The Comox Valley Ringette Association has appealed to the regional district for an equitable share of ice time to help grow the sport locally.
The association, which mostly consists of girls and women, hopes to see a change in the system to ensure gender equity in ice sports other than hockey. Before COVID hit, minor hockey had loaned ice time to the CVRA. This year, however, the pandemic has affected the number of players who can be on the ice.
“At this point we (CVRA) can’t get our kids on the ice for an hour a week,” Helen Oliphant said at the Sept. 15 Sports Centre Commission meeting. “For this year, we have a waiting list because we’ve had to close down our registrations.”
The number of master ringette players is declining due to a late night time slot.
The group requested a periodic review of the ice allocation policy to ensure equitable ice time. Arran Arthur, a coach and masters player who sits on the CVRA board, noted the request also applies to other user groups such as sledge hockey.
Comox director Ken Grant noted a conundrum when it comes to balancing ice times.
Courtenay director David Frisch suggested a staff report is in order. Fellow Courtenay director Will Cole-Hamilton concurred.
“It sounds like ringette has been getting largely table scraps in what’s leftover, and that’s just not right,” Cole-Hamilton said.
Noting the demand for ice time, Area C director Edwin Grieve said the district might need to consider a long-term evaluation to save reserves to eventually install another ice sheet.
Courtenay director Wendy Morin motioned for a report with options for increased ice time, and with a long-term view. The motion passed.
Nation-wide, there are an estimated 30,000 ringette players. The CVRA is the only ringette association on Vancouver Island.