The camp in Langenhagen has been hailed as a success ©IPC

The first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sledge Hockey Youth Development Camp has been hailed as a success.

Twenty-three players, aged between 14 and 21 and from eight different countries, gathered at the Eishalle Langenhagen in Germany for a four-day camp.

Nineteen-year-old goaltender Jaewoong Lee from South Korea is now hopeful of gaining a place in his country's team for the Pyeongchang Paralympics on home ice in 2018.

“It was fun," he said.

"I enjoyed the ice-time the most and I got better going back and forth in goal.

"I will try to get on the national team because I would like to play at home in 2018."

Karel Wagner from the Czech Republic, who will play in his first national team game in a few weeks, added: “I really enjoyed the camp even though it was physically demanding.

"I definitely learnt something.

"I learnt new game situations and tactics.

"I definitely learnt that I need to go ahead with top speed and then I learnt how to support players and how to position myself properly.

“I also improved in skating, especially my speed, and in shooting and passing as well.”

Players at the camp could go on to represent their countries at the highest level
Players at the camp could go on to represent their countries at the highest level ©Getty Images

Supported by the Federal Ministry of the Interior after a decision by the German Federal Parliament, the camp was run by coaches from the United States, Canada and Norway.

A number of national team and club coaches also took part in the activities as observers, to see if they could utilise any of the training techniques.

Sessions were conducted on stick-handling, shooting, goaltending, skating and strength training.

There were also classroom sessions on the Paralympic Movement and presentations on anti-doping and classification given by Peter Van de Vliet, the IPC's Medical and Scientific Director.

Marko Kocijan, head coach of the Croatian national team and one of the observers, said: “From my perspective, the camp is extremely useful because it provides a useful exchange of experiences, and also provides an opportunity for us less experienced coaches to learn from the best.

“I have learnt a lot of new exercises that are important as a basis, without which it is impossible to make progress especially in this sport.”

IPC Ice Sledge Hockey will now review the feedback received from the coaches and players and look at how youth development can be continued at future seasons.

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