The application for the 2017 Junior program is up at this link. http://orienteeringusa.org/us-teams/junior/junior-...
Please forward this to any junior interested in stepping up to the next level. Every applicant makes one of the teams and will gain access to a community of juniors working towards common goals.
Here is the Official JTESC cover letter and rational for some of the changes.
The Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC) would like to invite junior orienteers who are members in good standing with OUSA (born in 1997 or later) to apply for the 2017 US National Junior Program. The US National Junior Program (USNJP) consists of two teams, the Junior National Team (JNT) and the Junior Development Team (JDT). Membership on each of these teams is a 10-month commitment, from January 1, 2017 through October 31, 2017.
In 2017, all applicants who meet the basic requirements will be accepted to the JDT. JDT members who meet the JNT performance criteria will be given the option of joining the JNT. There will be no limit on the number of athletes named to the JNT.
This year, JTESC is introducing points for JNT membership to the JWOC Selection Criteria, as a strong incentive for athletes to commit to year-round training by adherence to the JNT membership criteria. US JWOC team members will be selected from the pool of JNT athletes who have declared their intent prior to the JWOC team trials, based on the JWOC Selection Criteria.
Our goal is to build a large and strong base of American Junior orienteers from which the best JWOC team possible will be selected. We believe that the Performance Targets for membership on the JNT will allow athletes to demonstrate athletic potential and their commitment to the sport and their development as an orienteer. We further believe that a group of athletes who bond as a community and train as a team will perform better than a group of individuals who come together to train for a short time immediately before the JWOC competition.
To help cover the costs of the Junior training program, we have instituted a graduated application fee of $100 for JDT membership plus an additional $100 when accepted to the JNT. JDT membership provides access to monthly team conference calls, weekly group training calls, and course reviews at National meets. JNT membership further provides personal training plans from the Junior National Coach. JTESC will continue to subsidize national training camp registrations for JDT/JNT members.
Financial hardship should not be a reason to not apply to the Junior program. Athletes are encouraged to ask their local club for support, to hold a fundraising event, and to inform coach Erin Schirm or JTESC that financial support may be needed.
We expect that members of JDT and JNT will be committed to their improvement as orienteers, will follow training plans set by local or national coaches, will participate in team fundraisers, and will contribute to their local clubs and OUSA. We ask local clubs to encourage their strongest athletes to apply for the USNJP, to help them find a local coach, to provide opportunities to contribute to their club, and to offer financial support to those in need.
Please contact US Junior National Coach Erin Schirm with any questions at: (firstname.lastname@example.org).