Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Volume 15, Issue 2 (The Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer)
“If you want to make a girl happy, give her a ring.” This catchy saying adorns a Leduc Ringette Association banner, and it was there, for all to see in the LRC’s lobby this past weekend.
The heavy snowfall didn’t deter 28 teams of Ringette players from across Alberta (and one team from Saskatchewan!) to travel to Leduc as participants in the 18th Annual Wild Thing Ringette Tournament.
Throughout Leduc, hotel staffers were kept busy with tournament participants, and when local inns ran out of rooms, some teams went to stay in Edmonton hotels.
This Ringette tournament started Friday morning January the 7th; early visitors to the building were greeted by a large crowd of Ringette players and siblings, parents, grandparents and officials milling about and happily visiting. The auction table was very impressive, heavily loaded with items of various sizes and values; the walls were covered with schedules, division standings and other tournament-related posters. Behind the ‘officials’ table, a dynamic group of ladies dealt with numerous participants, and it was a lucky thing that two women, members of the organizing committee, Angela Hewlett and Lynmarie Clarke, made themselves available to answer a reporter’s eager questions.
From Hinton to Saskatoon, and from Fort McMurray to South Calgary, 28 teams were in attendance.
The sport of ringette features speed, skill and team spirit flying across the ice, so it’s no surprise that the team names can be quite ‘ferocious’ like Ice Crushers and Dragons, Dynamites, Thunder and Sting, Fury and Cheetahs. Ringette jerseys are beautiful and ‘artsy’ and a little research explains that this is a sport for girls, so of course flashy, colourful uniforms with great designs are the norm!
The Wild Thing Tournament, held in Leduc for the past 18 years, is so well-known in the Ringette community, that too many teams want to enter it, therefore the participating teams are chosen by a lottery draw. At the end of Sunday’s medal ceremony, a chance encounter provided some additional information; Coach Randy Kinsella had just finished handing out medals and a trophy to his team, the Leduc Jaguars Gold Champions in the Petite B Division, when he agreed to an interview. Randy is a former champion ball hockey player, and now a talented hockey player who was introduced to the sport of Ringette when his children were quite young. Along with his wife Michelle, and with their three eager Ringette playing daughters, they embarked on a nine-year sports journey that keeps them very busy!
Coach Kinsella was enthusiastic in explaining how the LRC is the pride of the Leduc Ringette Association, as few other communities can boast such a facility that enables ringette associations to host large tournaments! Having three arenas to play in allows players to watch older teams or their own siblings compete, in the same location. So it is obvious that the LRC can look forward to attracting many more sports tournaments of this spectrum.Worthy of mention is the “Heart & Hustle Award”, established in memory of Kelly Lamrock, that went this year to Miss Carly Rivard. As the Tournament Stats will confirm, another gold championship was kept in our city, won by the Leduc Jaguar Juniors. A sports fan might wonder about the fate of a large trophy; for the Petite B team, the Gold trophy will ‘visit’ each team member for one week, starting with the captain, and at the end of this rotation, the Trophy will be displayed in a showcase at the LRC.
Other kudos are in order, for a Regional Team; the Zone 5 AA Ringette team came home from Regina with a Silver Medal, so congrats go to another Kinsella player, and her team mates. And best wishes to our local ringette players heading to the Esso Golden Ring Tournament in Calgary next weekend!
The Wild Thing Tournament director, Angela Hewlett shared that, “she is happy everyone seems to have had a great time, and looks forward to seeing everyone next year!” So, if Ringette intrigues you, visit the leducringette.ca website. Or better yet, check with the LRC, to find out when it will host a fast-paced and fabulous Ringette game!