The 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, held last spring in Ottawa, Ont., has been named International Sport Event of the Year by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA).
The event beat out the ICF Junior and Under-23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Welland, Ont., and the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ont., for the honour, which was presented at the CSTA’s PRESTIGE Awards Luncheon on April 2 in Edmonton, Alta.
“This is a tremendous honour, and one the host committee in Ottawa is more than deserving of,” Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson said. “This event was a success from start to finish, and was a spectacular showcase of women’s hockey, of Ottawa, and of the passion Canadians have for hockey.
“As with any event held in Canada, none of it would have been possible without the support of sponsors, and so much of the credit goes to Hockey Canada’s corporate partners, as well as the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario, City of Ottawa and Ottawa Tourism for providing the foundation on which the tournament could be built.”
The top eight women’s hockey teams in the world converged on the nation’s capital from April 2-9, 2013, with the United States winning the gold medal with a 3-2 victory over Canada in the final.
The eight-day tournament at SBP Arena and the Nepean Sportsplex attracted 98,155 fans, the second-best attendance ever at the women’s world championship, and finished with a profit of just more than $500,000.
The legacy funds were shared between Hockey Canada, its 13 branches and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, and will be used for grassroots programming and to help continue to grow the women’s game across the country.
The 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship was run in partnership with Senators Sports and Entertainment and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, under the direction of Ottawa Senators president Cyril Leeder and OWHA president Fran Rider, who served as co-chairs.
Execution of the event required an army of hundreds of volunteers, who worked alongside general manager Valerie Hughes and the host committee to ensure a successful event, and showcase the city and province.
The tournament partnered with the OWHA provincial championships, bringing thousands of players from across Ontario into the Ottawa area and turning the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship into the largest celebration of women’s hockey ever hosted.
Many of the minor hockey players were in attendance at SBP Arena on April 5, and contributed to a women’s hockey attendance record of 18,013 for the Canada-Finland preliminary round game.
It is the third time an international event hosted by Hockey Canada has won a CSTA PRESTIGE Award; the 2008 IIHF World Championship and 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship were both named CSTA Sport Event of the Year for events with a budget of more than $250,000, in 2009 and 2007, respectively.
In addition, BHP Billiton was named CSTA Sport Event Sponsor of the Year in 2011 for its support of the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.