Bautista and Blanchette named Team Canada assistant coaches

Former national team athletes bring elite international experience to Team Canada bench

Ottawa, Ontario – September 19, 2011 – Ringette Canada today announced that Calgary’s Barb Bautista and Montreal’s Julie Blanchette have joined Team Canada as assistant coaches. The former national team athletes join head coach Glen Gaudet to build and prepare the team for competition at the next world ringette championship, which will be held in North Bay, Ontario in December 2013.

“I am very excited to have two of the best Team Canada athletes commit to the program as coaches and I will certainly be relying on their experiences to help guide us to a gold medal win in 2013,” said Glen Gaudet, Team Canada head coach. “Their work ethic and commitment to this great sport are second to none and I will be a better coach with these two on the bench beside me.”

Barb Bautista, who grew up in Ottawa and now lives in Calgary, brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to her position on the Team Canada bench. Bautista started playing ringette when she was ten and has made four appearances on the Team Canada roster, winning one gold and three silver medals. She has also participated in numerous national championships winning six gold medals as an athlete and two as a coach. Most recently, she was an assistant coach with Team Alberta, picking up silver at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

“As Phil Jackson once said ‘The only way to win a championship is step by step.’ This quote has provided me motivation as an athlete and it will as a coach as well,” said Bautista. “My passion for the game is strong, I believe in Canadian ringette and I am excited to study the national level game from a different perspective. Our national team has amazing potential and I want to take all that I have learned in my ringette career and pass it on to our up and coming national team athletes.”

Julie Blanchette began playing ringette when she was four years old and has since become an accomplished athlete and coach. She has picked up three silver medals as a member of Team Canada, has competed in numerous national championships, has played a year in the Finnish National League and continues to be a strong force on the Montreal Mission in the National Ringette League. As a coach, she has led various AA level teams, has guided Team Quebec to a bronze medal win at the 2007 Canada Winter Games and was on the bench with Glen Gaudet when Team Canada East won silver at the 2009 world junior ringette championship in Prague.

“I am grateful and honoured for the trust that Ringette Canada is placing in me and I intend to bring the same level of commitment, professionalism, and camaraderie to coaching that I have contributed to the game as a lifelong player,” said Blanchette. “Canadians want to hear our national anthem playing at the next world finals, and I want to help make that happen.”

It is evident that Gaudet is pleased to have both Bautista and Blanchette join him on the Team Canada bench and he speaks highly of the skill and dedication of both his assistant coaches. “Barb has always been a big game player, a relentless checker and her decisions under pressure have always been beyond belief. Her willingness to sacrifice everything for the end result is second to no one in the sport.”

He adds, “Julie has been a dominant player in the National Ringette League and has been a leader on and off the ice ever since I have known her. She has a strong passion for the game and when we coached the world junior team together she demonstrated a great calmness and the ability to address situations quickly and without attaching emotion to it. Julie’s commitment to fitness is something I would hope inspires all ringette players to achieve.”

Finland currently holds the world title after defeating Canada at the 2010 World Ringette Championship held in Tampere, Finland.