Great Britain will send an under-16 men’s team to the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in South Korea.
Previously, only individual athletes have represented GB at the Games but with the men’s IIHF world ranking, it means GB will send a team to the prestigious tournament for the first time.
The format – first used at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland – sees three-on-three cross-ice matches taking place simultaneously.
Ice hockey at the Winter Youth Olympics will take place in Gangneung in the same venues as the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Former GB player and current Under-20s Assistant Coach Danny Meyers has been named as Head Coach of the GB team for the Youth Olympics.
Ice Hockey UK Chair, Clifton Wrottesley, said: “It’s hugely exciting to have Danny on-board to lead the programme. His pedigree in ice hockey is impeccable, as is his knowledge of the format.
“I have no doubt that with his passion, knowledge and experience, Danny will take the team to Gangneung in the best shape possible.
“The-three-on-three format is a central part of IHUK’s development strategy, to sit alongside a possible High Performance Academy. As a new and exciting form of ice hockey, it is seen by IIHF as key to the future of the game, showcasing our sport to a greater number of people, players and spectators alike.
“UK Sport and the British Olympic Association have also seen the potential in the format and have expressed an interest in supporting this programme.
“This will also enable us to identify potential emerging talent at an earlier stage for the wider GB programme, but will also give those young aspiring athletes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience something truly magical, participating in an Olympic Games.”
Meyers said: “I’d like to thank Clifton (Wrottesley) and Andy (French) for giving me this opportunity.
“It’s something I am very passionate about and very excited to be part of building something special in the months ahead.”
Player invite for trials will be sent out soon with the first camp taking place in December.
“I think this will arguably be one of the greatest experience of a player’s life,” continued Meyers.
“They will have the full Olympic experience, stay in the Olympic Village, be taught how to deal with media and be part of the Team GB Olympic team.
“Obviously, there will be other events going on and they will be able to integrate with other athletes from other nations and sports. For the players selected to go away it will be something they will never forget.”
Ice Hockey UK General Secretary, Andy French, added: “This is a huge moment for Great Britain and UK ice hockey to be sending a team to a Youth Olympics.
“The IIHF place huge importance on these three-on-three tournaments and see this very much as the future.
“Danny is an obvious choice for the role, not only with his insight into the game in general, but his knowledge of the age group he is going to lead.”
Click here to read more about 2020 edition of the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne.