Dumfries to host world championships

Dumfries Ice Bowl has been selected to stage the prestigious International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championships for men under 20 and men under 18 categories for the 2013/2014 season.

The Under-20 World Championships will take place from December 9 at Dumfries Ice Bowl and will welcome Great Britain as the host nation, along with France, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The Under 20 event will be followed three months later by the Under-18 World Championships, which will take place from March 24, 2014, and will welcome Croatia, Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania and Great Britain as the hosting nation.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s event champion, councillor Findlay Carson, said: “This is fantastic news and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the bid. Hosting these two world championship events will bring significant economic benefit to our region. We, as a council, are delighted that the capital investment we made in Dumfries Ice Bowl and the match funding that the Nithsdale Area Committee awarded to the championships, has enabled us to secure these events.”

Dumfries Ice Bowl successfully staged the Under 18 Female Qualifier last October. The event was a great success and the first world championship event to be staged in the region.

IHUK general secretary Andy French said: “This is fantastic news for British ice hockey to host two prestigious tournaments. To get one of the two would’ve been fantastic but to get both is truly amazing. A lot of effort was put into the bid and it is a great feeling to get this amazing news. We are thrilled to be going back to Dumfries. We had so much backing and support there in 2012 and the IIHF were very impressed with the tournament.”

The event staged in October last year brought in significant economic impact to the area from spectators to team staying and visiting the area. It is anticipated that the Under 20 and Under 18 event will draw in an even larger support with the local economy feeling the benefits.

The award of the events will mark quite a year from Dumfries Ice Bowl, which has already been successfully awarded the Curling World Championship in Mixed Doubles and Seniors to be staged in April 2014, meaning the facility will stage four world championship events in four months.