The Ford World Curling Championships in 2004 has been awarded to Gävle (pronounced ‘Yeavlae’), in Sweden. That was announced today by Roy Sinclair, the President, when the Semi General Assembly of the World Curling Federation, WCF, was held at Hotel Christliches Hospiz in Oberstdorf, Germany. This will be first time in 14 years that the World curling championships will return to Sweden. In 1990 Västerås was the host city for both the men´s and women´s world curling championships. Earlier in 1977 Karlstad was hosting the men´s WCC and in 1985 Jönköping the world women´s championship was held.

Gävle is situated about 170 kilometres north of Stockholm and about 130 kilometres from the Stockholm international airport. A fast train connects the airport with the city of Gävle and the trip takes just a little more than one hour. Gävle has one of the best Swedish ice hockey teams, Brynäs, which is likely to advance to the play-off of the Swedish hockey championships. Then the organising committee for the 2004 WCC has to wait until the arena Gavlerinken is available. So the dates for the 2004 event will be as late as April 17-25.

Gävle tried to get the Ford WCC to 2002 but lost that bid to Bismarck, N.D, USA.

2003 and 2005 in Canada

For 2003 Ford WCC will go to Canada. The Canadian Curling Association, CCA, will later this winter make the final decision which city will be chosen.

It was also announced by the World Curling Federation, that both the 2005 Ford WCC and the 2002 World Junior Championships will be arranged in Canada. The venues for the events will be decided by WCF and the CCA.

Development projects

Per Näsman of Sweden, convenor of the Marketing and Development Committee reported that the new WCF Executive Committee has decided to grant 15 000 US$ as working money to host committees of World Junior Championships. WCF will also support international clinics and junior summer camps.

Kristian Soerum of Norway, convenor of the Programmes and Services Committee reported that the WCF will support development projects regarding clinics for skills, coaching, ice and umpires/umpires. Also the WCF will support associations and venues with lease of stones and ice scraping equipment.

Finally the World Curling Federation is working hard to establish curling on ice for disabled people. The first international wheelchair event was held last winter in Crans Montana in Switzerland. This winter similar events will take place in Surzee, Switzerland in January and in Solleftea, Sweden in March. The target for the WCF is to organise the first World Championships in wheelchair curling in 2002 and to get curling into the Paralympics.

For more information, contact Mike Thomson
Secretary General of the WCF
tel. +49 8322 7010,
Fax +49 8322 701516.