World Para Ice Hockey (WPIH) will hold the 2023 WPIH Skills Development Camp presented by Citi from 28 to 30 July in Bangkok, Thailand with emerging athletes from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the host nation. World Para Ice Hockey is partnering with these four national programmes to build a support system and athlete development pipeline for the sport in the Asia and Oceania regions.
World Para Ice Hockey is focused on youth skills development and increasing the number of female and male players to strengthen the programme and expand the sport nationally and internationally. The camp will be held at Thailand International Ice Hockey Arena and will be led by coaches Emma Poynton of Australia and Espen Hegde of Norway. The venue hosted the World Championships C-Pool last December. “It is fantastic to be hosting a World Para Ice Hockey development camp in the Asia-Oceania region to further develop the future stars of our sport,” said Poynton, who also serves as a member of World Para Ice Hockey’s Technical Advisory Group. “I’m looking forward to discovering the next generation of talent on the ice, including emerging talent in the women’s game, as nations band together to push Para ice hockey to new heights.” Citi will be the presenting sponsor as part of PARA SPORT, the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) grassroots-to-high performance programme. Citi and PARA SPORT are working together to help change the narrative around people with disabilities and provide Para athletes and their member organisations with a platform to drive societal progress. Citi, which also served as the title sponsor of the inaugural World Para Ice Hockey Women’s World Challenge last year, is helping to advance the sport by attracting new athletes and establishing a long-term strategy for sustainable, entertaining events. “As a proud sponsor of PARA SPORT, we are thrilled to support these emerging athletes and work with World Para Ice Hockey on this development program. By bringing ice hockey to Thailand, we can help people with disabilities engage more actively in the sport and raise awareness of the opportunities for them and their families,” said Tohphan Tuchinda, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi Thailand. “We’re proud of these exceptional Para athletes and celebrate their remarkable journey to change the narrative around people with disabilities." Michelle Laflamme, World Para Ice Hockey Manager, added: “World Para Ice Hockey has held development camps for nearly a decade and we are thrilled to be reaching new milestones in Bangkok. It will be the first WPIH Skills Development Camp presented by Citi as part of our partnership launched in 2022 and that has allowed us to provide new and invaluable opportunities especially for female players. It will also be the first camp to take place in Thailand, which has one of the fast-growing programmes in Para ice hockey and successfully hosted the C-Pool Worlds last year.” Ostrava, Czechia hosted the most recent World Para Ice Hockey Development Camp in 2021.