The World Curling Federation (WCF) has selected the Finnish national association to trial its first portable curling facility – an initiative that seeks to boost the global development of the sport.
The Finnish Curling Association won through as 16 locations were considered after the initiative was launched at the World Curling Congress in September last year. CopperHill Curling Club in Turku will be provided with a two sheet portable curling facility, created within an insulated tent, by the WCF.
WCF president Kate Caithness said: “The WCF has recognised that there is often a threshold in the process of building a dedicated curling facility, especially for new member associations. With that in mind, the WCF has initiated the portable curling facility programme. The intent of this initiative is to help our member associations overcome the financial barriers of building dedicated places to curl.
“We are delighted to trial this in Turku and are excited to see the benefits it can bring to the sport of curling in this part of Finland. We are confident that Finland can make this initiative work and will look to expand and develop the programme over the coming years for other member associations.”
Other bids came from Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Wales and the USA, with the latter pitching clubs in Colorado, Iowa, Philadelphia, Nevada and California.
Finnish Curling Association president Olli Rissanen said: “I don't have the words to describe how important this project is for curling in Finland. To keep the sport alive in the long run requires dedicated curling facilities where people of all abilities can play. With this facility we aim to get many more people involved in curling in Finland.”
Finland’s men finished fourth at the recent 2015 World Championship in Halifax, Canada – the first time the country has reached the play-offs since 2003.