Beijing 2022 Strategy
The Beijing 2022 Strategy is the strategic, operational and structural plan for British Curling and is informed and underpinned by the What it Takes to Win (WITTW) model for curling.
It was updated over the first 18 months of the Beijing cycle, taking into consideration the findings highlighted within the Independent Post PyeongChang (2018) Review (IPPR) of the British Curling Olympic Programme and Performances, co-commissioned by British Curling, UK Sport and the sportscotland Institute of Sport, conducted by an Independent Review Panel in July 2018.
The updated strategy recognises where British Curling’s athletes and teams are positioned ahead of Beijing 2022, while also taking into account the fundamental rule change (‘5-rock rule’) made by the World Curling Federation (WCF) that has resulted in a more offensive style of play on the international stage.
As a governing body we are fully committed to ensure our organisation is fit for purpose and one which is wholly focussed on pursuing our ambition to consistently deliver medal success at world level now and in the future.
British Curling’s leadership and governance is responsible for the following objectives:
- The strategic direction of and leadership of activities directly related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- All financial matters relating to British Curling including receiving any awards should they be forthcoming from UK Sport, sportscotland or any other interested party who may wish to invest in British Curling's Olympic and Paralympic success.
- The employment and management of staff within the Governing Body.
- The management of contracts and agreements relating to specialist services and expert support as required.
- Oversee and manage all international tournament selections that relate to, or directly affect, selection to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The approach to selection will be to select the strongest athletes for the programme throughout the Olympic and Paralympic cycle to maximise the opportunity to qualify and compete for medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Three pillars of What It Takes To Win model – Tactics, Shot-Making and Readiness
The application of the three pillars of the What It Takes To Win (WITTW) model – Tactics, Shot-Making and Readiness can be seen across all aspects of the programme and especially in athlete development. These three pillars drive the coaching and support services support delivered to athletes and teams.
Vision – To be the world’s leading curling nation
Mission – To drive excellence in performance both on and off the ice
• 1-2 Medals at Beijing 2022 Olympic Games
• Two Men’s and two Women’s teams achieving a Top 6 ranking of Olympic nations at the end of each WCT Rankings season
• 1-2 medals at European Championships each year
• 1-2 Grand Slam of Curling titles each year
• 1-2 medals at World Championships each year
• Men’s, Women’s, Mixed Doubles teams qualify for Beijing 2022 Olympic Games by end of 2021 season
• 1-2 medals at World Junior Championships each year
• Measurable progress across the programme aligned to the WITTW model
The evolution of the WITTW model is fundamental to our success and to drive excellence in performance, British Curling is underpinned by effective and efficient policies, procedures and financial management. The Executive Performance Director is supported by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), coaches and other specialist staff provided through a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with sportscotland Institute of Sport, which includes cover to programme curlers across all disciplines on both the Olympic and Paralympic programmes.
Together with the necessary information and tools to promote individual excellence, we develop appropriate on and off ice behaviours, through clarity in process and purpose ,to ensure a positive and inspirational culture from board to athlete.
British Curling’s strategic and operational approach to athlete support and development is aligned to our Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games (PWG) objective. Our Paralympic wheelchair curling programme is underpinned by the WITTW model and is supported by UK Sport’s Medal Support Plan (MSP).
This funding from UK Sport is combined with additional support from the sportscotland Institute of Sport.
Wheelchair curling as a Paralympic discipline has some key differentials from the Olympic disciplines:
- No sweeping - so the direction and weight cannot be changed after delivery.
- The WCF/IPC rules dictate that the team on the field of play must be of mixed gender at all times (WCF Rule 13).
Performance Target → To medal at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games
Competition Milestone Targets
2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championship: Top 4
• Teams ranked 1-2 after RR progress straight to Semi Final
• Where appropriate progression through Qualification Game delivering winning performance when it matters
• 2 opportunities to win a medal (Gold Medal Match or Bronze Medal Play-Off)
With clarity of investment through to Beijing 2022, British Curling has been able to establish a structure that provides clear leadership and support to the wheelchair curling programme that will allow us to translate this Medal Support Plan into action.
Joined up approach
In each of the past three Winter Olympic/Paralympic cycles there has been a strong partnership between UK Sport, British Curling, the sportscotland Institute of Sport and Scottish Curling, outlined within a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU has been reviewed and updated to ensure a closer alignment and more effective governance arrangements between the parties. As a result sportscotland has continued to invest in Performance Foundation (PF) for this period in its new Corporate/Business Strategy and in a recent change PF support is now delivered by British Curling across the Olympic and Paralympic programme.
The Scottish Curling Academy which was implemented during this cycle provides a pathway into both the Olympic and Paralympic programmes. The Scottish Curling Paralympic Academy is a Development Programme which will be delivered in partnership with British Curling that aims to invest programme support in athletes who are fully committed to a Development Programme with the prospect to progress to the Paralympic Performance Programme. In addition to this, British Curling is establishing a Paralympic Transition Academy to further enhance our pathway and programme delivery to maximise success within the international landscape of the sport.
The future of the British Curling Performance Programme relies on an efficient and effective pathway. The alignment of the pathway to the British Curling World Class Plan (WCP) has improved significantly during the Beijing cycle, but we must continue to ensure that knowledge and effective practice is shared across all elements of the pathway.
British Curling separated from sportscotland - who had hosted the programme since its inception- on 1 April 2020. Whilst such changes should not impact on the athletes, or what happens on the ice, behind the scenes noticeable change took place. This included:
- The Executive Performance Director being recognised as the Accountable Officer for the UK Sport investment (circa £1.3M per annum).
- UK Sport investment is now made directly to British Curling (previously the award was made to sportscotland).
- British Curling met the required status under the “Code for Sports Governance” – the UK Sport led quality assurance structure. Without that status, investment would not have been feasible. The Code addresses structure, function, recruitment of Board Directors, strategic, management and financial procedures as well as a full external annual financial audit. .
- Staff employment was transferred from sportscotland to British Curling.
- New IT systems introduced that are bespoke to British Curling’s needs.
- Relocation of the British Curling Office to the National Curling Academy.
The relationship between British Curling and sportscotland, who have been generous and supportive hosts for many years, may have changed, however sportscotland expertise (and staff time) remains central to the delivery of the British Curling programme. Areas such as physical preparation, medical support, performance analysis, nutritional advice, lifestyle support (and others) are delivered by sportscotland staff. The delivery is now managed by a Service Level Agreement between British Curling and sportscotland. The SLA acts a contract for services – based on time and required expertise and enables both parties to plan with assurance for the year(s) ahead.
There are other relationships that are central to British Curling and how we operate. The Members of British Curling (as defined in the Articles of Association) are English Curling, Welsh Curling (both of which also represent their wheelchair curling bodies), Scottish Curling and Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association. The relationship with these member bodies is highly significant and whilst the Articles define that relationship in formal terms, enhancing the interaction and joint working is a clear objective.
The relationship between Scottish Curling and British Curling is particularly close. A Memorandum of Understanding exists between the two bodies outlining the relationship and the mutual ways of joint working and collaboration. That Memorandum will be updated at the start of every Olympic/Paralympic Cycle (next due after the 2022 Games are completed) and it forms a central part of the application for investment from UK Sport. It also currently confirms that British Curling is responsible for the “Scottish and British Curling Pathway”, which is why British Curling leads on delivery of the Performance Foundation programme (a Scottish only programme funded courtesy of investment from sportscotland), on behalf of Scottish Curling.