Ringette is truly a family affair for Dave Mainwood. He became involved in ringette at just 11 years old when his mom asked him to help out with his sister’s team. He did it so he could get some extra ice time for hockey, but ended up loving being involved and began reffing a couple of years later. Since then, he has coached at all levels of ringette, including AAA, NRL and Team Canada. Many of the years he coached he did it with his wife Vicky at his side and his daughters on one side of the bench or the other.
Dave coached in the first World Ringette Championships in Gloucester in 1990, coaching the host team to a credible 4th place as a late and unexpected entry to fill in for a European teams that cancelled at the last minute. In 1998 he coached Team Canada in a Summit Series that took place in Finland, France and Sweden.
Dave has the distinction of having both coached in the Championship Game at the National Championships and refereeing in a Championship Game at Nationals. He was inducted into the Ontario Ringette Hall of Fame as a Community Builder in 1986 and was named Ontario’s Provincial Coach of the Year in 1993
For the past few years, Dave has been splitting his coaching between the NRL and the minor leagues. This year he is coaching his daughters in the NRL and coaching the GCRA Junior AA with his wife and daughters.
Last year Dave was awarded the Coach of the Year in the NRL.
If you ask any of the players whom Dave has coached why they love to play for him, they’ll tell you that it is because he treats players with the utmost respect, that his technical skills are second to none, and of course, he has the uncanny knack of drawing up that last second play.
Below are his own words…
"I have been fortunate to coach in this sport for close to 40 years. Starting well before I was married I had the opportunity to be involved as a youngster, both coaching and officiating. While doing both and having a chance to coach and ref at the National and World level I realized my love for coaching. Hence I have gave up the officiating side of things and went into coaching full time.
Coaching in the NRL is the top level in Canada and to be associated with it is fantastic. I have seen this recreational sport grow from players wearing jeans with combs sticking out their back pockets to a truely high performance sport. The NRL has had its ups and downs, certainly more ups. It has grown into something that younger players aspire to play in and that is all one can ask. The one area I worry about is our own demise, when some individuals or organizations put themselves above the league; we will be the only ones to blame for allowing this to happen. I only hope, as I soon step away, that this league continues – my daughters play and I would love for once to be just a parent. As a player and fan of hockey I still believe that this sport is the one for females and I hope it continues this way. Coaching Ringette has been part of my life and my families, how can one not enjoy it."