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On a road I didn’t plan on following

September 9, 2016

A few years back the Little Miss (who is not so little anymore) started playing ringette. We’re now coming up on her sixth year in the sport (yikes!) and it’s still her thing. It’s now become my thing too. I played ringette when I was a kid in Canada and gave it up when I was 18.

I lamented in the past that it took me a long time to be brave enough join group activities here in Finland because of my piss poor language skills, but here I am a few years in from the Little Miss starting ringette and I find myself named as the (Co-) head coach of her team.

ringette_team

Photo by Ira Merivaara

I also got brave enough to start playing again about three years ago and it’s been a learning curve. That is the beauty of this game, you’ll always learn something new (especially by watching the better players play) and keep developing even if you’ve take it up as an adult. My team has a host of “new” players, some who started playing again after many years and others who have transferred skills from other sports to ringette (salibandy, for example).

This is not where I expected to be: a ringette mom, a certified coach (I survived Level 1 coaching in Finnish last fall!) and player. This season I’ve even been brought in on the hockey side to help coach.

Photo by Milla Valtonen

Photo by Milla Valtonen

The Little Miss plays hockey, also completely unexpected. One of my colleagues from work is a hockey player and invited the Little Miss to try it out a couple years ago. Now she and her teammates and her hockey cohorts are building the foundation of the sport in Espoo. It looks good for the future of girl’s and women’s hockey in Finland.

I always knew I liked being on skates, and now I get to be on the ice 4-5, sometimes six times a week. Unexpected, but a very welcome addition to my life. It requires some juggling, organization, time and a good attitude. The greatest part of it all is seeing these girls develop their skills, all of them. I expect great things from all the kids I coach by season’s end. It’s gonna be a good one. I can’t wait!

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