Optimist U-18
 

 WHO WE ARE

 

This web-site archives the progress of the Optimist International under-18 curling championships. The event began in 2001, primarily due to the efforts of Bill Hans (Calgary Youth Curling Association). In essence, Bill and a handful of others formed the "Steering Committee" which oversees the continuation of the event. The actual event is conducted by a Host Committee. 

In several parts of Canada, certain curling coordinators saw the need to promote a younger aged developmental process in order to generate more interest in curling and in competition. While these had some local success; it wasn't until a curling symposium held in 1999 that most recognized the time to move forward had arrived. 

In 1989, the Optimist Junior Interclub in British Columbia, Canada undertook to provide an opportunity for youth curlers to build teams and develop skills outside regular league curling in a competitive structure. The Calgary Youth Curling Association (CYCA) who concurrently promoted youth competitive development, attended and participated in a Junior Coordinators Symposium in Richmond, British Columbia during April, 1999. Success stories were presented at the Symposium by representatives from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The theme “Where did we go right?”, caught on and inspired. The CYCA subsequently held a forum in Calgary in June, 1999 to further the vision of national juvenile curling championships. Representatives were invited from all curling provinces and territories. The forum was intense and a number of hurdles were identified but consensus in enough areas was reached that the inaugural championships were conceived and scheduled in Calgary for 2001. Atlantic Canada also began their regional event. 

Following feedback from the players, some significant problems and issues were sorted out to create an overwhelmingly successful 2002 event, again in Calgary. A followup youth forum initiated by the CYCA, was held in Calgary November, 2003 to solidify our direction and goals. 

In 2003, with the support of many local Canadian Optimist International club sponsorships, the Championships took a giant step by inviting international teams to the 2003 Optimist International Juvenile Curling Championships hosted in Cloverdale/Langley, BC. A second hosting in 2004 by the Cloverdale/Langley group saw 24 teams from Canada, United States and Japan! The event was also named Optimist International Curling Championships, as it remains today.

The 2005 and 2006 events were held in Calgary to build upon the success of the event. In 2006, Japan and Korea competed for the right to attend; and the United States consented to limit their participation to three teams for each gender. Also, the Steering Committee agreed to temporarily permit teams from both Ontario and Northern Ontario. 

For the 2007 & 2008 events, the competition moved to Winnipeg. Nova Scotia requested and was granted representation with the understanding that the spot received would first be offered to the Atlantic Canada winners (previous year). 

For 2009 & 2010, the event moved to Regina, Saskatchewan. The Yukon women returned to our event and accredited themselves extremely well.  The event went to the Greater Toronto area (GTA) for 2011 and 2012.  New Brunswick represented the Atlantic region for the first time. The Host clubs and committee members acquitted themselves well. 

The event returned to British Columbia (Surrey & Langley) for 2013 and 2014. For 2015 & 2016, the event returns to Alberta, specifically to Edmonton.