In a major breakthrough for women's sport, the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey International Women's Cup will start on Friday (7 November) in Brampton, Ontario, Canada - the first ever women's competition sanctioned by the sport.
Teams from Canada, USA and Europe will face-off over three days at the South Fletcher's Arena. Team Europe includes players from Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Great Britain.
Corin Metzger, who will be on the Canadian team, said "It's really amazing to see that we can come together in this tournament and show that women are awesome sledge hockey players."
Metzger's teammate Tuyet Yurczyszyn said "I belong to a team. I'm not a volunteer, I'm not an assistant manager, I'm a player and it gives me goosebumps."
The event is being organised as part of the Sixth Annual Cruiser's Cup Sledge Hockey Tournament by Cruisers Sports for the Physically Disabled, and forms part of the sport's strategy to develop the women's game.
"The IPC Ice Sledge Hockey International Women's Cup is the first ever internationally- sanctioned women's sledge hockey tournament in the world and as a leading country on ice, we are proud that our event will be the catalyst for growth and awareness of international women's hockey," said Ken Hall, Director of Sledge Hockey for Cruisers Sports for the Physically Disabled.
Jessica Korber, IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Sport Manager, said "We have known for a long time that ice sledge hockey has huge potential to be popular with fans around the world and this was confirmed with the success of the men's matches at Sochi 2014.
"Our aim is for a generation of young women, inspired and excited by what they saw at Sochi, to have more opportunities to try-out and compete in sledge hockey. There has never been a better time to join the growing number of people taking up this adrenaline-fuelled sport."
Each team will play each other twice before the bronze and gold medal matches are decided on 8 November.
Sunday (9 November) will then see `friendship' matches taking place where the teams will be mixed for a series of games.
People interested in trying out women's sledge hockey should contact their National Paralympic Committee for events taking place near them. Details can be found at www.paralympic.org/europe.
Overall, the Cruiser's Cup will feature 37 local teams comprised of over 700 athletes competing across four competitive divisions (junior, intermediate C, intermediate B, elite).
Men's national team players from both Canada and the USA will be competing in the elite division, including 10 Sochi 2014 bronze medalists from the Canadian team: Graeme Murray, Brad Bowden and Adam Dixon with the Elmvale Bears; Billy Bridges, Kevin Rempel, Karl Ludwig and Anthony Gale with the Cruisers All Blacks; and Ben Delaney, Tyler McGregor, and Greg Westlake with the Ottawa Sledgehammers.
Results will be available at http://www.cruisers-sports.com/cruiserscup/results.shtml