In case you weren’t aware, the power base of provincial ringette makes its home right here in the Central Okanagan.
Kelowna Ringette Association teams dominated the 2015 B.C. Ringette championships last weekend winning medals in all seven divisions—five gold and two bronze.
At provincials tournaments hosted in both Vernon and Lumby, Kelowna teams won B.C. titles in the U19A, U19 B, 18+A, U16 A and U16 B categories, while taking third at both the U14 A and B levels.
KRA president Melissa Mallam, for one, was thrilled with the results.
“We have one of the strongest associations going, what we were able to do is unprecedented, winning medals in every division,” said Mallam. “We’re really lucky in that we have a huge volunteer base…the coaches, families, parents and players really give it 100 per cent commitment. This is the reward for all of that work that’s put in.”
A lesser known and much less publicized sport than hockey, ringette is alive and well in the Central Okanagan.
The Kelowna Ringette Association currently has 200 players enrolled on 15 teams, and each year hosts the very popular Sweetheart Tournament, featuring teams from across the province and Alberta.
“As one of the association presidents said last weekend, ringette is the best sport no one has really heard of,” Mallam said. “We want to raise awareness of what we have to offer and just what a great sport it is.”
Like so many other minor sports, Mallam said a couple of new arenas are on the wish-list for local ringette as a means of helping to grow the sport even further.
Meanwhile, two of the provincial championship teams have even grander goals in mind.
Both the Kelowna U19A and U16A will be headed to Calgary March 25 to 29 for the Western Canadian Ringette Championships.