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Lethbridge Awarded 2012 World Women’s Curling Championship

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced that Lethbridge, Alberta will stage the 2012 World Women’s Curling Championship, March 17-25 at the 5,000 seat Enmax Centre.

Jennifer Jones of Team Canada at the 2010 Ford World Women's Curling Championship

It will mark the 12th time that Canada has hosted the World Women’s since the championship began in 1979 in Perth, Scotland. The last time it was held in Alberta was in 2006 in Grande Prairie.

“The World Curling Federation congratulates Lethbridge for the strong bid they put in to host the 2012 World Women’s Curling Championship,” said World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness. “We look forward to coming back to Alberta for another first class curling event. I would like to thank our Member Association, the Canadian Curling Association, for the work done in securing Lethbridge as the 2012 women’s championship venue.”

“With a brand new long-term partnership in place between the Canadian Curling Association and the World Curling Federation, it is great to see Lethbridge as the next host to the World Women’s Curling Championship,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association. “Lethbridge has been a tremendous community for many major curling championships and the recently renovated Enmax Centre will serve as an ideal location for the best women’s curling teams in the world to showcase their talents in March of 2012.”

Ford of Canada has sponsored the world men’s and women’s championships since 1995, when the first Ford Worlds was held in Brandon, Manitoba. When the men’s and women’s championships were separated, beginning in 2005, Ford continued to be the title sponsor of the men’s or women’s event held in Canada each year. While Ford of Canada is currently in the final year of its title sponsorship under an existing contract, negotiations are ongoing regarding a possible renewal starting in 2012.

“When Lethbridge hosted the 2007 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, it proved our community’s willingness to work to make that event successful,” said Host Committee chair Jody Meli. “With the Canadian Curling Association, World Curling Federation and the City of Lethbridge backing this championship, we can’t wait to showcase Lethbridge as a community ready and able to host an event of this calibre.

“The timing is perfect since we are able to host athletes and spectators in a newly-renovated venue. The fact that this is an international event, combined with our ability to build on our community’s enthusiasm for curling, is sure to make it a great success.”

Tickets are expected to go on sale in March of 2011. Canada’s team for the 2012 World Women’s will be determined at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, February 18-26 in Red Deer, Alberta.

Canada has won a leading 15 gold medals at the World Women’s since 1979, followed by Sweden with seven. Canada’s last victory came in 2008 in Vernon, British Columbia, when Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones defeated China’s Bingyu Wang in the final. Last year, in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Jones earned a bronze medal, as Germany’s Andrea Schöpp won her second world title, beating Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in the final.

The 2012 World Women’s will also earn Olympic qualifying points for the competing countries. Based on cumulative points earned for their finishes at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Women’s, the top nine countries (host Russia receives an automatic berth) qualify for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The CCA’s 2011-12 Season of Champions schedule in Canada has now confirmed the following events:

2011 Canada Cup, November 30-December 4, Cranbrook, British Columbia
2012 World Financial Group Continental Cup, January 12-15, Langley, British Columbia
2012 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors, February 4-12, Napanee, Ontario
2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, February 18-26, Red Deer, Alberta
2012 World Women’s, March 17-25, Lethbridge, Alberta

Still to be announced is the site for the 2012 Tim Hortons Brier.

Meanwhile, the 2011 Capital One World Women’s is scheduled for Mach 19-27 in Esbjerg, Denmark, while the Ford World Men’s takes place April 2-10 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

For further information:

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

Jody Meli
Host Committee Chair
2012 World Women’s Curling Championship
jody.meli@lethbridge.ca
403-330-1267