Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic medal-winning curling skips Eve Muirhead, David Murdoch and Aileen Neilson joined the celebrations at the announcement that the World Curling Federation has awarded Scotland – the home of the sport – four international championships from 2016 to 2020.
Backed by UK Sport’s National Lottery funded Gold Event Series the championships 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.
Eve Muirhead, skip of the Sochi bronze medal winning Women’s team at Sochi 2014, said: “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, skip of the silver medal winning Men’s team, 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”.
Aileen Neilson, skip of the bronze medal winning Wheelchair Curling team said: “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.”
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 bidding 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.