On May 26th the Ontario Ringette Association held their Annual General Meeting in Kitchener. For those that have never attended an AGM, they are boring affairs populated by old fogies who think they know the game. Imagine our surprise when this year’s event was totally different as the meeting moved quickly and had relevant information for the members present.
The highlight is always the Awards Banquet. Of course we had a typical chicken dinner but the excitement began when the awards were given out. Firstly, the Gold Medal winners from the Canada Winter Games were there and saluted for their efforts on our behalf. The presenter for this was none other than the coach, Glen Gaudet. Then Jane Casson, our retiring President, got to show that her face could go as red as her dress and that she had lots of tears to shed when she was honoured by the membership.
Many awards were presented that night but some major surprises were in store for four people who had a connection to the Richmond Hill Lightning. Normally, it is very difficult to get a recipient to the banquet with out them knowing that they have won the award because you must remember this is part of a boring weekend of meetings. This time the award committee was really lucky. The first surprised recipient was Jim File who won a Community Builder Award. Jim is “just the ice scheduler” for Richmond Hill Ringette but he does so much more and his efforts on behalf of the Open AA team are truly appreciated. Scott Sullivan, the President of Richmond Hill Ringette also won a Community Builder Award. Bill Fryer (coach of the Richmond Hill Open AA team) won the most important award that ORA give, the Provincial Builder Award. While he was aware that he had won an award it was very special for him because the presenter of the award was Karen Duguay, one of the captains of his team. It was a really touching moment. This award is given for a member’s efforts on behalf of ringette over an extended period time. Bill has been active for so many years, both as a coach and administrator for the game he loves. Anyone who is willing to drive a minimum of four hours for any team activity has to be truly committed to our sport. The most surprised member of the Richmond Hill group was Karen Duguay. She had come to the banquet to honour Bill and to present his award. For those of you that know her, imagine her face when it was announced that she was Ontario’s Player of the Year. To win this award, you cannot just be a talented player who loves the game. You must promote the sport and help others to develop to their full potential. Karen’s efforts on behalf of ringette in Richmond Hill are greatly appreciated.
The best quote about the success of Jim, Scott, Bill and Karen in promoting ringette and improving the quality of our players in Richmond Hill came from Glen Gaudet, when he asked, “Where the hell did Richmond Hill come from?” Richmond Hill sent all five of their provincial level teams to the Provincial A and AA Championships as the Southern Region Reps.
Story written by Rob Evans, VP of Finance for Ontario Ringette and Tween A Coach in Richmond Hill.