2010 Ford World Women’s Championship to Canada

The 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship will be held in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada on March 20-28.

The 12-team competition will be contested at the Credit Union i-plex, a curling rink/hockey arena complex which underwent a CDN $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 Mueller.

“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 Canadian Curling Association.

“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, the 1982 Canadian Junior Men’s and the 1993 Canadian Mixed.

“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.

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 drops 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.

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

Saskatchewan has also hosted previous world championships. In addition to the 1983 world women’s, the province also staged the 1973 and 1983 world men’s (Silver Broom) 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 again separated, 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.

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.

In addition to the 2009 Ford Men’s Worlds in Moncton, Canada will host two additional world championships this season. The 2009 World Wheelchair Curling Championship (in February) and the 2009 World Junior Curling Championships (in March) will both be contested at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Curling venue, the Vancouver Olympic Centre.