Calgary RATH is all about commitment: commitment to the sport, commitment to the team and commitment to each other. With four players furthering their education out of town and another living elsewhere, coordinating schedules could become an issue. Calgary RATH plays and practices on weekends so that the players can arrange their time accordingly. Since this plan was adopted last year, team spirit has been rejuvenated.
Abbey Hoes and Stacey McNichol are two of the players who juggle lives in two cities. Both are education students at the University of Lethbridge. They attend school from Monday to Friday in Lethbridge then drive to Calgary to dedicate each weekend to ringette. Although Abbey is immersed in her Math major and Stacey is practice teaching an hour away in Burdett, Alberta, they can’t leave ringette alone. During the week they assistant coach on a Lethbridge Petite A team and Stacey continues to coach a women’s team.
Abbey admits this will be her most difficult year responsibility wise but “a lifetime of ringette has taught me to manage my time. Not playing ringette has never been an option. I can’t imagine what it must be like to ‘sit on the fence’ about whether to play or not. You just go out there, play, have fun, and be a part of it.”
Stacey had a busy ringette season last year combining Calgary RATH, Team Canada and university. Her time management skills were put to a test. People regularly ask Stacey (otherwise known as Pickle) why she does what she does. “I don’t think of it as traveling ‘just’ to play ringette. Ringette is a major part of my life because I want it to be. I come back to Calgary every weekend for the competition, the friends and a chance to play the game I love. People say I am crazy for driving almost 500 km every weekend, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”