IPC Ice Sledge Hockey and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Sunday (7 December), agreeing a historic partnership on the promotion and coordination of sledge hockey.
The MOU was signed by Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, Xavier Gonzalez, IPC CEO and Rene Fasel, President of the IIHF, at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco.
Sir Philip Craven said "There is no better way to round-off a hugely successful year for ice sledge hockey, than with the signing of this MOU with the IIHF.
"Sochi 2014 gave athletes the ideal platform to attract global interest to the sport, and ever since we have been working with new and existing partners to cement that development.
"We are delighted to be working with Rene Fasel and his team on further growing the worldwide impact and promotion of the sport, as well as refereeing and coaching.
"The MOU brings together the knowledge and expertise that exists in both organisations and puts in place actions to raise the profile and progress of ice sledge hockey ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games."
Fasel said "We are happy to be able to help raise the profile of sledge hockey going into the next Paralympic cycle. The dedication and effort that these athletes demonstrated in a hard-fought tournament in Sochi showed that this is a sport worthy of the Paralympic Games."
The MOU includes an agreement to create an ongoing awareness campaign for ice sledge hockey targeting IIHF Member National Associations and to partner on digital and print communications initiatives.
Refereeing and coaching of the sport will also be incorporated into the syllabus of IIHF annual programmes and ongoing training opportunities.
In addition, IPC Ice Sledge Hockey will work with the IIHF to publish guidelines for venue owners and operators on how to make ice rinks more accessible.