Being an active player in the National Ringette League is more than a privilege. As part of the top players in the country, you are a role model to the community that raised you and you have a duty towards all the girls that aspire to become great as you are. This resonates with the Lac St.Louis Adrenaline team and here is why some of our veterans decided to be actively involved in the community:
Cortney Keeble, #88, is head coach of the BKRA Atom A since Fall 2015.
“The first reason I decided to get involved with coaching younger kids was because I love kids and I love ringette. I wanted to head coach a team so that I can teach them the right skills and techniques. What better way to give back to the ringette association that I came from and who taught me so much when I was young. But what I soon learned is that it is really not only about teaching the kids the proper way to shoot, or how to play in the defensive triangle. It is about being a good role model for them, someone who is not Mom or Dad. It’s about their excitement when I walk into the dressing room and they can’t wait to tell me what happened at school that day, or tricks to sneaking their iPad into bed so that they don’t get caught, or what Santa got them for Christmas. It’s about cheering so loud for them when they finally scored from the offensive play they practiced 100 times, and to see their timid yet proud little smile as they skate to the bench for a high five. Sometimes I think I get more excited than them! At the end of the day, I coach because I think ringette is a great sport, and I want to help the kids have the best experience and have the most fun while learning and playing. The experience off the ice is just as gratifying as on the ice. I have been sledding in a snow storm with them, been to the movies, I’ve even had a dance party in my hotel room, NO parents allowed. The smile that the kids have on their face at the end of the day is what makes it all worth it, and I am proud of all of them. That is what pushes me to do it.
It is important for players to get involved as a coach for all the above reasons. But technically speaking, you are helping more than you may realize. God bless all the moms and dads who volunteer to coach their daughters in ringette. Having now been involved in coaching the U12 age group for my second year now, and being on the executive board for the association, the technical struggle for some is no secret. But you cannot blame them, many parent-coaches have never seen the sport, even less so at a higher level and there is little to no information on ringette strategy on the internet. When you come in as a player who knows the sports, you become a valuable resource for not only the girls, but for coaches as well. I am always more than happy to give feedback to anyone who approaches me with a question. Not only are you teaching the kids the right techniques and strategies to grow as ringette players, but you are helping the coaches and parents learn about the game as well. ”
Katherine Groulx, #4, is a referee since the beginning of the 2016-2017 season
“There is a time in your life when you feel that you have to do more. When you have played ringette all your life, you love the sport and you want to give back. One way of doing is to become a referee. First, you have to know that being an official is much harder than you think. For me it felt like I was learning a new sport. You see the game that you love so much from another angle. You have to think of how position yourself and skate differently than when you are a player but also have to interpret differently all these rules that you think already know. And the explanations you give to the young players out there are so important in their development and understanding of the game. So for me, being a referee is my way to be involved in the community.”
Sarah Bernard-Lacaille, #21, has been elected in 2016 as Athlete Director of Ringette Canada Board of Directors.
“This year, I decided to get involved with Ringette Canada’ Board of Directors as Athlete Director. I got involved a few times at the local level, but I had never tried the experience at the national level, hence my application to this committee this year. Since I have been playing ringette since I was 5 years old, I have been part of the National Junior team and I have been playing in the NRL for 8 years. With all this experience in the elite circuit, I thought I could represent the athletes and add value to the Board of Directors. Having said that, being the youngest member of the group, I hope to bring different points of view, complementary to those of the existing members. In fact, during the first meeting I participated in, my ideas were warmly welcomed and I am confident that the decisions we have made will lead our sport to excellence.”
Getting actively involved in the community is important. The friends that you make, the children that you inspire and the people that you help learn make it all worthwhile. We suggest to anyone who is thinking about getting involved to go for it. You can become a head coach, an assistant coach, be a helper who shows up from time to time, teach little ones how to skate. You can also become a referee or an official, or get involved in your local association. The ways to get involved are infinite and are most welcome. Congratulations to our veterans and keep up the great work; you girls make the difference in our community!
This article inspired you and you want to do your part? Email your local association President to let him know you would like to get involved.