International Women’s Ice Hockey Championships underway in Dumfries

Councillor Archie Dryburgh says the rink has the best ice in Scotland. Credit: ITV Border

The British teenagers who had the shortest distance to travel for the international women's world ice hockey championships in Dumfries had a disappointing start to the competition, but still hope to serve as an inspiration to young people in the local area.

The under 18's lost 3-1 to the Netherlands at the Dumfries Ice Bowl last night. 

Teams have also travelled to the Borders from Mexico, Latvia, Australia and Turkey. 

British winger Cassie McGregor, 15, from Dumfries, is excited to be playing an international tournament at the venue where she learned to skate. 

“It’s brilliant. Everyone can come and watch you and see you live your dream. It all started with an open day when I was seven and just went from there."

Her friends and family are looking forward to the tournament too. 

“Everyone is coming,” she said. “Pretty much the whole family.”

Teams from Australia and Turkey are among those who travelled to the Borders for the competition. Credit: ITV Border

It’s the eighth international tournament that’s been played at the venue and the second in four years. 

“What you’ve got here is one of the best council-owned ice rinks in the UK,” said Councillor Archie Dryburgh MBE, chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee.

“According to the experts who deal with the ice, we’ve got the best ice, definitely in Scotland and perhaps in the UK as well.” 

And with teams, support staff, fans and families all travelling to Dumfries to watch the girls there’s been a significant boost to the local economy, at a time when it is much needed. 

“January is a very low income part of the year for Dumfries, Cllr Dryburgh said. “The ice hockey teams, the visitors, the families, the supporters  all have to stay in hotels, they all have to use restaurants, we’ve got local coach companies who are brining the teams in and out of the ice bowl so there is a massive economic impact.” 

The council also hopes the Championships might inspire other youngsters in Dumfries to try ice hockey. 

 It was one of the biggest news stories of our time - and it's still not over. So what did Boris Johnson know about Downing Street’s notorious parties? With fresh revelations from our Number 10 sources, in their own words, listen to the inside story...