Ringette: The Northeast Regionals are Here

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The Sault Ringette Club hosted the Northeast Ontario Regional RINGETTE Championships. The action started on Friday, March 11, with Opening Ceremonies, themed BATTLE OF THE RINGS, at Superior Heights C.&V.S. The tournament continued all day Saturday, at three local arenas, John Rhodes, Rankin & McMeeken. Semi finals and finals got underway early on Sunday.
Teams from Sudbury, Walden, Valley East, Timmins, Iroquois Falls, North Bay, and The Sault are part of this annual Regional Tournament. There are well over 300 people in town to take in the sport of ringette. Families, friends, athletes, referees, coaches, team logistics people were out in abundance at The John Rhodes Centre on Saturday when SaultOnline stopped by. On Ice Pad 1 were The Valley East Ringers and Sault Ice Hawks playing an unrelenting game in the ‘Open Division’, followed by ‘Bunnies’ who are all aged 8 years and under. A Bunny Fest for players is running in conjunction with the Regionals. Well done all! Tremendous ringette action indeed.

20160312_121126Shelli Donofrio, member of the Sault Ice Hawks team and champion for all things ringette, tells SaultOnline. Open Division is for women (and even a few men) age 18 years and older, some who are into their 40s.

20160312_113007There are so many great stories to be told about the spirit of the ringette community across the Northeast and here in the Soo. In fact, one great story includes my long term (33 years) ringette partner Debbie Desgagne, her husband Carl and their two girls. It is truly a family affair, with Debbie coaching both girls in House-League and Rep teams over the last 15 years, Carl serving as the goalie coach for many teams, and their daughters Katelyn (18) and Alyssa (14 year old goalie) playing house-league and rep. for the NORTHEAST AAA U-19 team out of Sudbury. They truly are committed to the sport of ringette like no other family I know. Debbie has also served on the Executive Committee of the Sault Ringette Association for almost two decades.

The Sault Ringette Club would like to encourage folks to come out to the arenas and check out some terrific, on-ice action. Cheer on the Sault Ice Hawks, and the rest of teams who are part of this exceptional sport, called ‘The Fastest Game on Ice.’

‘Ringette is a Canadian invention that has become one of the fastest team sports on ice. Sam Jacks, a recreation director and sports enthusiast from North Bay, Ontario, invented the sport in 1963 when he saw the need for a winter team sport for girls. Interestingly enough, Sam Jacks was also responsible for the development and introduction of floor hockey in 1936.

Since the early 1960s, the sport has continued to grow and currently boasts nearly 30,000 registered players on nearly 2000 teams, with over 8000 coaches and over 1500 officials. While it is primarily a female sport, there are currently over 700 males playing ringette across the country. Internationally, ringette is played in a number of countries around the world, including Finland, Sweden, the United States, France, Slovakia, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Abu Dhabi.’ (http://www.ringette.ca)