Sweden will hope to secure gold in front of a home crowd ©Getty Images

Östersund has been announced as the host city for the 2016 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey European Championships.

Competition will take place at the Östersund Arena, with Sweden hoping their home crowd will inspire them to success.

The Swedish team will take on defending champions Italy, as well as the Czech Republic, Norway, Germany and Paralympic silver medallists Russia.

The selected venue has experience of staging major ice sledge hockey events, having welcomed the World Championships B-Pool in 2015.

“This will be the first Euros since we announced the new competition cycle in 2014 and is a key opportunity for teams to test themselves with just two years to go until the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games,” said Jessica Korber, IPC ice sledge hockey sport manager.

“I am sure that they will have the best stage possible on which to compete and I am grateful to the Swedish Paralympic Committee and Para Sports Jämtland Härjedalen for their support in organising what I am sure will be a memorable Championships.”

Italy are the reigning European champions
Italy are the reigning European champions ©Getty Images

The European Championships were last staged in Sweden during 2011, with Italy prevailing on that occasion by beating the Czech Republic 2-0.

Sweden will begin the event with ambitions of securing their first European title, with their best result to date being a silver at the 2005 edition of the Championship.

"We are extremely proud to once again be part of arranging a major Championship in IPC's winter programme,” said Fredrik Andersson of the regional organisation Para Sports Jämtland Härjedalen.

“We've had so much positive feedback from arranging the World Championships last year.

“It is thought that Östersund has the best stadium in Europe for sledge hockey and we’ll do our best to make these Championships fantastic.”