The official launch for next year’s two World Championship tournaments in Dumfries have taken place.

Ice Hockey UK and Dumfries Council will host both the Women’s Division II Group A and the Under-18 Women’s Division I Group B competitions.

The U18 tournament takes place from 6th to 12th January 2019. GB are joined by France, Poland and China, as well as promoted Netherlands and Norway who were relegated from the second tier last season.

Meanwhile, Great Britain Women will play host to Australia, DPR Korea, Mexico, Slovenia and Spain from 2nd to 8th April 2019.

Dumfries councillor Adam Wilson, the council’s events champion, joined members of Solway Sharks women’s team to fly the flags for the World Championship.

The World Championships double-header is an incredible boost for the Dumfries Ice Bowl, British ice hockey and the economy of Dumfries and Galloway.

The two tournaments in total will generate more than £350,000 for the regional economy, from the funding the council receive for hosting the events.

The council spends the money directly with local hotels, coach hire companies and caterers to take care of the competing players, managers, tournament officials and volunteers when they are here.

Councillor Adam Wilson said: “I am sure the whole community will get behind these two World Championship tournaments and provide a warm welcome for the 11 countries that are coming to take part in elite women’s ice hockey.

“Ice sports are booming in Dumfries and hosting another two tournaments is another great testimony to the work of council staff and our investment in major events.

“These two tournaments are taking place during a quiet time of the year for visitors, so it is pleasing that this council and Ice Hockey UK initiative is creating such an impressive economic boost for the region.”

Andy French, general secretary of Ice Hockey UK, said: “The two World Championship tournaments provide the perfect opportunity to promote the exhilarating sport of ice hockey.

“It’s not just for men and the two Great Britain teams will really illustrate that there is a pathway for girls and women into the sport and, with dedication and drive, people can make it into their national team.

“I am looking forward to welcoming all the competing nations to Dumfries in 2019 and take in the quality of ice hockey they are sure to deliver.”

Tickets will be available for each match at the Ice Bowl or can be booked in advance online by clicking here.