Great anticipation probably best describes the feeling amongst the Comox Valley Ringette Association U10 and U14 players as they travelled to the popular West Coast Classic, Jan. 11-13 at the Richmond Arena.
Two teams of determined players travelled with family and friends to be part of a weekend of fun, friendship and ringette. Facing much larger teams and organizations from the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland the children and youth, some of whom have started to skate a few months ago, showed pride and determination, never giving up despite some almost cruel inequality, a Comox Valley spokesperson said.
But in the end good lessons were learned and smiles were prevailing. In the good spirit of the tournament (which attracted over 300 children and youth) some players were selected by coaches of the opposite teams as Most Valuable Player in each of their respective games.
Although everyone on the ice performed to the best of their ability and experience the following players were elected as MVPs: U10 - Sierra Murphy, Kamil Guay, Logan Grove and Jessica Postle; U14 - Kylie Barr, Sydney Postle, Grace Burgess and Gabrielle Guay.
"Congratulation to all of the players who took part in this tournament and good luck to the players who will be heading to Port Coquitlam in February for the Timbits Jamboree as these tournaments represents the only opportunities our children have to play and measure themselves against other teams," the spokesperson said.
The Comox Valley Ringette Association was established in 2009 and after four years there enough players to form two teams. "And to discredit the concept that ringette is hockey for girls, we have had several boys, who also play hockey, join the teams over the last few years.
"Ringette provides an opportunity for children and adults alike to play a fast, non-contact, skill-oriented game on ice where, as a result of a strict set of rules, no one player is a hero. Supported by a team of dedicated coaches – Theresa, Hailey, Trudy and Helen – the children are given an arena in which they can learn to skate, exploit their full potential and come home smiling and tired," the spokesperson said.
"It is a great alternative to hockey and as parents, you do not need to be up by 5 on Saturday mornings. Currently, our two teams practise once a week on Tuesday from 3:45-4:45 at the skating arena on Vanier Drive.
"We would like to take this occasion to invite you and your children to come watch a practice and find out what ringette is all about. There are always parents in the facility who will gladly answer any questions you may have. We hope to see you there sometime and watch for more ringette news upon our return from the Port Coquitlam Jamboree.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors. Without their continued support we could not provide this truly amazing opportunity for our children."
– Comox Valley Ringette Association