Morinville – If Morinville residents Andre and Lisa Houle have their way, ringette players of all ages could be taking to the ice in Morinville next season. The couple are holding a Come Try Ringette Event at the Ray McDonald sports Centre Mar. 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., an hour-long opportunity for the enthusiast and the curious to come out and find out what the sport is all about.
“Ringette can be played by people of all ages, and we’re just asking people to come out and play some games and see what the game is all about,” said organizer Lisa Houle, adding the hope is to generate sufficient interest to get ringette going in Morinville and Sturgeon County.
The Houles, who have two daughters, tried to generate interest in the community to get more girls playing hockey, but they found difficulty in generating interest. “We managed to get five girls together for our daughter’s age group, which is initiation.” she said. “With a population this big we can’t seem to get enough girls involved.”
Houle understands the lack of interest in hockey among girls, and is hoping ringette, a game invented in Ontario in 1963 and played throughout the country today, will catch on in the area. Ringette players carry straight hollow sticks to control a blue plastic ring that is shot into the opponent’s net. The game is similar to hockey in that respect but is more focused on passing than hockey.
“I grew up playing ringette,” Houle said. “Ringette’s given me a lot: self respect, confidence, the sense of accomplishment. It’s fun. It’s girls working together, camaraderie, and inclusion. It’s sports. It’s healthy. It has a lot of things that it offers.”
Ringette teams generally consist of 16 to 18 players. The Mar. 30 event is an attempt to find out how much interest there is in the sport. A turnout of a few may lead to a more casual weekly ringette focus, a large turnout could result in something more formalized.
“If we have enough for teams, it could be something like hockey,” Houle said. “We’ve got that potential with the population we have. It’s getting it out there.”
Houle is hoping residents of all ages will come out and give the sport a try. “Not everyone can puck handle. Ringette is very much a skating sport,” Houle explained. “You put a stink on the end of a four-year-old’s ring and they can skate with it. It’s empowering. It [the sport] is as simple as you want it to be or it can be as intricate as you want it to be.
Those interested in coming out to try ringette can visit ComeTryRingette.com and select the register for an event link.