A quick read of the Ottawa Ice’s NRL roster reads like a family reunion with four last names repeated twice and, it’s not a typo! There are four “Sister Acts” on the roster of the 2009-10 Ottawa Ice NRL team – Kelly and Alex Bateman, Kyrie and Jenna Love, Katie and Carrie Lugg, Krista and Jessica Neale.
What’s even more amazing is that if you look back over the years you will find these players names listed on Ottawa Ice rosters going back to the early nineties because every one of the eight girls started their ringette careers as a Bunny in the Ottawa Ice Ringette Association.
Since those early days of learning to make snow using their inside skate edges, playing “What Time Is It Mr. Wolf” and being more concerned with getting the treat at the end of the Bunny session, the eight have gone on to compete on Ottawa Ice teams that have won 15 Provincial Medals including Ottawa’s first ever Provincial Championship. Between them they’ve added another 10 Provincial Championships since that first one in Waterloo in 1997. They’ve also been members of the first team to represented Ottawa at the National Championships and in their 6 trips to Nationals (in Junior and Belle), they have won 6 medals – 3 Bronze, 1 Silver and 2 Gold.
The 6 older players have also played competitive soccer together for the Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club during their high school years. However, the academic battle lines were drawn once they hit university – the four Loves and Luggs attend the University of Ottawa and are die-hard GeeGees, while the four Neales and Batemans attend Queens University and are intense Golden Gael fans!
Most importantly, though, these young women are much more than ringette teammates – they have not only grown up together, but they are all the best of friends off the ice.
And the ringette volunteer who gets the credit for starting it all: their current Head Coach Dave Shoobert, who was close friends with parents of two of the families and recruited the girls so his daughter, fellow Ice team-mate Allison Shoobert, would have some friends in Bunnies. Of course, Coach Shoobert also claims to have a keen eye for spotting talent among 5 year olds!