Glasgow keen to welcome curling’s elite
As the medal games loom at the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada, thoughts are already turning to next year and the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020, which will be hosted in the Emirates Arena, in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city.
The Emirates Arena, with a capacity of 6,500 and just over two miles from the heart of Glasgow, was constructed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, when it hosted badminton and track cycling. It has quickly established itself as a top-notch international sports venue, with such varied activities as tennis Davis Cup matches, the 2017 badminton world championships and the 2018 multi-sport European Championships taking place there. Most recently, last month, the 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships were successfully staged there.
Among the crowds following events in Lethbridge was a team from Glasgow Life, the local government’s organisation that specialises in staging these blockbuster events.
Colin Hartley is Head of Events for Glasgow Life and he shed some light on what curling fans can expect. “Glasgow has built a reputation for delivering world championship-level events over the last ten years or so, and we’re just delighted that curling is now going to be one of those sports. We’ve not hosted curling in the city of Glasgow since the Kelvin Hall in 1985 so we’re desperately keen to bring it back and deliver an event that will exceed expectations.”
He added, “We’re out here in Canada to see how ‘the Patch’ approach works, so we’re going to do something of that ilk in Glasgow. We’ve got a fantastic social and cultural scene in Glasgow anyway, so we want to get a bit of the Glasgow party spirit going. But first and foremost, we’re going to put on an amazing sports event – we’re not going to take our eye off the ball on the technical needs of the sport. We’re keen to deliver the best-ever world championship – that’s our goal.”
Colin and his team are also addressing the transport needs of the visitors and confirmed, “It’s great to come here and understand what curling fans are expecting, and for the fans who buy our package there will be a shuttle bus service.” He also acknowledged – and welcomed – those who would choose to come and volunteer to help run the event, “Glasgow has a fantastic volunteer network in place, but we know that the curling fraternity will want to come and join that, and we’re excited about offering opportunities to people all over the world. We’re already taking names and will have a recruitment process opening in June.”
The Emirates event is already shaping up to be something special and there was plenty of interest shown in Lethbridge. “We’re getting a phenomenal response and we know we’re going to have a massive number of visitors from Canada and elsewhere – we’re looking forward to welcoming them,” said Colin.
Next year’s men’s championship will be special for World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness too. She said, “The 2000 Championships in Scotland was an outstanding success and to think I’m going to be President when it’s in my own country… 20 years on – it’s going to be very special for me.”
She added, “When we had the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the volunteers made the event. Glasgow is known for being a friendly, friendly city and curlers… well, they’re special people. Glasgow… volunteers… curling – it’s just a recipe for success.”
The LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020 will run from Saturday 28 March until Sunday 5 April 2020 and will see 13 of the best teams from around the world compete for the world championship title.
To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the build up to the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2020 #curling