Olympic Celebration Tour heads to Ireland for the first time

  • Great Britain’s Anna Sloan at PyeongChang 2018 Photos: © WCF / Richard Gray

The World Curling Federation has released the stops for the 2019 Olympic Celebration Tour.

The dates are:

14-18 January: Irish Curling Association, Dublin, Ireland
7-10 February: Black Swamp Curling Club, Bowling Green, United States
14 -16 March: Cape Cod Curling Club, Cape Cod, United States
17-19 March: Marlborough Curling Club, Westborough, United States

It’s no secret that after each Olympic Winter Games, curling sees a drastic boost of interest around the world. The Olympic Celebration Tour plays a vital role in ensuring the growth and development of curling continues at grassroot levels between Olympic Winter Games.

The tour aims to capitalise on curling interest in different areas of the world by bringing an Olympic curler to demonstrate hands-on introductory lessons. Alongside an Olympian, the World Curling Federation’s Competitions and Development Officers run the programme.

Darrell Ell, one of the World Curling Federation’s development officers, commented on the importance of continuing the Olympic legacy after the Games.

He said: “The Olympics are watched by the world, by everyone and it is that one time where curling is centre stage with the largest viewing opportunities. Once we have created the interest, it is important to provide people with the opportunity to try curling.”

“The OCT allows us to continue to keep the Olympic awareness in peoples’ minds. People of all ages want to meet an Olympian, hold their medal and have their photo taken and the OCT provides that opportunity.”

Ell will be kicking off the 2019 tour in Dublin, Ireland, for the first time alongside Great Britain’s Olympians Anna Sloan (2014 bronze medallist) and Michael Goodfellow (2014 silver medallist | pictured left above). He hopes the tour will be a step in the right direction towards getting the nation’s first dedicated curling facility.

“I think this is a great opportunity for Irish Curling and with school visits and the Try Curling sessions planned there should be some very positive stories written that should help them moving forward,” said Ell.

The following stops after Ireland will be in the United States, following the spike of interest in America after John Shuster’s Olympic gold in 2018.

The Olympic Celebration Tour first launched in October 2013 with support from The Foundation for Global Sports Development. Since then, the series has made 38 stops at curling facilities around the world to raise curling awareness through interactive sessions.

Ell continued, “We have testimonials from curling clubs where they have increased their membership by 100 per cent. Dedicated facilities have talked about the OCT being the single event they hosted that had the best results in attracting new members.”

For more about the Olympic Celebration or if you’re interested in hosting a stop visit, http://www.worldcurling.org/olympic-celebration-tour

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use #curling #wcfoct when posting.