Kazakhstan to host World Championships B-Pool in October

Host nation will compete for the first time in the event and will be joined by Slovakia, Sweden, Japan, Finland and Great Britain 25 Aug 2023
Two Swedish players in front of the Finnish goaltender in a Para ice hockey game
Sweden and Finland clashed at the Ostersund 2021 B-Pool Worlds and will meet again at this year's edition in Kazakhstan
ⒸKarl Nilsson/Parasport Sverige
By Stuart Lieberman | For World Para Ice Hockey

World Para Ice Hockey has announced on Friday (25 August) that the World Para Ice Hockey Championships B-Pool will take place from 6-11 October in Astana, Kazakhstan. The event will feature six teams and be hosted by the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Kazakhstan at Terlan Arena. The top two finishers from the event will be promoted to the 2024 A-Pool.

The teams taking part will include Slovakia, Sweden, Japan, Finland, Great Britain and host nation Kazakhstan. It will mark the first time Kazakhstan competes in the event after finishing second at the World Championships C-Pool last season. The tournament will be round-robin format with the last placed team relegated to the 2024 C-Pool.

“We are thrilled to be bringing a World Para Ice Hockey Championships to Kazakhstan for the first time,” said World Para Ice Hockey Manager Michelle Laflamme. “The growth of our sport over the last few years has been unprecedented, and we are looking forward to some great competition from nations who have worked so hard to build up their teams over the last decade. This tournament will surely shine a spotlight on new rising stars and storylines to keep your eyes on over the next years.”

Kazakhstan started its programme only five years ago. Since then, it has attracted the attention of local political figures, sponsors and journalists in the country to build a national team, with additional help from the 14.5 million Kazakhstani Tenge (nearly 30,000 EUR) raised by its premier sponsor Samruk Kazyna Trust. It will now play host for the first time to a major international competition in the sport.

“As proud hosts of the World Para Ice Hockey Championships B-Pool, our city embraces the opportunity to showcase the remarkable athleticism and spirit of Para ice hockey on a global stage,” said Yerlan Suleimenov, Secretary General of NPC Kazakhstan.

“We believe in the power of sports to inspire, unite, and break barriers. Hosting this event is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and the belief that every individual, regardless of ability, can achieve greatness. We look forward to welcoming athletes, fans, and the world to share in this extraordinary celebration of determination and sportsmanship.”

Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan and the nation’s second largest city with more than one million residents. It is home to several professional ice hockey teams, including the Barys Astana, a founding member of the Kontinental Hockey League.

This will be the ninth edition of the B-Pool event and the third time it is being hosted in Asia. At the last edition of the event in 2021, China went undefeated to win gold, Germany took silver and Sweden claimed bronze.