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Scotland to host four major Curling Championships

on 23-12-2014 11:09

Scotland’s Winter Paralympic and Olympic medal-winning curling skips Aileen Neilson (wheelchair bronze), Eve Muirhead (women’s bronze) and David Murdoch (men’s silver) came together today (Tuesday 23rd December) at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow to celebrate the monumental announcement that the World Curling Federation has awarded Scotland – the home of the sport – four international curling championships from 2016 to 2020.

The prestigious series of events will begin in 2016 with the European Championships at Braehead Arena and Curling Rink followed by the World Junior Curling Championships at Curl Aberdeen in 2018, the World Wheelchair Curling Championship at The Peak in Stirling in 2019 and climaxing with the World Men’s Curling Championship at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow in 2020.

This ambitious and unique multi-event package presents a long term commitment to the sport by the national governing body for curling in Scotland, The Royal Caledonian Curling Club, and its bidding partners EventScotland and UK Sport, and key Local Authorities of the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Aberdeen and Stirling. The events will form part of EventScotland’s International Events Programme and UK Sport’s Gold Event Series.

Significant partner funding has been secured across all four championships and this collaborative approach aims to take the sport to the next level in Scotland by delivering a series of events to the highest possible standard and promoting wide spread public participation and engagement.

In 2009 the European Curling Championships in Aberdeen generated around £1 million for the Scottish economy and it is hoped that this impact will be exceeded at both the 2016 Europeans and 2020 World Men’s.

 “I was inspired when the Scottish team won gold at the 2005 World Wheelchair Championships at Braehead and have now represented Scotland at six world championships. Having a championship on home ice will be a great opportunity to inspire others into curling.” Aileen Neilson

Aileen Neilson says, “I was inspired when the Scottish team won gold at the 2005 World Wheelchair Championships at Braehead and have now represented Scotland at six world championships. Having a championship on home ice will be a great opportunity to inspire others into curling”.

Just returned from victory in the first-ever Women’s Canadian Open – her second Grand Slam event win of the season – Eve Muirhead commented, “the appetite for curling in Scotland is at its highest for years, following the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Bringing international events to Scotland will showcase the sport and inspire future generations”.

David Murdoch, twice a world champion and three times a European champion, said, “what better place to have a world championships than in curling’s home in Scotland? With the examples of the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, we have shown we know how to put on events with great facilities and hospitality. Curlers who come here to compete at these events will feel the passion of the Scottish crowds”.

WCF_Logo_NOV_2009Speaking about the four-event package, WCF President Kate Caithness said: “We are delighted to confirm this multiple host agreement with Scotland. Securing all four locations is a massive boost to the sport, not only internationally but particularly within Scotland as they look to build on interest in curling generated around the time of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We will be working hard with the RCCC, event partners and the four organising committees over the next few years to ensure all of these events are a success”.

"The real work begins now, as we start turning these ambitious plans into exciting events. From today we will start working with new partners, sponsors and volunteers to deliver four successful events across Scotland over the next six years." Bruce Crawford

Bruce Crawford, CEO of The Royal Caledonian Curling Club added, “We are delighted that Scotland has been awarded these four international curling championships by the World Curling Federation. The bid process has been a collaboration with our partners and the real work begins now, as we start turning these ambitious plans into exciting events. From today we will start working with new partners, sponsors and volunteers to deliver four successful events across Scotland over the next six years.

The events give us the opportunity to showcase our best talent and will provide sports fans with the chance to watch world class sport on home soil. The established TryCurling programme will be used to bring a lasting legacy for curling by attracting thousands of new people to the sport in the 22 ice rinks that we currently use.”

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Scottish Government Sports Minister, said, “In 2014, Scottish curlers had phenomenal success on the world stage, particularly winning medals at the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi. So it’s tremendous news that from 2016 Scotland will host four of the world’s major curling events in our world class facilities.  Hosting these events will raise the profile of the sport and give our curlers a huge opportunity to compete in front of their enthusiastic and patriotic fans here in Scotland, the home of curling, which I hope will encourage more people try their hand at this wonderful sport.”

Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, concluded, “This was a really innovative bid spanning both World and European competition and Olympic and Paralympic disciplines and will help build on the outstanding success of Curling and Wheelchair Curling at Sochi 2014.

This latest success means championships have now been secured right through to 2020 demonstrating our long term commitment to building an enduring legacy for the UK as a great host of international sport. It also marks a major milestone for our National Lottery funded, Gold Event Series, which has now secured more than 50 world class sporting events to inspire the nation.”

To kick off the series, the 2016 European Curling Championships will take place at the Braehead Arena and Curling Club between 19th and 26th November 2016.

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