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September 12, 2022

World Curling Federation appoints Welling president, expands Recast streaming

Welling assumes the role having served as a WCF board member for four years.

By Stu Robarts

Beau Welling was yesterday (September 11) elected as the new president of the World Curling Federation (WCF) governing body.

Welling, a board member of the WCF since 2018, received 127 votes (52.7%) in the second and final round of voting on the last day of the organization’s 11th Annual General Assembly, which began on September 7.

During his first four-year term as a board member, which came to an end this year, he chaired the body’s structural review group.

Outside of the WCF, Welling is the founder and president of Beau Welling Design, a golf course design and development company.

He becomes the WCF’s 11th president and its second from the US, taking up the reins from Kate Caithness, who has come to the end of the maximum term limit of 12 years having been re-elected unopposed for a third term in 2018.

Caithness became the first female president of the WCF when she was initially elected in 2010 and leaves as the longest-serving president in its history.

During her tenure, she is credited with having grown the organization, been instrumental in the addition of wheelchair curling to the Paralympic program, and successfully steered the WCF through the coronavirus pandemic.

Welling said: “I feel an incredible sense of responsibility and at the same time an incredible sense of excitement about the future of curling. I look forward to working with our members to advance the sport of curling to higher levels and to continue the great work that Kate Caithness has done. I want to honor her legacy by continuing to drive the sport forward.”

Elsewhere, the WCF has announced that it is to expand its use of the subscription-free sports and entertainment streaming platform Recast during the 2022-23 season.

The WCF's Curling Channel on Recast was launched in November 2021 and has since generated over $65,000 in revenue (the federation’s sixth largest broadcast income stream), which the organization says allows it “to continue producing additional high-quality curling coverage.”

The channel has reached over 65 countries and built up an audience of over 21,000 followers.

Users can purchase casts or earn them by watching adverts, while WCF member associations can generate revenue and audiences by sharing their own Recast streams via the Curling Channel.

Among the coverage provided on Recast over the last season was the Olympic Qualification Event in December 2021, the World Women’s Curling Championship in March 2022, the World Men’s Curling Championship and World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in April 2022, and the World Junior Curling Championships in May 2022.

Among the other sports organizations using Recast are soccer's Inter Milan and Manchester City, motor racing’s World Touring Car Cup, and golf's DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour).

Of the intention to expand the use of Recast, Colin Grahamslaw, secretary general of the World Curling Federation, said: “We are pleased to continue working with Recast who are delivering an innovative solution allowing us to increase the coverage we can offer from our events.

"Broadcast coverage is expensive to provide, using the micropayment systems offered by Recast allowed us to provide additional coverage last season with more games from more sheets offered.

“This season we will continue to expand the coverage we can provide from our events and we will be looking to offer coverage from some of our events we have not previously broadcast.”

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