Hugh Millikin is one of the four candidates for the Presidency of the World Curling Federation ©WCF

World Curling Federation (WCF) Presidential candidate Hugh Millikin has said he is disappointed by the lack of female representation on the upcoming Board, promising to bring more gender equality to the governing body and improve the fan experience of the sport to improve revenue.

Canadian-Australian Millikin - who is currently a vice-president at the WCF - spoke highly of his fellow candidates for the Presidency, but said it was a step backwards to lose female representation on the Board due to the coming departure of leader Kate Caithness.

It would leave the Board with just one woman from eight positions.

"As much as I'm happy that we have four candidates running for President, I'm a little disappointed that we will end up with one less woman on the Board than we have going in," said Millikin, speaking exclusively to insidethegames.

"We haven't done a good job as a group of identifying and encouraging more women onto the Board because having one out of eight is simply not good enough.

"Our focus on diversity needs to be doubled and tripled. 

"My management style is trying to surround myself with different people, different views, different perspective.

"If they [women] haven't put their hands up, then we need to be more proactive."

Kate Caithness is set to stand down as WCF President in four days ©Getty Images
Kate Caithness is set to stand down as WCF President in four days ©Getty Images

Millikin also motioned for the two independent director positions - which can be added to the Board to make it up to a total of 10 members - should be given to women to create more diverse opinions.

A businessman in seven nations during his career, the Ottawa-born administrator has been involved in Australian curling for over 30 years, playing at the Olympics when it was a demonstration sport.

Since then, he has worked on the development of the sport in Australia, which led to Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt representing the nation for the first time in curling at the Winter Olympics, in 2022.

He has marketed his campaign on working as a smaller curling nation, while hailing from the largest one - having a different perspective on how to develop, as well as meet the commercial interests of the powerhouses.

Millikin believes his business experience can improve the interaction of curling, which rarely witnesses sell-out crowds at WCF events.

"Curling has struggled in that most events we don't have an atmosphere, we aren't packing the buildings," he added.

"Although our revenue streams from broadcast are doing OK, I think that lack of atmosphere in the building is a real problem. 

"Ticket sales help with revenue, but we have to improve this whole fan engagement model, using technology.

"We haven't done a lot of marketing of the WCF and curling in a way to dramatically grow our sponsorship revenue.

"Although the WCF has been successful financially, we've grown from 46 in 2010 to now 68 and I think we will be over 70 in the near future - and our revenue hasn't really kept pace with the growth of members.

"We need to find ways to create the revenue that the WCF has to invest more and help our members build the sport."

Nigeria is one of those nations who look set to construct a curling facility ©WCF
Nigeria is one of those nations who look set to construct a curling facility ©WCF

Millikin also made pledges to use technical delegates and project managers to help smaller National Federations get dedicated curling ice, stating the WCF would be involved more in the development of countries under his reign, if successful.

Diversifying the sport to new audiences through multi-sport events was also floated as an idea by the Australian.

Caithness is to stand down as President of the WCF after 12 years, having stood uncontested at the past two elections. 

She is set to resign after reaching the maximum term limit, at the WCF Annual Congress, scheduled for Sunday (September 11) in Lausanne.

Millikin is in a four-way battle to become President of the WCF, with fellow vice-presidents Norway's Bent Ånund Ramsfjell and Graham Prouse from Canada in the running alongside the United States' Beau Welling, who is a director at the WCF.