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More on the New High Performance Plan

To SFBACC members,

As you know, the USCA has been holding town hall meetings to explain the High Performance Plan (HPP) that was created in 2008 and used last year to help prepare our Olympic teams. These meetings also cover the ongoing process to revise that plan, what it could mean for current and future athletes and how it relates to our funding from the US Olympic Committee.

Because MoPac (and Colorado and At-Large) are such large geographic regions and these meetings had to be scheduled on relatively short notice, I know it was impossible for most of our members to attend. Nonetheless, it's important for us to understand what's going on and have a chance to give feedback before the new plan is submitted to the USOC on Sept 1. Ideally, the USCA will hold its own online session, but because time is running short and I haven't heard an announcement about that, we need to look at other options for our region. Here are two:

1. Listen to an audio recording of a previous meeting - A member at the Granite Curling Club in Seattle made a recording of the town hall meeting held there and has posted it online. http://curlingseattle.org/members/ It's about 2 1/2 hours long and it gives you the chance to hear directly from USCA COO Rick Patzke. (I've only listened to a few minutes of it so far, but it sounds generally like what they covered at the SF meeting. FYI - the person doing the introduction is Seattle member/USCA board member James Pleasants.) You can then send any comments or questions you have directly to the USCA Elite Performance Committee.

2. Hold our own online meeting - We can hold an online meeting ourselves to go over the basic material then talk about what it might mean for MoPac/arena curlers. This would not be an official USCA town hall meeting, but I am a member of the Elite Performance Committee, so I do have at least some understanding of the program and process. From there, we can gather the comments and questions asked and send that to the committee, and/or participants can send them directly to the committee. I would probably do this using the free public internet broadcasting service, Ustream. We'd set up a chat/question/comment forum using that service or Twitter. I could do this on Saturday, Aug 7, from 2-4 pm (or maybe Sunday evening if that would work better.)

Whatever we do, it's important we act right away - a subcommittee of the Elite Performance Committee will be meeting sometime soon to write the final draft of this year's HPP to submit to the USOC by Sept 1. (I'm not on that subcommittee, but I'd guess it will meet next week.) The plan for the following four years will be submitted by Dec 1.

If you're interested in participating in an online broadcast/chat, please email me at gcurling@gmail.com by Friday night (8/6). (If there are only a few people interested, I can just call you personally.) To give feedback directly to the USCA, email Rick Patzke, rick.patzke@usacurl.org.

(A little bit about me: I started curling in San Francisco after the 2006 Olympics and served on the board of my club for a couple of years. I'm an active competitive curler and was in the '09 Olympic Trials and the '10 National Championships. I was able to get a spot on the USCA's elite performance this summer after asking lots of pesky questions at the USCA annual member meeting in May.)

Gabrielle Coleman
San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club