The Rush would like you to meet our Sam! You may have seen her this season sporting the number 11 on her jersey, streaking fast down the ice, fearlessly checking opponents off the ring and owning the defensive and neutral zone. Hailing from Oakbank, Manitoba, Sam has proven in her rookie year to be a huge asset to the Rush; bringing so much to the team both on and off the ice. This is no doubt a result of her wealth of experience from her 13 years of playing ringette. Some of her many accomplishments include: 7 years on the Winnipeg Magic AA team (U19 Silver Medalist at 2013 Canadian Ringette Championships, U19 Gold Medalist in 2014), a bronze at the 2012 World Junior Championships with Team Canada West, a gold at the 2015 Canada Winter Games with Team Manitoba and of course, a gold at the 2016 World Junior Championships with the Junior National Team. In addition to her notable ringette accomplishments, Sam was also a recipient of the Roland Michener Award following her performance at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. This prestigious award recognizes strong leadership skills on and off the playing field, combined with an ongoing commitment to scholastic and athletic excellence. For Sam, the both the nomination from Team Manitoba and the Roland Michener Award were “…such a surprise in itself, but to be selected as the female recipient for the 2015 Roland Michener Canada Games Award is such an incredible honour! Ringette has been such a big part of my life and has really made me into the person I am today. So I have to say that my teammates and my coaches are such a big reason why I am in the position of receiving this award. I have to thank them for helping me be the best I could be!”.
What do you do outside of ringette?
I am the head coach for the U14 AA Winnipeg WILD team and that takes up most of my evenings and weekends when I am not travelling for my own ringette. I also instruct ringette skills camps and sometimes even get to hang out with friends. I took some time off school and will be going back in the fall hoping to work towards degree in psychology and work with kids.
What do you like most about the sport of ringette and what keeps you motivated?
I’ve loved ringette from the first year I played- I love the speed, the physical play but most of all, playing as part of a team. I like the challenge of working out and keeping in top physical shape but the friends I’ve made are what keeps me motivated the most.
What was one of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome in your rookie year in the NRL?
It has been a very busy year with ringette, lots of travelling and playing on a new team. That has taken a bit of adjustment, but I am very lucky that the rushies have been so friendly and welcoming to Talia and I. Playing NRL is pretty intense, you have to be at your best for every game because you are playing against some of the best ringette players in the country.
What do you like the most about playing in the NRL?
I like playing at the highest level of ringette and always like challenging myself. Its competitive, its fast, and you have to play with smarts.
What advice would you give to athletes aspiring to compete in the NRL?
It’s not like what you’ve been playing for the past few years at the AA/AAA level. In the NRL you’re competing against the best and anything can happen. So you have to compete to being the best you can be and never give up.