Stirling’s reputation as a high-profile sporting events location was further boosted after it successfully staged the World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
Picture shows the medal ceremony at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships, with Stirling Provost Christine Simpson representing the city.

In Sunday’s thrilling finale at the PEAK, there was a silver lining to celebrate for the home nation as Scotland were edged out 5-2 in the gold medal match by Paralympic champions China, with South Korea claiming bronze.

Despite being pipped for the title, it was still an excellent achievement for the hosts, skipped by Aileen Neilson, who stunned defending champions Norway 7-2 in the semi-final.

The prestigious international competition was live streamed on the Scottish Curling Facebook, with the final attracting over 18,000 viewers, and on the BBC Sport website, positively showcasing Stirling and the sport to a wide audience. 

Stirling Provost Christine Simpson represented the city at the medal ceremony as the curtain came down on the memorable week-long tournament.

She said: “After being involved in the opening ceremony, it was a privilege to return to the ice and help present the athletes with their medals as an exciting week of top-class sporting action came to a close.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to all the medal winners for their achievements and all the participants from nations all across the world who provided such superb entertainment in this fantastic facility at the PEAK.

“The success of the championships will add to Stirling’s growing reputation as a venue for major sporting events and we are now all looking forward to the return of the Stirling Marathon and half marathon next month.”

Participating athletes and event volunteers who have attended every World Wheelchair Curling Championship reported that attendances were the highest that they had ever seen, with four of the final five match sessions selling out.

Cllr Chris Kane, convenor of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee said: “The Championships were another great success story for Stirling, providing excitement for spectators and giving the city an economic and tourism boost as we welcomed visitors from around the world over the week.”

Cllr Maureen Bennison, vice convenor of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee added: “Having this international competition in Stirling enhanced our profile as a world-class sporting setting, while the success of the Scottish team added to the excitement around the city.”

The Scottish team is made up of skip Neilson, third Hugh Nibloe, second David Melrose and lead Robert McPherson. Gary Logan is alternate and Sheila Swan is the coach.

Neilson said: “We fought hard and we hoped to be in it until the end. There were a couple of loose shots and it could have been very different but we’re delighted to be on the podium on home soil – it’s fantastic.”

Three-time world champion, Norway skip Rune Lorentsen, claimed the 2019 Sportsmanship Award in her last ever international curling appearance. The accolade is given to those “who exemplify the traditional values of skill, honesty, fair play, sportsmanship and friendship” during the championship.

Next season, the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020 will be held in Wetzikon, Switzerland – about 30 kilometres south east of Zurich – between Saturday 29 February to Saturday 7 March.