Kelowna-based ringette teams bank bronze at Western Championships

Team BC U16 A won bronze

The U16 ringette team winning the provincials to get into the Western Canada Championships. Photo: Tracie Koebel

The Western Canada Ringette Championships wrapped on Saturday and two Team BC squads based out of Kelowna, with Okanagan players, are bringing home the hardware.

The U16 A division team won bronze after a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Team Alberta early Saturday morning. The Kelowna-based team won the chance to represent Team BC after winning the provincials earlier in March.

Tracie Koebel, parent and board member with Kelowna Ringette Association, said the team had one goal this season.

“At the beginning it was their goal to represent the province at Westerns,” said Koebel. “To be here was the goal, and they crossed that off the list. But they want to medal.”

The team, consisting of 11 players from KRA, were ready to take on their biggest challenge of the season at the championships.

“They were just the little engine that could, they pushed through, they’re focused and determined,” said Koebel.

“They want to know that they’re one of the top teams in western Canada.”

READ MORE: Three Kelowna-based ringette teams en route to Western Canada championships

READ MORE: B.C. ringette coach gets a hand in picking Canadian national team

At the championship game for the U19 A division, Team BC lost in the finals against Team Manitoba 3-2. The U19 A team brings home the silver medal.

READ MORE: Kelowna Special Olympian shows off World Games medals

Koebel, who’s been involved with Kelowna Ringette for many years, said that she thinks the sport just needs a little more exposure to get the numbers of players to continue to rise.

She said that there are over 30,000 kids involved with ringette in the country, and that Canada and Finland have some of the strongest teams.

B.C. will get to see some of the best ringette players when the World Championships come to Burnaby, B.C. in November.

Meanwhile, the Kelowna-based teams and players will take the next steps to up their games.

“It’s a fast, team sport,” said Koebel. “These kids play at a high level and high intensity.”

More information of KRA, and free ringette events can be found at KRA’s Facebook.

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