Solway Sharks were thrilled when the Great Britain Ice Hockey Under 18s team was announced recently as young defenceman Kell Beattie, who joined the club from Belfast Giants this season, was named in the team heading off to Tallin in Estonia next month to take part in the IIHF World Championships. 18-year-old Kell, who has also iced with the Elite League Giants team this season, will experience his first taste of GB competition in Tallin, having been named as a reserve for the GBU20 team in December.
GB will fly to Helsinki ahead of the tournament for a training camp and challenge games, before arriving in Tallinn on 1st April ready for their opening game against hosts Estonia two days later. The competition sees them also take on Korea, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia and Estonia from 3rd to 9th April.
Kell told us, “It is a really big honour for me, and for my family, to take my place representing Great Britain at this year’s World Championships. Being selected for GB has been one of my lifetime goals and I’m glad I’ve achieved it. I am looking forward to getting to the tournament and getting started with my teammates and the staff.”
Sharks Head Coach Martin Grubb commented, “It is a tremendous honour for Kell and also for our club to have another player represent Great Britain in a world championship. We are proud of him and also Peam Stenton who is also making the trip as the team’s equipment manager. Kell has done great for us in his first senior season and is now really well adjusted to the senior game and also the way we want to play and I’m sure that will stand him in good stead for this tournament. He really gets the best of both worlds as he skates with the Giants during the week and then comes over to train with us and get his game time in the NIHL and it’s really helped his development as a player and also as a person. He works extremely hard, and he is a credit to himself, his family and the club and we all wish him the very best of luck as both he and Peam head to Estonia to try and win the gold medal.”
Photo Credit Helen Hobbins Photography