Scrimmages are part of the schedule for camp participants this year ©Getty Images

Female ice hockey players have arrived at the Vierumaki Olympic Sports Institute in Finland for the week-long International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) women’s high-performance camp.

The event, which is part of the IIHF’s annual sport development programme, is designed to unite athletes and coaches from different National Federations to give them the opportunity to play and educate each other.

It has been four years since the previous camp after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the international body from bringing together their community.

It alternates each year with its opposite number, the IIHF hockey development camp, which was last held in 2019.

The worldwide ice hockey governing body uses the camps to launch development and educational schemes to aid Member Federations.

Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer, an IIHF Council member and Women’s Committee chairperson, welcomed the return of the event.

"We have a few familiar faces and some new ones, but what is especially great is that some of the former campers that were here many years ago have now returned as coaches," she said.

"It is tremendously gratifying to see this as continuity and legacy-building through this camp is what we have been trying to achieve through these camps."

This year’s event started on July 8 and includes 150 participants from 19 countries.

A camp for goaltenders have been integrated into the latest edition of the IIHF women's high-performance camp ©Getty Images
A camp for goaltenders have been integrated into the latest edition of the IIHF women's high-performance camp ©Getty Images

This figure is further broken down into 79 under-18 female athletes, who are coaches by 36 team staff members and 35 supporting members, such as administrators, equipment managers, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and a mental skills coach.

A goaltender camp has been integrated into newest edition because of COVID-19 reducing the number of participants and the rescheduling of cancelled IIHF events.

Twenty-four goaltenders are taking part in training sessions and four-on-four and three-on-three scrimmages.

Those attending are split into different teams and mixed together with their international colleagues in a bid to further educate the participants.

Fifty-one players are divided into four teams, with the goaltenders rotating across each team.

Each team is led by a female ice hockey player who has experience competing at major events, such as the Olympic Games and the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championships.

The range of activities in addition to the scrimmages include position specific sessions, team practices, gym sessions and other drills and classroom events on issues like anti-doping and the media.

Athlete ambassadors to attend the camp as participants include Czech trio Alena Mills, Katerina Mrazova and Klara Peslarova, Sweden’s Erika Holst, Germany’s Julia Zorn and Switzerland’s Andrea Brändli.