In October 2018, World Para Ice Hockey held a regional development camp in Yerevan, Armenia to facilitate growth of Para ice hockey in that part of the world.
Twenty-eight participants from six countries (Armenia, Belarus, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia) took part in five on-ice sessions at the Irina Rodnina Figure Skating Centre and several education seminars on equipment, classification, rules and development.
Fifteen participants were players while the remainder were coaches and staff eager to learn about Para ice hockey and take it back to their home countries.
Six female players joined the camp as we work towards establishing more women’s Para ice hockey teams in the future.
The camp was coached by the Czech national team coach Jiri Briza and Slovak national team manager and assistant coach Miroslav Drab.
The training duo was supported by Andrea Macri, national team player from Italy, Paralympian and WPIH Athlete Liaison.
In December 2017 World Para Ice Hockey held a development camp in Tel Aviv, Israel to kickstart the sport in the country. The camp was held with the support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two on-ice and off-ice training days introduced the sport to eight players and two coaches.
The camp was held in Ice Peaks ice arena with the support of the Israel Ice Hockey Federation. The Czech national team coach Jiri Briza, manager and former coach of team Slovakia Miroslav Drab and German national team player Christian Jaster provided training and expertise during the camp.
This follows the 2015 Development Outreach Programme that was held in Slovakia. In total 19 people took part in a camp in Dolny Kubin in January 2016 including 13 players and six support staff. Participants were a combination of national team players and beginners.
Beginners were young players aged 21-22 years who are working towards making a national team. On-ice training was lead by Para ice hockey coach George Kingston. Players also received intensive off-ice training education.
The World Para Ice Hockey Head of Development consulted with the Slovakian team on the creation of a development system, recruitment programme and assisted with a long range plan for future programme sustainability.
The programme helped team Slovakia win bronze at the 2016 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool in Tomakomai.
All of these training activities are supported by the Agitos Foundation and the programmes were promoted; in particular the Grant Support Programme, as an opportunity to assist with the funding of future projects.