After a fast-paced pilot season, Curling Alberta is excited to announce the details of the Excel Team Program for 2019-2020. “We were really pleased to get things off the ground last season, and to have been able to work with so many fantastic curlers and coaches,” says Excel Program Director, Rob Krepps. “At the same time, we were able to figure out a number of things that should help us to make an even bigger impact moving forward.”
One of the key changes for 2019-2020 is related to the size and composition of the Excel Team Program. More specifically, in order to give our teams the time and attention that they deserve, we have decided to focus on a total of 15 teams. This total will include three male and three female teams in the U18 category, three male and three female in the U21 category, along with one male, one female, and one mixed doubles team in the U26 category. Furthermore, in an effort to ensure that the most deserving teams are included, Curling Alberta has eliminated the regional quotas that were in place during our pilot season.
Another key change to 2019-2020 to the Excel Team Program involves the addition of weekly programming for those teams with all members based in the greater Calgary, Edmonton, or Grande Prairie areas. More specifically, these teams will have the opportunity to join us at the Excel Training Centre in their region (i.e., Okotoks Curling Club, Saville Community Sports Centre, and Grande Prairie Curling Centre) on a weekly basis in the after-school/after-work timeframe. With this said, teams that are unable to make this new option work geographically will continue to be accommodated by way of training days on selected weekends.
Regardless of whether they are part of our weekly or weekend programming, all Excel teams will benefit from more focused attention in 2019-2020. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time with each team,” says Regional Coach, Atina Ford Johnston. “It was great to work with as many curlers and coaches as we did last year, but at the same time I’m excited to be able to go deeper with a smaller number of teams this year.” And, this same sentiment is shared by the other members of our Excel Coaching Staff, including returnees Renee Sonnenberg and Garry Coderre, and our newest addition, Jeff Hoffart.
Teams will qualify for the Excel Team Program by way of a comprehensive points system known as the Excel Points Race, which will be used for a number of different purposes. However, in order to ensure that the most deserving teams are included in the 2019-2020 Excel Team Program, we have used the Excel Points Race formulas to calculate points for all U18, U21, and U26 teams (and individual curlers) from the 2018-2019 season. Therefore, teams will qualify for the Excel Team Program on the basis of their aggregate individual point totals from 2018-2019.
“It is very important to us to ensure that entry into the Excel Team Program is based on merit, and is transparent as possible,” says Curling Alberta Executive Director, Jill Richard. “That’s one of the main reasons why we’ve worked so hard to develop the Excel Points Race, and to pull together the most accurate standings that we can from last season.” All relevant information is now posted on Curling Alberta’s website. To register your team for consideration for the 2019-2020 Excel Team Program by the July 3, 2019 deadline, please CLICK HERE.