Curling's bright stars ready to raise sport's profile
WITH the election of a new president to the World Curling Federation, and the sport still riding high from its two-week peak during the Vancouver Winter Olympics, curling has never had a better chance to raise its global profile.
CRAZY TROUSERS: The Norweigan rink created headlines in Vancouver with their eccentric dress sense but all publicity is good publicity for the sport (Getty Images)
Scotland's Kate Caithness became the first British head of a world sporting governing body when she defeated Canadian Les Harrison, who was seeking re-election at the WCF annual meeting earlier in the month.
The former vice-president only decided to run when she was encouraged by members who felt it was time for a change and a fresh approach to the way international curling was run.
The sport enjoys a high profile in Caithness' native country with 22 curling rinks across Scotland and a men's team skipped by David Murdoch that were crowned world champions in 2009.
Caithness is proud that Great Britain is leading the way by appointing teenage skip Eve Muirhead to head up the women's team and wants to see more countries put faith in their up and coming stars.
And the new president believes it is only by giving more youngsters a chance that curling will ever be able to compete with more popular sports around the world.
"In Vancouver all of a sudden a lot of younger people were playing the sport and watching it and that's what we want to see," said Caithness.
"Eve Muirhead is a fantastic role model for the youngsters in Scotland and when they see people like her performing at the top level then that is good for the sport.
"We've also got Niklas Eden who is the current world champion for Sweden and he has already reached the highest level at a very young age.
"We often lose the younger curlers when they go off to university and it's important we get them back again.
"We need to attract youngsters into the game and by making curling more crowd-friendly we can do this."