PARA ICE HOCKEY DEVELOPMENT
One of the strategic priorities in Para ice hockey is to increase the number of nations practising the sport. Through various development programmes World Para Ice Hockey strives to introduce the sport to as many countries as possible. The countries currently named as widely and regularly practising Para ice hockey can be found here.
Another priority for Para ice hockey is to support athletes with access to equipment. The following equipment is needed to play Para ice hockey: sledge, two sticks, full cage helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves (and shin pads and pants depending on the impairment). World Para Ice Hockey has run several projects in support of this aspect. More information about these initiatives can be found here.
Expanding the women’s Para ice hockey programme is crucial for gender balance and for the development of the sport. Through the Agitos Foundation’s 2013 Grant Support Programme, World Para Ice Hockey received grants for a women’s development programme. In 2014, development camps were held in Europe and North America.
Youth development is another strategic priority for World Para Ice Hockey. For the development and expansion of Para ice hockey on a national and international level, it is imperative to continually bring young players into the sport and develop their skills. Therefore World Para Ice Hockey works towards the development of younger Para ice hockey players so as to strengthen national programmes while at the same time introducing new players to the sport. In 2015 World Para Ice Hockey together with the German Ministry of the Interior funded and organised a youth development camp in Langenhagen, Germany.
Over the last years Para ice hockey has developed and promoted and has gained good awareness in many countries. One of the aspects that adds on to this growth is the concept of having a competitive balance which keeps up motivation and the strive for excellence. One of the ways for maintaining competitive balance is to introduce the sport to more young players by strengthening national team programmes and organising development camps. In order to assist existing A and/or B-Pool countries in their efforts to recruit new and young athletes in order to ensure their continuity at the highest level of our sport, World Para Ice Hockey has supported teams through training camps.