Europe’s top Ice Sledge Hockey players are counting down the final 10 days before the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey European Championships kick off in Solleftea, Sweden.
Taking place from 12-20 February, a total of 130 athletes and 44 team officials will be in the Northern Swedish town in the most important Ice Sledge Hockey event for 2011.
The 10 teams competing in Solleftea will include: Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The first game on 12 February will see Italy against Russia.
Raising the profile of the important competition, the Opening Ceremony on 15 February outside Hullsta Gård will see IPC Honorary Board Member HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden attending, supporting the players as they aim for the gold medal.
The European Championships are the biggest event to take place after the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, where team USA took the gold medal, followed by Japan and Norway.
The last Ice Sledge Hockey European Championships took place in 2007, with Norway taking the gold medal and Czech Republic taking the silver. Both teams are sure to make a big impact on the ice in 2011 hoping to medal again.
Ice Sledge Hockey is one of the most spectator friendly Paralympic sports due to its fast flowing physical nature, and February’s European Championships are the biggest event on the 2011 Ice Sledge Hockey calendar.