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Swift Current to stage 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship

The 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship will be held in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, March 20-28, it was announced today by the World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Canadian Curling Association (CCA).

The 12-country competition will be played at the Credit Union i-plex, a curling rink/hockey arena complex which underwent a $15 million renovation in 2007. The arena will seat approximately 2,400 for the championship, along with a number of corporate suites.  It will mark the second time that a world women’s curling championship has been held in Saskatchewan.   In 1983, the event took place in Moose Jaw and was won by Switzerland’s Erika Müller.

“The World Curling Federation is extremely pleased to be bringing the 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship to Swift Current, an area known for high interest in the sport of curling,” said Les Harrison, WCF President.   “It has been many years since we have had a championship in the province of Saskatchewan and with an excellent facility in Swift Current, it promises to be a world class event. The province has a proud tradition of supporting curling events and we look forward to working with the local organizing committee in the coming months as the excitement builds for 2010.  We will no doubt see many top teams here following Vancouver’s Olympic Winter Games.”

“This past year, the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Vernon saw record TV viewership numbers, along with some of the most memorable curling on display, culminating with Team Jones’ gold medal victory,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the CCA.  “Canada will again play host to the Ford World Women’s in 2010 and the Canadian Curling Association has high hopes for another successful event.  To do so, we need a strong curling community with passionate fans. We believe we have found a perfect fit to these requirements and feel that Swift Current will put on a marvellous championship. I congratulate everyone involved in bringing this event to Saskatchewan.”

Swift Current, located in southwest Saskatchewan, has a population of 17,000 and is home to the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos and Saskatchewan Major Baseball League’s Swift Current Indians.  It has also hosted several Canadian curling championships in past…the 1975 Canadian Senior Women’s, 1982 Canadian Junior Men’s and 1993 Canadian Mixed.  This season, it will hold the SaskPower Scotties Tournament of Hearts provincial championship, January 28-February 1, 2009.

“In our 15th year as partner to the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, Ford of Canada is proud and honoured to be title sponsor of the 2010 championship, which will take place in the great city of Swift Current,” said Dean Stoneley, Vice-President of Marketing, Ford of Canada.

“We are very excited that our curling club and city have been chosen to host this prestigious international event,” said Barbara Walter, Chair of the Host Committee.  “We are looking forward to providing our wonderful southwest Saskatchewan hospitality and the best in curling competition to all our visitors.”

The format for the Ford World Women’s is a round robin amongst the 12 nations, with the top four teams qualifying for the Page Playoff system, whereby the first and second teams meet in the 1 vs 2 game, with the winner advancing to the final.  The loser goes to the semi-final to meet the winner of the 3 vs 4 game in order to determine the other finalist.   The bronze medal game, reintroduced last season, pairs the semi-final loser against the loser of the 3 vs 4 game.

As usual, television coverage will be extensive, both nationally and internationally, with TSN in Canada and WC TV, the television arm of the World Curling Federation, offering game feeds and daily highlight packages.

Saskatchewan has also hosted numerous Briers and Scotties Tournament of Hearts.  In addition to the 1983 world women’s, the province also staged the 1973 and 1983 world men’s in Regina.

Tickets for the 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship are expected to go on sale in March of 2009.

The world women’s championship began in 1979 in Perth, Scotland and was contested separately from the men’s championship through 1988. During that time, the women’s event was held twice in Canada, in 1983 in Moose Jaw and 1986 in Kelowna.

In 1989, both championships were combined for the first time in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and remained so through 2004.   During that time, Canada first hosted the joint championships in 1991 in Winnipeg, followed by five Ford World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships (Brandon, 1995; Hamilton, 1996; Kamloops, 1998; Saint John, 1999 and Winnipeg, 2003).

Beginning in 2005, when the men’s and women’s world championships were separated once again, the Canadian Curling Association agreed to alternately stage a men’s and women’s event in Canada each year.

Since then, the Ford World Men’s has been held in Canada in Victoria (2005), Edmonton (2007) and will be staged in Moncton, April 4-12 in 2009.  The Ford World Women’s enjoyed tremendous success in 2006 in Grande Prairie, Alberta and in 2008 in Vernon, British Columbia.

Canada has won a leading 15 women’s world titles since 1979, the latest by Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones in 2008.  Among other world women’s records, Sweden’s Elisabet Gustafson is the only four-time winning skip (1992, 1995, 1998 and 1999) while two-time (1990, 1991) world champion Dordi Nordby of Norway is the all-time leader in appearances (18 in total, 16 as skip) and games-won (111, as skip).

The Ford Motor Company of Canada began its involvement as title sponsor of the world curling championships in 1995 in Brandon, Manitoba.

Sites and dates for various championships/events in Canada in the 2009-2010 season confirmed to date are now as follows: the Pre-Trials qualifier in Prince George, British Columbia, November 10-15; Canadian Mixed, November 15-22 in Burlington, Ontario; Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, December 6-13 in Edmonton; M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, January 16-24; Scotties Tournament of Hearts, January 30-February 7 in Sault Ste. Marie; Tim Hortons Brier, March 6-14 in Halifax and Ford World Women’s, March 20-28 in Swift Current.

The curling competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver is set for February 16-27, while the world men’s championship will take place in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, April 3-11.

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For further information:

Warren Hansen
Director, Event Operations and Media
Canadian Curling Association
604-329-9850
whansen@curling.ca

Barbara Walter
Chair, Swift Current Host Committee
2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship
306-773-7488
mb.walter@sasktel.net