15, and Thun, Switzerland, November 27-29. The Swiss venue, which has always had a successful and popular junior event, replaces Hamburg as the third tour venue this season.
There are four Scottish teams in the junior men's event. Colin Dick and Ally Fraser will bring their RCCC National Academy teams to Oslo, and the Hamilton McMillan and Jay McWilliam teams are also in the draw. Hannah Fleming's NA side is the only Scottish team in the junior women's competition.
I'll put a link up when I find where the results will be. I'll be looking first on the CCT site here.
Hannah Fleming pic is © Skip Cottage