British Curling has announced the athletes chosen for their performance programme for the 2016 to 2017 season as they bid to earn crucial qualification points ahead of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang in 2018.
The women’s teams have seen a considerable re-shuffle of personnel over the summer season with a new line-up for both Team Muirhead and Team Fleming.
Olympian Claire Hamilton has rejoined the programme along with fellow World Championship curler Sarah Reid, who will form part of a new team under Skip Hazel Smith which will also include Laura Ritchie.
The introduction of Mixed Doubles as an Olympic discipline at Pyeongchang 2018 has led to investment in the partnership of Bruce Mouat and Gina Aitken, who finished fourth at this year’s World Championships.
The men’s performance line-ups remain unchanged as Team Murdoch renew their rivalry with Team Brewster, who represented Scotland at the 2016 World Championships and Team Smith, who made their senior international debut at last season’s European Championships.
Seven athletes will compete for places in the Scotland team for the Wheelchair Curling World Championships in Pyeonchang, the last opportunity to earn qualification for the Winter Paralympics in the South Korean region.
British Curling Performance Director Graeme Thompson said: “This is a vital season principally because we have still to complete the task of earning qualification for Great Britain in all four disciplines for the forthcoming Winter Olympics and Paralympics, but also in terms of our teams preparing and positioning themselves for that challenge.
“While all the teams have particular competitions they want to perform well in, all are focused on World Curling Tour rankings, as a key aspect of bench marking their progress internationally.
“The players have selected their own teams, which we have then chosen to invest in.
"They have responded well to taking this responsibility and are now working through their plans for the season in particular, in terms of schedule and support staff, whilst in consultation with the programme.
"Ultimately it is their ambitions and goals to be achieved and the programme is here to guide and support them in doing so.”