Saint John to host World Women's Curling Championship in 2014
Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:45PM AST
One of the biggest events in curling is coming back to the Maritimes.
The Canadian Curling Association has given the nod to Saint John to host the 2014 World Women’s Championship - a big boost for the Port City’s curling community.
This is a return trip to Harbour Station; the city hosted a men’s and women’s championship in 1999.
“The 1999 event and the success we had with that, I think it’s a big part of why we have it,” says host committee chairman Jeff Lacey.
“Obviously our facilities and great volunteer base is a big part of our success.”
A lot has changed since Saint John hosted the event 15 years ago.
Interest in curling has soared internationally, particularly interest in women’s events.
“The women’s game has grown, significantly so,” says Greg Stremlaw, CEO of the Canadian Curling Association.
“It has its own brand and its own following and we’re seeing significant attendance factors across the country.”
Curling enthusiast Sandy Bastarache predicts the worlds will be a huge success and hopes it brings in even bigger events.
“I think that will open the door and maybe we’ll get the Briar, which we’ve never had here,” says Bastarache. “It comes to Moncton and it comes to Halifax, why can’t it come here?”
At ice level, local curling clubs also stand to benefit.
“Leading up to the event, everybody will be talking about it and will be getting interested in curling, so if that happens, the spinoff could be great for all the curling clubs,” says Mike Buckley, who manages the Thistle-St. Andrews Curling Club.
Saint John has more than a year to prepare. The event is slated for March 2014.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron