By Gary Anderson

Sweden will be the host nation for the 2015 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool ©Getty ImagesÖstersund in Sweden has been announced as the host venue for next year's International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool.

The Championships are due to take place from March 15 to 21 and will feature will feature the likes of Estonia, Great Britain, Poland, Slovakia, South Korea and host nation Sweden.

They will be staged just over a month before the 2015 World Championships A-Pool are scheduled to take place in Buffalo, New York, from April 24 to May 2.

"With World Championships now confirmed in both North America and Europe for 2015, we are in a good position to develop the sport after Sochi 2014," said IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez.

"The bid from Östersund was incredibly strong.

"The facilities are excellent and the city itself has a long winter sports history.

"I am confident that the athletes and teams will have everything they need to put on a great show for fans once again."

Sweden has hosted IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships on two previous occasions, in Nynäshamn in 1996 and the 2004 edition in Örnsköldsvik.

Östersund is situated in the Jämtland region in central Sweden and bid unsucessfully for the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. 

Sweden's National Paralympic Committee secretary general Johan Strid revealed that the staging of next year's World Championships is part of a long-term goal for the region to become a hub for winter Para-sport.

"Östersund has arranged sports competitions for a long time, and have done so very well," said Strid.

"The region has now shown that they want to contribute to the development of the Para-sport Movement and that they have a strategic ambition of being a global centre for winter Para-sports.

"We are of course delighted that they have been given the opportunity to arrange the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool."

Germany triumphed in last year's B-Pool World Championships final with victory over hosts Japan ©Bongarts/Getty ImagesGermany triumphed in last year's B-Pool World Championships final with victory over hosts Japan ©Bongarts/Getty Images

Last year's Championships were held in Nagano and saw Germany and host nation Japan move up to A-Pool.

The Germans claimed the B-Pool world title with a 3-2 victory over the hosts in the gold medal match while Great Britain overcame Estonia by the same scoreline to take bronze.

The top two finishers at next year's B-Pool Championships will once again be promoted to the A-Pool for the following World Championships in 2017 while the side that finished bottom in Östersund will be relegated to the inaugural C-Pool Championships which are scheduled to take place in 2016.

Earlier this year, the IPC announced the launch of a new World Series that will see nations from both the A and B pools competing against each other for end-of-season ranking points.

The new series aims to bring together matches that currently take place between countries as well incorporate new fixtures in order to formalise a competition calendar.

The first World Series event is due to take place this weekend (October 24 to 26) in Langenhagen, Germany.

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