The UK will hold a round of the Women’s Olympic Qualifiers in Sheffield as Great Britain begin their bid to qualify for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.

The four-team tournament will take place at the Bauer Arena in iceSheffield from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th December and GB will face Netherlands, Spain and a qualifier from the previous round.

GB last hosted a round of the women’s Olympic Qualifying back in October 2021 with big crowds attending the event at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.

After breaking records for the first two games against Iceland and Slovenia, the record was broken again for the final-day showdown with Korea with nearly 2,000 in the building.

Ice Hockey UK CEO, Henry Staelens, said: “It’s really important that we took the opportunity to host this round of the Olympic Qualifiers.

“It further showcases our commitment in two critical areas. Firstly, GB Women, where we continue to invest and support their development.

“And also our intention to bring world-class ice hockey to the city of Sheffield and our home at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

“We are excited to be hosting this tournament in Sheffield and we are sure ice hockey fans across the country will come and support GB.

“We also look forward to welcoming staff, players and supporters from the Netherlands and Spain, as well as a third nation from the previous qualifying round.”

iceSheffield General Manager, Shaun Lough, said: “We are excited to host the women’s Olympic Qualifier event and we will be delighted to welcome fans from around the UK and the nations participating to our world-class facility in our friendly and vibrant city.

“We hope this event will increase the awareness of ice hockey and drive female participation in Sheffield and around the UK.”

Cllr Martin Smith, Chair of the Economic Development and Skills Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is a city of sport and we are extremely proud of our sporting history.

“From the athletes and teams that have been nurtured here – including our very own ice hockey team and recent Grand Slam winners Sheffield Steelers – to the major sporting events we have hosted.

“We are delighted to host the GB Women’s team in the city for the 2026 Winter Olympic Qualifier and bring world-class ice hockey to the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.”

A full schedule and ticket details will be announced in due course.