As the newest member of Calgary RATH, Kailee has faced some adjustments but is loving it…because after all, it is ringette! Here is what Kailee has to say.
I left for Finland in the autumn of 2000, to play in the highest caliber, most organized and prestigious ringette league in the world. Having the opportunity to play several games against the best teams in the country over the entire season, as well as participating in high-level training throughout the year was a dream come true. The chance to do all of that at home proved irresistible to me.
Although there are several differences between the NRL and Finland’s SM-League, both are full of world champions, vibrant up-and-comers, incredible goaltending, playmaking that sometimes borders on the magical, and pure athleticism that approaches artistry.
Finland’s culture holds athletics in very high esteem, and perhaps as a result, the team-corporate relationships are very well developed. That combined with the shorter distances make traveling much easier. Also, when it is not necessary to play up to six games in a weekend, and because ice time is readily available three period games are standard.
The schedule in Canada is much less demanding, which makes it easier to keep up with other responsibilities. Canada has a great base of young players and enough experienced veterans to impose a minimum age. Hopefully this will function to keep the league dynamic with fresh talent coming in every year while ensuring some continuity, keeping the NRL truly elite.
I am really excited for the day when these leagues compete head to head, because the exchange of strategies, coaching methods, ideas and skills will undoubtedly raise the level of the game even higher.