The Royal Club is to promote a new Under 14 Slam in conjunction with the rinks at Stranraer, Aberdeen and Braehead. It's an initiative which I think is first class. Judith McFarlane, the governing body's Development Manager, Club and Juniors, has been driving this idea for a while, and well done to her for getting it off the ground this season.
The three events are for curlers who were not yet fourteen years of age at midnight on June 30 this year. The competitions fill a gap that exists between the funspiels, and the Under 17 Slam events. The latter have become more and more competitive, and I have been really impressed by the standard of play. It has become harder for a new younger team playing in a U17 competition, especially so these days with the Royal Club Talent Programme in place and the events all oversubscribed.
The first U14 competition will be at Stranraer, December 17, the second at Braehead, February 18, and the third at Curl Aberdeen on March 3. Each competition will be played out in one day, and involve three four-end games, plus final. A minimum of eight teams is being looked for for each event. It is perfectly acceptable for teams to play in individual competitions. But if they want to be considered for the Slam prize, they must play in at least two of the three events.
Teams can be male, female or mixed, and all competitors must be Royal Club members. The entry fee per team is £50 per event, plus £20 for the slam, and will cover all the ice fees. Each event will have a prize provided by the host rink, and there will be a prize for the overall winning Under 14 Slam team.
So, spread the word!