Arran Arthur of the Comox Valley joined the team from the Czech Republic for the second time at the World Ringette Championships. The first time was in Burnaby at the 2019 tournament. Espoo, Finland hosted the 2022 championships. Both times, her team won the bronze medal. She won an MVP award in 2019, and scored a goal at this year’s tourney.
Arthur is able to play with the Czech team because she has an EU passport. The team also managed to find three other Canadian players with European ties.
“That helps, because they don’t have a league,” said Arthur, president of the Comox Valley Ringette Association. “It really helps them to have more ringette experience.”
The highlight for Arthur’s team was being up 5-1 against 2019 champion Sweden; however, the Czechs lost the game in the final 30 seconds.
Due to COVID and the world’s economic situation, she said many rinks have closed in Prague and other parts of the Czech Republic. Finland, on the other hand, did not shut down during COVID, which might have explained the bigger divide in scores this year in games against Canada.
Like 2019, there were seven teams this year: Canada senior and junior, Finland senior and junior, Sweden, U.S. and the Czech Republic. Canada and Finland play in their own pool, while the other three nations comprise the President’s Pool.
Camaraderie was especially strong this year as all teams stayed at the same hotel.
The final games drew thousands of fans, many wearing a jersey of their favourite player.
“I’ve never experienced that in ringette,” Arthur said.
Halifax will host the 2023 world tournament.
Locally, the masters ringette program is growing. This year, Lower Mainland youth teams are playing exhibition games in the Comox Valley — which will hopefully be part of next year’s schedule and rotation.
“That is a huge step forward for us,” Arthur said.
For more information about ringette, visit comoxvalleyringette.com.