Post High School Ringette
Are you moving away from home and want to play Ringette?
What are your options?
You can call the local Ringette association to see if they have a team at your level of play. What about your new college or university?
Contact the Athletic Department of your college or university and look into coordinating a game of pick-up, otherwise known as “Shinny Ringette”! There might be a lot of interest once the ball is put into motion!
Spread the Word
The following link contains all of the contacts for University Ringette Teams!
University Ringette Experience – Sabrina from the Ottawa University Ringette Team
With the number of University and Varsity Ringette teams doubling in the last two years, more and more girls leaving for various Canadian Universities are looking to start teams at their institutions. This article is for those who wish to take on this demanding and sometimes daunting task. But remember, the rewards are ones that will last for years to come and allow for opportunities that haven’t previously been available. If you’re ready to spearhead this initiative, keep reading and take notes.
Varsity Ringette will be supported at a club or recreation level, and not at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (C.I.S.) level. The difference between the two is funding. The volleyball team at your school that has major sponsors pay for everything, including travel, is a C.I.S. team.
Even though you will gain support from your institution, do not expect this kind of attention. If you’d like to know more about C.I.S. level athletics, please visit http://www.universitysport.ca.
Club level athletics are not administratively supported, but rather student supported. If you want to start a team, YOU have to be willing to do the work. Having an understanding that putting a team together isn’t something that will manifest on its own and will require dedication, time and hard work, is the mindset you need to have to see success.
My first suggestion would be to find your local regional athlete representative, and make them aware of your intentions so that you can network and make connections that may be useful in the future. Collect these names and don’t be afraid to use them! These individuals will very likely be thrilled to hear from you and provide information you may be looking for.
If you keep your expectations in line that people won’t simply give things or do things for you, you’ll be fine. Varsity level athletics aren’t served up on a silver platter and you’ll be required to do the brunt of the work in order to succeed.
Once you’ve made some fundamental connections, you’ll need to source information from your institution to proceed with the application process. Given the fact that YOU will be approaching your school’s representative (not you parent or coach) you will be very well received. Since this is a student based team, it needs to be “student established”. By speaking with your school’s Sports Club Coordinator / Recreation Manager / Intramural’s Coordinator, you will get an idea of what is required in terms of time, interest and work involved.
If you’re approaching your representative at the beginning of the academic year, don’t expect to have a team up and running by October. Unfortunately, and mostly result of financial restrictions and budgeting requirements, most post-secondary institutions budget their athletic programs almost a full year in advance. Therefore, use the current academic year to familiarize yourself with the application process to apply for the following year.
Use the initial year to conduct research and put a plan in place to demonstrate there is interest on your campus for a Ringette team. It’s guaranteed that you will be asked to prove that Ringette belongs on your campus during the application process. How do you demonstrate this? There are a couple of options to explore, which include having people sign an interest list and gathering contact information for them to start to build your new ringette community.
Another, and perhaps more feasible and effective option, would be to purchase a semester’s worth of ice on your campus and run a weekly shinny Ringette session, where people can sign up or pay as they go.
Talk to the ice Reservations Officer, and try to make an agreement that the ice will be held until money is collected from interested parties. Call a referee in the region and ask them to come out once a week. Invite the community, not just students. This can help spread the word as some community members may know students attending the university and can tell them about the game(s).
Put up posters in local arenas, community centres, the campus, and residences. Charge only for necessary expenses and make the registration price as low as possible. Cut costs by asking participants to bring both light and dark coloured jerseys to make teams.
Don’t forget that applications will need to be completed and submitted by the deadline while your awareness efforts above are taking place. There might be items in the budget you might not be aware of, like a local league, regional and provincial information, insurance information, etc. Use the contacts made through your athlete representative to discuss such matters- you will quickly realize how indispensable they are!
Form a committee- somewhat of a support group you can call meetings with to get things done. Take it to heart that you are only as effective as the people you surround yourself with.
Include your participation numbers and statistics from your shinny Ringette sessions in your application process to be presented to the appropriate parties. By proving you have the numbers, they cannot deny interest within the community.
Contact Ringette Canada and ask for a Ringette information package that can be included with the application, demonstrating the national presence of our sport. Submit everything.
In the meantime, keep shinny Ringette running, continue to have meetings and try to find more potential players and a potential coach and manager.
By pursuing the formation of your team, you will be ready once your applications are approved and have a head start on the next task of putting a real team together. As you can see, the work involved can be daunting, but the rewards can be monumental! Not only will you have somewhere to play Ringette and proudly wear your school name while doing so, but you’ll have gained an incredibly important and valuable life experience that looks amazing on any résumé.
Leaving home doesn’t mean having to give it all up anymore! Being an integral part of your University Ringette experience is completely enriching! And hey, the saying isn’t ‘Ringette For Life!’ for nothing!
Web Pages For University Sports
University Challenge Cup (UCC)
The University Challenge Cup (UCC) is held annually during the first weekend in January. Visit www.canadianuniversityringette.ca for the latest UCC information
Have You Considered Inquiring At The University You Are Attending?
Who To Talk To
- The Director of Recreation, which may also be listed under Campus Recreation or the Director of Sports Clubs. The Athlete Director is not the person to call, as they only deal with varsity university sports and Ringette is not a varsity sport as of yet. It has the potential, though, once more universities are involved.
Opportunities For Development
- Shinny ringette, Intramurals, University Ringette (more on University ringette below)
Spread The Word
- Talk with the Student Association, the Student Newspaper, the Student Affairs Department, the Student Activities Department and Residence Life/Affairs /Activities people
- Search for other players who may also be interested; place a listing or ad on the school website
- A few selling points for a Sports Club status – ”We want you to join our club!”, “Looking for friends?”, “Do you enjoy a workout”, “Want to learn a new sport?”, “Want to play a female sport?”, “If you join us, you are one of us!”, etc
- Check back with the ORA website as information is constantly updated as it becomes available. Your Athlete Development reps are listed on the ORA website as a resource, as well.
Helpful Steps To Start
Most Schools have a New Sports Model, which outlines the requirements for the sanctioning of a new sport. Sanctioning means you can play Shinny, Intramural or Inter-School, perhaps even the University Challenge Cup.
The following steps must be included with all new sports applications. While these steps have been adopted by the Ontario University Association, it provides an idea of what any post-secondary school requirements might be:
- Minimum commitment of providing certified coaching – Competition Introduction Trained
- Participation base for the sport at the club or high school level, which provides a feeder system for the College or University for subsequent years
- Student interest at the school
- Recognized sport officiating system and availability of qualified officials
- Safety elements; must demonstrate the ability to ensure safety components are in place for competitions, including a risk management plan for the sport
- Affiliation with the Sport Governing Body (the ORA), must be able to produce a letter of support and other resources that could be provided to the post-secondary sport from the Sport Governing Body
- The application must include a plan for hosting events or tournaments. If you don’t want to host any tournaments, skip this step.
- Must have an agreement amongst competing institutions for rotating events/tournament, if you are trying to have your school sanctioned for Inter-university. Otherwise, skip this step.
The most important step is to gauge the general interest on your campus, which is generally satisfied by the interest of 10 to 15 players. Begin with “pick up games” (shinny) and from there develop into more formal teams, such as house league, the University Challenge Cup or the National Ringette League.
Ringette for Life!