By David Gold

Girls_Hockey_DayOctober 2 - The first World Girls' Hockey Day has taken place across four continents and 19 countries, the first time the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has staged the event, which will be repeated every year.

Thousands of girls joined in the fun today as professional athletes helped to inspire the next generation of hockey aspirants.

The event is designed to introduce girls to hockey in a fun and positive environment, giving them the opportunity to both hone a potential new skill with a puck as well as meet new friends.

Nineteen countries' ice hockey federations, affiliates, clubs and hockey schools registered for the events, which took place from Australia to Finland.

A "Women's Hockey to Sochi 2014" strategy was unveiled after the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games by the IIHF, as they looked to make international hockey more competitive, with Canada having claimed the last three Olympic gold medals, as well as to generate more interest in the sport.

The IIHF supplied materials to national federations to help run the events, and activities included a training camp held in Novogorsk, Russia, and skills training in Almaty in Kazakhstan.

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