Female ice sledge hockey players will be allowed to participate in the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games, according to a new provision by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
In reponse to numerous requests from the nations regularly practicing the sport, the IPC's governing board has approved an entry provision to allow qualified teams to add female athletes to their roster if they wish.
The inclusion of female athletes for sledge hockey is a step in the direction of promoting greater female participation in this sport and the Paralympic Winter Games in general.
The tournament designation will change from a men's to a mixed tournament, and teams may bring up to 16 athletes if at least one is female.
This decision applies only to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The IPC will continue to explore other initiatives to further develop the sport world wide before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.
Since its debut on the Paralympic programme at the Lillehammer 1994 Paralympics, ice sledge hockey has quickly become one of the largest attractions for spectators at the Paralympic Winter Games.