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16 August 2017

Australia Receives Para Ice Hockey Grant in Preparation for PyeongChang 2018

Australia as a nation isn’t exactly known for winter sports, for rather obvious reasons. Associated more with extreme levels of heat than fields of snow and ice, aspiring winter sports enthusiasts are somewhat lacking in suitable training locations, and likely due to this fact even securing the proper gear can be a challenge. This is particularly true for Paralympic athletes and hopefuls, as these activities tend to require some rather specialist equipment.

Fortunately for the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC), the organisation recently received a grant to the value of €12,500 as part of the PyeongChang 2018 and Agitos Foundation Equipment Grant Programme in collaboration with World Para Ice Hockey. The funds are to be used exclusively in the acquisition of Para ice hockey equipment.

Said equipment includes 21 Para ice hockey sledges and sticks as well as telescoping noses and picks, and is currently in the process of being distributed by the APC.

Tim Matthews, Performance Talent and Para sport Manager at the APC and the individual responsible for applying to World Para Ice Hockey in an effort to secure the grant, commented on the good news:

“The hope is that this equipment will be a catalyst for the development of a Para ice hockey program in Australia.

“The Australian Paralympic Committee is very grateful to receive this support and we’re now really excited to help grow Para ice hockey here and highlight why it is one of the most popular sports at the Winter Paralympic Games.

“I think, particularly when specialised equipment is required and not readily available in Australia without support, the reality is that the sport couldn’t launch here in a sustainable way without this programme.

“As one of four countries to be chosen to receive the EUR 12,500 grant [approximately AUD 18,000], the Australian Paralympic Committee will work with Ice Hockey Australia to develop deep pool of players from which regular training and other programs can evolve.”

Andrew McDowell, Vice President of Ice Hockey Australia, also commented with the following:

“Ice Hockey Australia has over 5,000 registered members, and with our experience and enthusiasm in running ice hockey, we believe we can really help Para ice hockey to get going, and to become a serious winter sport in Australia.

“We love the game, and want to assist and contribute to its success.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for the written word. Currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor, his time at many UK festivals has taught him the importance of keeping warm.