Lethbridge, Canada Awarded 2012 World Women’s Championship

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) announced today that Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, will stage the 2012 World Women’s Curling Championship, March 17-25 at the 5,000 seat Enmax Centre.

It will mark the 12th time that Canada has hosted the World Women’s Championship since the event began in 1979 in Perth, Scotland. The last time it was held in Alberta was in 2006 in Grande Prairie.

“The World Curling Federation congratulates Lethbridge for the strong bid they put in to host the 2012 World Women’s Curling Championship,” said World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness. “We look forward to coming back to Alberta for another first class curling event. I would like to thank our Member Association, the Canadian Curling Association, for the work done in securing Lethbridge as the 2012 women’s championship venue.”

“With a brand new long-term partnership in place between the Canadian Curling Association and the World Curling Federation, it is great to see Lethbridge as the next host to the World Women's Curling Championship,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association. “Lethbridge has been a tremendous community for many major curling championships and the recently renovated Enmax Centre will serve as an ideal location for the best women’s curling teams in the world to showcase their talents in March of 2012.”

Ford of Canada has sponsored the world men’s and women’s championships since 1995, when the first Ford Worlds was held in Brandon, Manitoba. When the men’s and women’s championships were separated, beginning in 2005, Ford continued to be the title sponsor of the men’s or women’s event held in Canada each year. While Ford of Canada is currently in the final year of its title sponsorship under an existing contract, negotiations are ongoing regarding a possible renewal starting in 2012.

“When Lethbridge hosted the 2007 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, it proved our community’s willingness to work to make that event successful,” said Host Committee chair Jody Meli. “With the Canadian Curling Association, World Curling Federation and the City of Lethbridge backing this championship, we can’t wait to showcase Lethbridge as a community ready and able to host an event of this calibre.”

The 2012 World Women’s Championship will also earn Olympic qualifying points for the competing World Curling Federation member nations. Based on cumulative points earned for their finishes at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Women’s, the top nine countries (host Russia receives an automatic berth) qualify for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The 2011 Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship will take place from March 19-27 in Esbjerg, Denmark, while the Ford World Men’s Championship will be staged in Regina, Saskatchewan (2-10 April). The 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship will be held in Basel, Switzerland 31 March to 8 April. http://www.worldcurling.org