MISSISSAUGA, ON--The Ontario Women's Hockey Association (OWHA) has been awarded the right to host the 2000 Women's World Hockey Championship, bringing together the top women hockey players in the world, the Canadian Hockey Association announced Tuesday.
The 2000 Women's World Championship will take place at the new, state-of-the-art Hershey Centre in Mississauga, with proposed satellite games in Toronto, Barrie, Kitchener, London, Niagara Falls, Peterborough and Oshawa, ON.
"The growth of female hockey, not only in Canada, but across the world gives tribute to the hard work of the dedicated volunteers, coaches, players and administrators that spend countless hours in creating profile and popularity for the women's game at all levels", said Bob Nicholson, President, CHA. "We are honoured to again be the host of this world class event."
The 2000 Women's World Championship marks the sixth staging of this International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) competition, this being the third time that Canada has been the event host. The first-ever championship was held in 1990 in Ottawa, and the OWHA held the Women's World Championship in 1997, in Kitchener.
"We are extremely pleased to be hosting one of the first events of the new century in Canada, and more specifically, in the province of Ontario", said Fran Rider, Executive Director of the OWHA. "The goal is for a successful championship, but more importantly, to expand the future direction of the game, promoting values, fun and friendship, at all levels."
Canada has been a gold medalist at all four Women's World Championships, and has never lost or tied a single game in the event. Women's hockey was a full medal sport for the first time at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, where Canada finished with a silver medal.
Both Canada's men's and women's teams have been very successful at IIHF events in the 1990's, winning 19 total medals, 13 of those gold. The next closest nation, Sweden, has 14 medals with 5 gold medals.
The OWHA bid committee consists of Fran Rider, the Executive Director of the OWHA, Pat Nichols, Vice President, OWHA, Hazel McCallion, Mayor of the city of Mississauga, ON, Ed Ratushny, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa and Keith McIntyre of K. Mac & Associates.
"The Canadian Hockey Association was extremely pleased with quality of bid presentations, and this made the task of selection a very difficult one", said Scott Smith, Vice President, Operations for the CHA. "We are very pleased that we have the opportunity to again host this event in Canada, and we congratulate the OWHA bid committee for a job well done with their presentation."
The OWHA bid includes the support of all of the hockey constituents of the region, specifically the Ontario Hockey Federation and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Ontario hosts also have the ability to draw from the large volunteer base and the knowledge gained from the hosting of the 1997 Championship.
A bid from Montreal, QC was in the final stages of the selection process, however, the OWHA was successful in securing the right to be the event host.
Participating teams, exact event dates, game schedules and ticket information will be forthcoming in early 1999 for this event that will be held in March-April 2000. The 1999 Women's World Championship will be played in Espoo, Finland, March 8-14, 1999.