Ten years ago, the Comox Valley Ringette Association started with a small masters team and a youth team comprised of children seven to 12. Growth was slow at first as people learned about the sport and word spread, but over the last couple of years registration has increased by more than 25 per cent each year. This meant a record turnout for the West Coast Classic in Richmond this January and another win for the masters team.
For many players on the U10 team, the first game of the tournament was their first official game. As the tournament progressed, their skills and confidence grew with each passing minute.
“Having a better understanding of the game flow allowed the team to strengthen as a whole, so much so that other teams couldn’t believe the U10s had never played a game prior to the West Coast Classic,” team manager Alicia O’Quinn said. “The WCC gave the U10 team the confidence and skills to take their play to the next level.”
Association president Haley Hill, one of the people who started the CVRA, is proud of its growth and the progress of the teams.
“For the past 10 years there have been no other associations on the Island, but Victoria launched an association in September, and this will now mean opportunities for our players to play on the Island,” Hill said.
The U12 team, the Comets, played inter-squad games leading up to the West Coast Classic. Though they lost their tournament games, they put up a strong fight against some tough teams, with some of the newer players scoring goals.
“It was exciting to watch them play with heart, determination and grit. We are so proud of these kids,” said team manager Tracy Walther.
“Getting to experience a higher level of play was a big plus and allowed our athletes to develop significantly over a few short days,” Comets coach Matt Behrens said. “In addition, we made some connections that hopefully will lead to more game opportunities in the future with other associations.”
The U14 team, the Currents, had a great tournament, winning three games, losing one and reaching the semi-finals. Despite a number of injuries in the last game, they persevered and placed second in their pool. Assistant coach Arran Arthur described them as “a wonderfully dedicated group of kids that exemplify great sportsmanship and teamwork.”
For the masters team, this year was golden. The team won three games and tied one, landing them in the final against the Surrey Shooters. Team member Arthur said one of the most incredible parts of the tournament was watching the team’s goalie, Kelly Aseltine.
“She is in her first year back to ringette after a long break and she played so well,” Arthur said. “It was truly a team effort with a great spread of goals across the team, and they brought home the first place banner with a 6-3 win.”
To find out more about ringette or to contact us about joining a team in the fall, visit www.comoxvalleyringette.com