A dream has come true for 16 year old ice hockey starlet Megan Gourlay.
Megan has been included in the final Squad announced by Ice Hockey UK to represent Great Britain at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Under 18s World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament. The tournament is to be played at Dumfries Ice Bowl between the 6-12 January 2019.
Megan’s interest in ice hockey is so deep-rooted she was the only girl who played for the Solway Sharks Under 14s team when she took up the sport in late 2015. She quickly excelled and has been part of Scotland and GB training squads for nearly three years now. She plays well above her age group and currently turns out with Solway Sharks Under 20s and Great Britain Under 18s.
Megan said, “It feels great to be selected for Great Britain and to play for my country at my home rink. The coaches at the Ice Bowl have been really helpful and supportive and their encouragement has helped my development so much.”
Dumfries Ice Bowl is set to become the international focus for Women’s Ice Hockey in 2019.
Two World Championship tournaments are to take place within quick succession in the New Year, bringing eleven countries national teams to the town.
Great Britain Under 18s Women will play the Chinese Under 18 team, who are sure to create interest, and will also compete against France, Poland, the Netherlands and Norway in the January World Championship.
In April 2019 (2-8) Great Britain welcome the world – five far flung countries will descend on Dumfries for the second World Championship to be held at the Ice Bowl next year, the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Women’s Division 2A tournament. The national teams of Australia, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korean (better known as North Korea) and Mexico will make their way to the Ice Bowl to play the hosts, Slovenia and Spain to see which country gains promotion. Both World Championships are expected to be keenly contested with no clear favourites.
Councillor Adam Wilson, the Council’s Events Champion said, “Megan’s selection is thoroughly merited and she has a passion for ice hockey which is incredible. It is great that we have the facilities and coaching programmes to support her here in Dumfries and Galloway, and many young people benefit from the winter sports activities at the Ice Bowl. The Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2018-2021 opens up our region to the World and funds wonderful events such as this international ice hockey tournament.”
Andy French, General Secretary of Ice Hockey UK commented, “Dumfries is an important centre for ice hockey and Megan’s inclusion in the Great Britain Under 18s Squad for the upcoming World Championship is testimony to this. Ice Hockey UK is doing everything we can to promote the sport of ice hockey to girls and women and we hope that the two World Championships we are bringing to Dumfries in 2019 will lead to an increase in numbers in South West Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
Tickets will be available for each match at the Ice Bowl or can be booked in advance from the Midsteeple Box Office, Dumfries or online from https://www.icehockeyuk.co.uk/