What Ringette Means to Me

Ringette has become something that I cannot go without. During the summer months I find myself just wanting to get back to the rink to go skating and to just be back to one of my favorite places to be. Every summer I look forward to ringette starting and being able to start skating again, as well as seeing everyone that I have met throughout playing, refereeing, and coaching.

I joined because my aunt signed me up when we moved to Calgary and I hated it when I started, I didn’t know anyone and also because I couldn’t skate very well. Over the years of playing a started to love the sport, even though I kept saying most seasons I’m not playing next year I always found myself going and signing up again because I couldn’t get away from the sport. Suddenly it was no longer something I did because of wanting to be in a sport it was because I couldn’t stand not being at the rinks in the winter season.

It’s still something that I cannot go without. Even after not having the best experiences some seasons I keep going back. Every year I have some good experiences and bad experiences. One of the best experiences I have had is when the team I coached in the 2013/ 2014 season went to provincials; it was the first time I had ever been. Provincials were a great experience and I hope I can go back another year.

I played for 11 years and quit because of it starting to take up a lot of time outside of school and since I was going into grade 12 of high school I wanted to focus more on school. Also with the team I was on in my last season I found that there was too much drama for my liking because of how much there was at school, and I didn’t want to put up with even more drama outside of school.

Instead of playing in grade 12 I became a junior coach. After high school I signed up to be an assistant coach to the U12 (previously known as petite). I find being an assistant coach very rewarding, I get to share what I learnt while I was playing from some of my favorite coaches and now I can pass that on to the girls. Also just watching them develop their skills over the year proves to me that they really do listen to what I say during practices, even though it doesn’t always seem like they are listening. During practices when they ask me to help them with their shooting so they can actually do a proper wrist shot I always say yes to helping them unless I’m supposed to be doing something else for that part of practice.

I have been a referee since I was 14 and it has help give me a different perspective on the sport. This season I am going into my 6th season as a referee in Ringette Calgary. During some seasons I have been known to say this is my last year, but I end up coming back the next season. Mostly I say that because of bad experiences with coaches at games. And with knowing that coaches are told the main reason why every association is loosing refs is because of the harassment from coaches during games. The main reason I change my mind is because after the experiences with those coaches I talk to other refs and get advice from them about what to do in those situations.

After not playing for 2 years now all I want to do is go back and play, but with being in school still I want to be able to focus more on my schoolwork. I am always keeping the thought in the back of my head to go and play for an Open C team because they are more about recreational playing and not as competitive, and that’s the kind of team I want to be on. Maybe when I’m done school and have decided what I’m going to do after that I will think of joining a team again, I know that I will continue on coaching and most likely as a referee.

Published by Elizabeth Merritt

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