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Ringette galore!

January 27, 2016

This week we are celebrating National Ringette Week in Finland and that means that clubs around the country are hosting events, inviting people to come and try the sport, hosting practices with other teams and playing exhibition games.

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When ringette and hockey season is on, I visit the arena five, sometimes six times a week. I mostly ferry around the Little Miss to her practices and games, but I also coach, so I have to be there anyways. It’s all good, I love it!

In fact it over the past month or so it has been ringette almost every single day! I was host to Canada’s senior women’s team at the recent World Ringette Championships in Helsinki. I even took the week off of work to be a part of it. It was well-worth my time! I got to meet some of the best ringette players from both Canada and Finland, what a privilege! I even got spend time in places that not too many people had access to over the duration of the tournament. While Team Canada didn’t really require a lot of my help, I was there during practices and games and learned a lot in the process.

Team Canada on the ice, Team Finland warming up...

Team Canada on the ice, Team Finland warming up…

I’d like to thank the players from both Canada and Finland who took the time to talk to the Little Miss, she was so very happy about that. It seems to have inspired her even more than before. (She also got to speak “Canadian,” which I am always thankful for.)

I was so disappointed that the World Ringette Championships were so overshadowed by the World Junior Hockey Championships. Yes, there was mention in the media about Finland winning the Sam Jacks Trophy on the senior side, but not enough mention about some of the best women skaters on the planet. Finland has its star players (Susanna Tapani, Anne Pohjala, Marjukka Virta), of course, but the game of ringette overall doesn’t not get enough press. Finland is the best country in the world right now, but very few people even know what ringette is and that is sad.

With the end of my coaching training back in December, I can say that I made a few new friends on the coaching circuit – people from Nurmijärvi, Hyvinkää and Lahti. So when we see each other at tournaments, we chat and find out how the teams are doing and how the coaching is going. It’s been really great to make all of these connections. The kids that play on our teams have developed so much over the course of the season and it’s been all uphill since the beginning of the season. <thumbs up>

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It’s also nice to see so many women taking up the game, being brave and just doing it. My own team has gotten several new players this season, it’s GREAT! The point is to play and improve, the starting point does not matter.

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