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For four days, Skien fritidspark in Norway was the home to some of the best women’s ice sledge hockey players in the world.

Three teams - USA, Canada and Europe – came together for the Women’s World Ice Sledge Hockey Festival, and to showcase their sport to the rest of the world over aseries of six games.

While USA and Canada have faced each other several times in the last few years, it has been a while since either of them played against Europe and they were not surewhat to expect. Despite a smaller, less experienced team, Europe more than held their own on the ice, even forcing one of their games into overtime.

Kelsey DiClaudio, a long-time member of the USA national developmental team, demonstrated her speed and puck-handling skills with an impressive eight goals in totalover the event. Canada’s captain Christina Picton picked up five goals of her own and Europe’s Lena Schroder had a hat-trick against the USA.

Schroder, who trains with the Norwegian national team as well as the European women’s team, was thrilled with the way her team was working together.

“The best thing about the tournament was seeing how much the European team has managed to grow,” Schroder said. “We still have very few players, but we have gottenso much better as a team. It is also great to be able to play against the best women from other countries. That way you get a better idea of your own level compared toother female players and it helps you get better yourself.”

The European team currently consists of players from Great Britain, Norway and Finland, which means they are facing their own set of challenges in terms of training anddevelopment. But with the support of their staff, including coach Tor Rivera who plays on the Norwegian national team, they are successfully going from strength tostrength.

Off the ice, another equally-important partnership was forming, as representatives from each of the teams met to discuss the future development of women’s ice sledgehockey. Along with invited guests, the topics ranged from how to increase participation in Europe and Asia, to classification and plans for social media.

Thanks to the digital coverage and live streaming of the games, the Women’s World Ice Sledge Hockey Festival was followed by people all over the world. Organisers arealready planning the best way of building on this success and hope that the next tournament will be even bigger and better.












IIHF World Girls’ Day on Sunday 9th October 2016

The IIHF World Girls’ Day (WGD) event at O’Brien Group Arena, Docklands, Victoria, Australia on Sunday 9th October 2016 was hosted by the Women’s Council. The support of Ice Hockey Victoria, Ice Hockey Australia, O’Brien Group Arena, Ice Sports Victoria and the Victorian Government was critical to the success of this event which enabled women and girls of all ages to try out ice hockey in a safe, fun and all-female environment. 

​A free 1-hour ‘Come and Try’ session was open to females of all ages and abilities followed by a 2-hour ‘Lightning Tournament’ for experienced and registered female ice hockey players. Throughout the whole day, there were 83 participants, including 50 beginnersand 33 experienced ice hockey players. Some of the 50 beginners at the Come and Try session had traveled up to 150 km to experience the ‘ice’. Participants arrived at 12.15pm and were greeted by a volunteer who facilitated their registration, gearing up and hiring of skatesfor the 1-hour Come and Try session which started at 1.15pm. The participants ranged from 5 to 45 years old and 46% were under the age of 18. In total, 88% of these registered participants wished to receive more information about women’s ice hockey in Victoria. We had 20 enthusiastic volunteers who coached, supported and encouraged them all. In particular, Rylie Padjen and Kristelle Vanderwolf were instrumental in preparing appropriate activities, leading the on-ice volunteers and coaching the 50 newcomers. The whole group was split into two with Rylie coaching the beginners, working on basic skating skills including skating forwards, backwards, falling over and getting up, while Kristelle coached the intermediates learning some new advanced skating skills and drills. This session was followed by the Lightning Tournament where 28 players from 15 to 45 years from local, state and national levels battled it out in the Red, Blue and Black teams, in nine minigames of 9 minutes each. Rylie and Kristelle coached all three teams.