Ottawa, Ontario – October 5, 2011 – Ringette Canada today announced the head coach appointments for its two junior national teams. Port Perry’s Sharolyn Wouters has been named head coach of Team Canada East and Langley’s Jennifer Wakefield has been named head coach of Team Canada West. Both teams will participate in the 2012 U19 World Ringette Championship, which will be held in London, Ontario in late December 2012.
Both Wouters and Wakefield boast impressive ringette careers and while they will be squaring off behind the benches at the world junior event, they have spent most of their ringette careers as teammates on both Team Canada and the Cambridge Turbos in the National Ringette League (NRL).
Wouters, who still plays as a forward on the Turbos, has picked up two silver medals as a member of Team Canada and picked up gold at the first ever World Club Championship in 2008. She is also an accomplished ringette coach, having coached Team Ontario to gold medals wins at the Canada Winter Games in both 2003 and 2007. She was also an assistant coach when Team Canada East won silver at the last U19 World Ringette Championship.
“Ringette has been a huge part of my life and I am grateful to have a chance to work with Canada’s up and coming elite athletes,” said Wouters. “It’s an honor to be named the head coach for Team Canada East and I am thankful that Ringette Canada and the committee has chosen me for this position.”
Wakefield lives in Langley and plays for the Lower Mainland Ringette League Thunder in the NRL. She has made four appearances on Team Canada, winning a gold and three silver medals and was also on the Turbos roster with Wouters when the team won the first ever World Club Championship in 2008. Wakefield has also coached Team BC at the 2010 and 2011 Canadian Ringette Championships.
“I am honoured that Ringette Canada has entrusted me to lead Team Canada West. This is such a special opportunity and I am very excited to be able to work with such a talented group of elite athletes and coaches from across Canada,” said Wakefield. “Canada has the best ringette players in the world, and our goal will be clear – to bring a gold medal back to Western Canada.”
“Both Sharolyn and Jenn will bring their experience as athletes playing at the international level with them to their coaching positions and I am very pleased they will be coaching our junior national teams,” said Darrell Liebrecht, Ringette Canada National Team committee chair. “This will go a long way in helping us develop players to play for Team Canada in the future.”
Finland White currently holds the world title after defeating Canada East at the inaugural U19 World Ringette Championship held in Prague, Czech Republic in 2009.