Ontario Ringette Hall of Fame
Volunteer Recognition Awards
Provincial Builders are the highest honour a volunteer may receive within the Ontario Ringette Association. It is given to those who distinguish themselves while promoting or supporting Ringette within Ontario. With it, comes a lifetime membership.
A founder of the Central Ontario Ringette League, Gordon Bell served a variety of positions. He was a coach and he was the President of the Oshawa Association from 1977 to 1980. He served as the Games and Tournament coordinator from 1987 to 1989 and also acted as a Regional Director. In 1993, Bell was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder for his achievements.Gordon Bell
Jo Anne Benedict
When Jo Anne Benedict began as a player at the age of 17, she had just learned to skate and was determined not to allow herself to be outdone by the teammates she termed “young punks.” She played every position, including goalie for her home association and helped her team win medals at Intermediate and Masters level competitions.
She became a part of the Thunder Bay Ringette Association in the 1981 to 1982 season. By the time she was inducted into the Hall of Fame, she had served more than 13 years on the local Board, including three terms as President. She increased her involvement in Ringette as Regional Director of the Northwest Region, until 1996 when she was elected to the Ontario Ringette Association Board. Two years later, Benedict became President. She promoted the sport throughout Northwestern Ontario for years as a player, executive member and a tournament organizer. Benedict coached all levels, from novice to open, from recreational to competitive, including the Northwest Ontario Winter Games Team and the Thunder Bay Petite A Team. In 2002, she gained recognition for her accomplishments through Provincial Builder and induction into the Hall of Fame.
Dave has been involved with ringette in Ontario for 20 years. The Gloucester-Cumberland Ringette Association, Eastern Region, Ontario Ringette and Ringette Canada have benefited from Dave’s coaching, administrative and committee help.
Dave has coached for 20 years, starting at the Bunny level with Gloucester-Cumberland, and he continued through to the U19 Belle AA level. He has been Vice President House League, Vice President Administration, President, Tournament Chair and Tournament Ice Scheduler. Dave has been a part of their Coaching Selection Committees and organized ringette publicity campaigns. He has also been the ice scheduler for GAARA Silver Spoon Tournament.
Dave has been the Eastern Region Chair, Eastern Region Vice Chair and member of the Ontario Ringette Association Board. His knowledge, fairness and professionalism were an asset. His ability to review information, formulate opinions and help make an educated and informed decision that would benefit the majority of the ORA members was a valued asset. Dave has been a member of tribunal panels, scholarship committees and working groups at the Local, Regional, Provincial and National levels. He has been active in the University Ringette movement and been instrumental in promoting University Ringette in Ontario through publicity campaigns. He has been the University Challenge Cup Registrar, helped develop policies and procedures for the University Challenge Cup and currently coaches the University of Ottawa Ringette Team. As a well-respected person in the Ringette Community, Dave was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
One of the pioneers of Ringette, Ruth Bennett turned to the new sport because she felt there was a need for a girls’ winter sport, and was unable to convince enough parents to send their daughters to girls’ hockey. In 1968, she managed to find enough players to form two teams of 12 players; most of them were former figure skaters. She coached them herself, and two years later had enough players to form a traveling team in the ‘tween division. She made each girl’s uniform out of a blue tracksuit. This was the first Ringette uniform not formed from hockey gear. Though she faced criticism from parents for sending the girls on tournaments to come back with 20-1 losses, she continued to do so on the belief that in order for them to improve, they had to be exposed to a higher competitive level. Her team kept losing, but the players kept returning until there were 65 players in 1974. Bennett was the Ontario Ringette Association’s first historian and advisor. Bennett died from cancer at the age of 51. The following year, the Ajax Legion Belles, a team she helped create, won the first National Championships held for Ringette. In 1979, she was posthumously honoured for her contributions with an induction into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder.
While in the area, Dale Boyce brought Ringette to the surrounding municipalities of Dollard Des Ormeaux, to Pierrefonds, and Pointe Claire. By the time he left in 1972, he had increased membership tenfold. Boyce moved to Ajax, where he was a founding member of the Town of Ajax Ringette Association and drafted their constitution. That same year, he became a coach, and joined the Ontario Ringette Association Board. He was one of the first to promote Ringette, and he was amongst the first to be honoured for this task in 1979 when he was awarded Provincial Builder status and a place in the Ringette Hall of Fame.
Jane Casson started her involvement in Ringette in 1992 with Jordan Ringette. She received her coaching qualifications and was a member of her local’s executive. Her work at the provincial level started when she became Southern Region Membership Services Coordinator. As an executive member of the ORA, she performed the duties of Vice-President of Communications, Technical, Administrations and headed the Finance Committee. In 2004, Casson became President of the Ontario Ringette Association and served a four year term for the Province. She resides as the competitions chair for Ringette Canada. In 2009, she was recognized for her contributions to Ringette as a Provincial Builder in the Hall of Fame.
A local executive, and a coordinator for the Western Region on the Ontario Ringette Coaching Committee, Lucky held his position for two years before becoming Regional Chair for three more years. When elected to the Board of Directors, Clark served five terms in the office, one as Second Vice-President, one as First Vice-President, two as President and one term as Past President. During these years, Clark gave his time and energy as freely as when he was a coach. For 14 years, Clark was involved in Ringette before he was honoured for his achievements through an induction into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Paul Craig started as an assistant coach in 1980 and from there, his participation in Ringette snowballed. The next year he was a fundraiser and a head coach, the latter position he would keep until 1996. In 1985, he was registered as a referee, which continued until 1994. Craig continued his participation at the local level until he became President of the Chatham Ringette Association in 1989, a position he would hold until 1994. Occasionally overlapping jobs at the regional level, Craig served various positions within the Western Region executive staff including a four year stint as the Second Vice-Chairman from 1987 to 1994. In that capacity, he established the Western Ontario Regional League in 1988. With the Ontario Ringette Association, he served in many positions on the Board of Directors, including Vice-President of Finance, Vice-President Technical, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and Chairman of the Shot Clock Rules Committee. He has been recognized both as a Community Builder in 1990, and a Provincial Builder in 1998, earning himself two places in the Hall of Fame.
John Cross became a referee in 1979 and has since been involved in Ringette as a student, coach, volunteer, and executive board member. His success and commitment were evident when he worked with teams at all competitive levels and ages in six different associations. His experience spans two regions. He has served as a course conductor and evaluator for both the coaching and officiating programs, and later as Referee-in-Chief. In the Southern Region, he was recognized as a dedicated volunteer who served many terms as coaching and officiating co-ordinator. As an executive, Cross served as the Ontario Ringette Association Chairman, Vice-President, and Treasurer for a period of years. Cross was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 1997.
Bernie Cockburn first became involved in Ringette in the 1970’s. He would later serve as a coach and serve on the Games and Tournaments Committee. He was honoured in 1982 for his service to Gloucester Ringette. He trained many coaches and was respected by referees, administrators and fans. In 1991, Cockburn was recognized as a Provincial Builder and given a place in the Hall of Fame.
Julien Cormier not only served as an accomplished coach, but also improved the sport of Ringette by passing his education to other coaches. Starting his involvement with Ringette in 1972 as a tween coach in the Waterloo Ringette Association, Cormier led teams to the Provincials, Nationals and Winter Games. Through coaching clinics in Ontario, Winnipeg, Quebec and BC, he was able to take his experience and teach other coaches. Cormier would eventually become head instructor at Wasaga Beach and the Quanahar Ringette Camps, which have since closed in favour of Eagle Lake. He won his place in the Hall of Fame in 1986.
Joanne Deardon accomplished great things for the sport of Ringette through constant involvement in Ringette that persisted since 1993. Dearden started at the Provincial level, where she was Treasurer of Eastern Region in 1993. In 1996, she served as First Vice-Chairperson and Sport Development Coordinator until 1998, when she became Full Chair. She would hold that position until 2000, when Deardon became the Treasurer on the Provincials’ Organizing Committee. When the Gloucester Ringette Association won Provincial Association of the Year, Deardon was their association’s President. For a year she was Vice-President of Finance for the Ontario Ringette Association and Ringette Canada. For these accomplishments, Deardon was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 2002. She was since inducted into the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame in 2009.
A habitual helper Barbara Evans was vital to the Ontario Ringette Association in a time of great difficulty. She represented the Southern Region as a Director before she served as President of the ORA, from 1995 to 1998. In that position, Evans made difficult decisions that brought the ORA to a surplus when the budget was tight. Though she distinguished herself as President, she also served at the local level. Bench Staff Member, a Referee-in-Chief, Player Rep, Vice-President, President and Past President were positions she had held. The surplus Evans created as president of the ORA was still present when she was inducted into the Hall of Fame and granted Provincial Builder status in 2000.
Rob Evans is active in Ringette for Richmond Hill, Southern Region, and at the provincial level. Evans had been an officiator since 1982 and has officiated numerous tournaments and several Provincial Championships. Evans started as a coach in 1983 for his daughter’s team in Richmond Hill. When his daughter wanted to play at a more competitive level, she played for Etobicoke and Evans went with her. Evans also served as an Administrator, Coaching Coordinator from 1996 to 2000 and as the Chair and Secretary of Southern Region. On the Ontario Ringette Association board, Rob served as Vice-President for the Offices of Administration, Technical and Finance. Evans was recognized as a Provincial Builder and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, while he was working with Ringette Canada as part of the coaching program.
The fruits of Al Fletcher’s labour are still felt by the ORA today. Fletcher was instrumental to Ringette’s administrative structure at the provincial level where, as Chair of the Officiating Committee, he set the current selection process and the code of conduct for officials. For his efforts, in 2003, Al Fletcher won a place in the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder. At that time he had been an on-ice official for more than twenty years. Fletcher’s nomination form said he “was always passionate about sport and was always consistent in his principles and ethics, even if it caused some people to be offended.” Fletcher continued to be recognized as being one of the best evaluators in the country because he provided feedback to officials on how officials could improve.
Debbie Fletcher’s involvement in Ringette predated the time she played. She volunteered at the regional level before she anyone in her family participated in the sport. She even went as far as to take her manager’s course before she played. She was the Treasurer of the Southern Region and participated at regional championships as a Games and Tournament Member. On the Games and Tournament Committee, she served as a Coordinator for several years before moving to the Board level, where she was Vice-President of Communication and Administration prior to retiring to start a family. Fletcher’s nomination form called her “contagious,” and said she was a “valuable member of the Ringette community.” For her tireless efforts, Fletcher was awarded Provincial Builder status within the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Bill Fryer coached several AA and AAA teams from the Sudbury and North East Region where he was an inspiration to many. As an organizer, he was Chair of the Games and Tournaments Committee. Even without family involvement in Ringette and having lived outside of Toronto, Bill would still make long trips every weekend to participate in games and practices. Fryer had been coaching for 24 years when he won the Provincial Builder Award in 2007.
Statistician, coach, and referee were some of the many varied positions Jack Gough had accomplished to earn his 1983 place in the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder. As a statistician, Gough compiled every single player’s statistic and organized them according to each level of playdowns. He was recognized by the Mayor of Waterloo at a volunteer banquet in 1980, where he won a Volunteer Recognition Award.
He was the Executive Vice-President at the local K-W Naval Veterans Association and was able to convince his organization to sponsor the Waterloo Deb team. Gough devoted no small amount of effort to the betterment of Ringette, or their players and according to his daughter Cathie Gough, he was always quick to help when someone was injured. “Jack is quick to hop over the boards to see if the player needs first aid whether or not he is on the bench or in the stands,” she wrote in his nomination letter.
She also provided a poem she credited to Ron and Sharon Derbecker. “We all know a man called JACK. He’s always going or just coming BACK. When someone is hurt, we’re never afraid! Jack to the rescue- “The Human Band-aid.” Since his induction into the Hall of Fame, Jack Gough was recognized for ten years of service to the sport of Ringette. In April 2009, he was recognized for an additional thirty years of volunteer work for the Waterloo Ringette Association by the city of Waterloo. At the time he was still involved in Ringette.
George’s involvement with Ringette began in 1970 in Gloucester, Ontario. He was mainly involved with coaching. He purchased goalie equipment for the league to cover the cost of a child’s registration fee. Next, George decided to get involved with Ringette at the political level. As the Vice President of Gloucester Ringette, he divided the league into A and B players, so the kids could play according to their abilities. When the first Regional Playdowns were hosted in Eastern Ontario, there was a conflict with the Township Recreation Director regarding the ice markings for Ringette. The original markings were made for hockey (square red crease). History was made and the Ringette markings were painted the next day!
As the President of the ORA, George had the name Ringette trademarked and all use of the name had to be done by license. George also hosted a number of annual Gloucester Ringette tournaments. He was keen on delivering the statistics and winners to the papers late at night, after tournaments were over. George helped secure promotional games against the local radio station, CFRA, the Ottawa 67’s and the Gloucester Rangers. Another of George’s accomplishments was that he helped establish the Ringette Hall of Fame.
Gerry Haarmeyer expanded Ringette in the Northeast Region. As Regional Chairman in 1989, the Northeast Region grew by 10 member associations amidst Haarmeyer’s relentless promotion of the sport and programs. In 1985, he turned the deficit plagued 55 player Valley East Ringette Association into a financially stable 105 player VERA. Aside from his contributions as an administrator, he spent five years as a coach. For his accomplishments, Haarmeyer was awarded a place in the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 1988.
Ken Harbottle’s involvement in Ringette began in Nepean where his daughter played Ringette. When he transferred to Oakville, he was approached to take over the position of Vice-President Finance for the Ontario Ringette Association. He was active in the Mississauga Ringette Association when they hosted the Regional ‘B’ and ‘C’ Championships. Through his efforts the ORA turned from a deficit to a persistent surplus. In 2000, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for these and other efforts.
Fred Hasen was a leader and organizer for the Ontario Ringette Association. He started his involvement in 1976 when he managed several teams over a four year period. In 1981, he became a member of the host committee for the Provincial ‘A’ Championships, and would later serve as Vice-President and President of Kitchener Ringette during some of their most flourishing years. In 1987, he Chaired the Canadian Ringette Championships and Vice-Chaired the 1993 Canadian Ringette Championships. As a provincial volunteer, he was asked to Chair the Games and Tournament Committee during a period of growth from 1987 to 1991, when the first World Championship was held and Ringette became a member of the Canada Games family. When Hasen was honoured with Provincial Builder status in 1994 and a place in the Hall of Fame, he still actively promoted Ringette wherever he went.
One of the first to be involved in the new sport of Ringette, Shirley Holden spread and administered the sport in Sudbury, Walden and throughout the rest of Northern Ontario. Holden was a house league referee in 1965. The next year, she became President of Sudbury Ringette and held that position for two years. During her time in office, Holden coached, trained officials and provided outreach within the city. She attended numerous council meetings to fight for ice time.
In 1970, she started Ringette in Walden. In 1979, she was honoured for her efforts by the Mayor of Walden. She continued to reach out within Sudbury, where she introduced Ringette to their schools in 1975. She led numerous officials clinics, and was Assistant Referee-in-Chief for three years. She officiated at the first winter games in Sault Ste Marie and expanded Bob Sugden’s officials’ handbook. Through it all, her cape with thousands of buttons was a familiar sight wherever Ringette was played. She had committed 16 years of service by the time she was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Within those years, she spent 15 years officiating, 13 years coaching and made invaluable contributions to the popularity and administration of Ringette. T
Without Sam Jacks to create the sport of Ringette, there would be no one in the Ontario Ringette Association’s Hall of Fame. Jacks created Ringette after he recognized a need for a girls winter sport. In 1963, while a recreational director for North Bay, he finalized a set of rules for Ringette. Though Jacks was one of the first inductees into the Ontario Ringette Association Hall of Fame in 1979, he did not live to witness this event, having passed away in 1975. He was inducted into Canada’s Hall of Fame posthumously, in 2007.
From the beginning, Dewi Jones was an invaluable asset to Ringette. Jones began as a coach and fundraising organizer in 1972. After serving on the Ajax Executive Committee in 1976, he was asked to become an Outreach Coordinator in the Central-East Region. He accepted the position and helped established several Associations. He wrote several texts as part of the Outreach Manual. Afterwards, he would serve on the Ontario Ringette Association Board of Directors, as Vice-President, President and Past President. In 1979, he was recognized as a Provincial Builder and took his place in the Hall of Fame.
Pat Jones started her involvement in the Ontario Ringette Association through her daughter and fifteen years later remained involved in the development of the game. Over the course of her career, she was an All-star Convener, a Tournament Chairman, a Manager, the Director of the Central Region Games and the Tournament Director, Vice-President, President, and the Past President of the ORA. She was also the Ringette Canada Liaison. As Past President, she spent hours rewriting the Ontario Ringette Policy Manual. For 15 years of exemplary service, Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985, as a Provincial Builder.
Peter Jowsey started his involvement in Ringette with two daughters in the system. He proceeded to become a coach and later maintained interest in Ringette, at a time when membership was dropping off. He kept the Nickel Basin League active in the immediate local area, kept the regional playdowns going and built interest in Timmins and the Northern areas through Outreach Programs. Before he left Ringette, Jowsey moved up to the provincial level and represented the North. His most difficult task may have been maintaining the North’s interest in a Provincial Association that required travel to the Southern regions of Ontario.
He eventually became President of the local association. At the provincial level, he served on several Ontario Ringette Association committees and played an important role in the 1995 Ontario Ringette Championships. In 1999, he was awarded Provincial Builder status and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Keith Kaiser contributed to the sport of Ringette through his leadership, organizational skills, and ability as Ontario Ringette Association’s webmaster. Kaiser began Ringette in 1985 as a tournament co-chair for Dorchester Ringette’s first tournament and later served as Vice-President Administration of the ORA. He spent countless hours as organizer of the 138 team Western Region Championships, which is the largest B and C Ringette tournament in the world.
Kaiser was co-creator of the ORA website and sole maintainer for ten years. With Kaiser’s help, the ORA website has been the main resource for game results to many and the only resource for Ringette’s Ontario news. His statistics have also been a great assistance in helping the regional level keep track of player’s stats and try-outs. As a result of his achievements and longstanding commitment to Ringette, Kaiser was awarded Provincial Builder status and a place in the Hall of Fame in 2007.
Mary Kaiser began her Ringette career as the founder of the Dorchester Ringette Association, also acting as their President. From there, her involvement skyrocketed. For 17 years, she was director of Western Region. She has been instrumental in the addition of new associations, new leagues and has improved overall membership growth within the Western Region, making it the largest region in Ontario. At the provincial level, she has served as a Board Member, as well as sat on the Appeals and Complaint Committee. Kaiser was recognized as a Provincial Builder in 2006 and granted a place in the Hall of Fame.
Bruce Kettles was an Officiator who shaped the way the game was officiated. He developed officiating clinics at the community, regional and provincial levels, which required the production of manuals and slide presentations. He also implemented the first Official’s Certification Program.
Kettles Chaired the Officiating Development Committee through two full seasons, during which he operated an Official’s Club. He trained his supervisors and assistants for clinics and evaluations. The “Philosophy” handbook and the handbook on “Body Contact” were also written by Kettles. When he was the Rules Chairman from 1976 to 1977, he played a major role in the rule change process and revised procedures to incorporate a National rules structure. Since 1976, he has played a major role in revising the rule book.
He served as the Referee-in-Chief for the Provincial Championships and assisted in the National Officials Certification Program. “Unlike the stick gauge he designed, there is no gauge to measure Bruce Kettles’ many contributions to the sport of Ringette.” In 1981, Kettles was recognized in the Hall of Fame with Provincial Builder status.
Jane Larkworthy helped her fellow referees improve themselves in two ways. Larkworthy led by example on the ice and worked to write standards for other officials off the ice. Larkworthy served on countless Provincial Officiating Committees as the Director and Chairman for four years. She also performed the Rules Committee Chairman’s duties. She was a clinic instructor, and later became a Ringette Canada Master Course Conductor. Larkworthy was recognized for her accomplishments in 1990, when she received Provincial Builder status in the Hall of Fame.
Jackie Lajeunesse administered associations in Rayside-Balfour and Sudbury. She was an Officiator, Assistant Coach and Manager on a number of teams. Her nomination form called Lajeunesse the “greatest Ringette supporter she had ever known.” She died in October 2004, after a relatively short, but very serious illness. A scholarship was established in her name by the Ontario Ringette Association. She was survived by her husband, Ken and her daughters. Her contributions will be remembered in the Hall of Fame where she was recognized as a Provincial Builder in 2004.
Bob Leduc distinguished himself by being the right man at the right time for the job. When his daughter’s coach was absent, Leduc was the replacement coach. When the Ontario Ringette Association Treasurer resigned, he became the new Treasurer. As replacement coach, he led her team to a silver medal at the 1981 National Championships. He went on to become the Director of Coaching the following year. As the new Treasurer, he balanced the Association’s books and tidied their accounts at a time when the books were not in good order. He continued to distinguish himself throughout his years at the ORA. He served two years as Vice-President and two years as President of the Ways and Means Committee. For his contributions to the sport, Leduc was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988, as a Provincial Builder.
Marian Leonard earned her place in the Hall of Fame through her commitment to Ringette. Over the twelve years before she was recognized as a Provincial Builder in the Hall of Fame, Leonard was a Coach, Clinic Instructor, President of the Sudbury Playground Ringette Association, President and Past President of the Ontario Ringette Association, as well as a member of the Board of Ringette Canada. She has convened local tournaments for house league and ‘A’ level, and for both the Provincial and National Championships. She reached out to more remote areas in the Northeast Region through Outreach Programs and encouraged girls to play. The nomination form said Leonard “helped … small communities understand Ringette and to build the sport.”
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Red McCarthy developed the Rules and Regulations for Ringette after Sam Jacks suggested it as a winter sport for girls, that should be developed with the Northern Ontario Recreation Directors’ Association. McCarthy tested the game on high school girls and made adjustments based on their suggestions and his own observations of the game. Where originally the ring was made of felt, he changed it to a deck tennis ring. Offence and defense were originally differentiated by wearing red ribbons for defence and green ribbons for offence, but McCarthy changed this to coloured sticks. After a month, McCarthy wrote up a new set of rules and submitted it back to the Association of Recreational Directors for their approval. He continued to be involved with the Espanola Ringette Association until 1970. In 1982, McCarthy was recognized as a Founder in the Hall of Fame.
Ed Miles’s experience influenced Ringette both at home and abroad. As an official, he took the “Deep left” officiating system he learned in Quebec and gave it to Ontario. This system is still used today. He has crossed oceans to pass on what he has learned. In 1984, he brought his Stratford Belles to Finland and Sweden to provide his team new challenges and his hosts instruction in how to play the game. Miles established a reputation as a committed individual when he got CCM to sponsor a draw to give away more than 16 helmets to his referees. He also gave a new stick to the sport, called “Nu-Sty-Al” at the time, now known as “The Thunderstick.” The Ontario Ringette Association recognized Miles’ achievements with Provincial Builder status in 2003.
For ten years, Mari Missen served the Ontario Ringette Association until she was recognized as a Provincial Builder. In 1977, Missen was elected the Vice-President of the Alta Vista Ringette Association. In 1978, she was President and became the Director of Coaching- a position she maintained until 1981. She served a season on the Games and Tournaments Committee, and the next season she was Chairman of Eastern Region. In 1983, she stepped down from her Ringette responsibilities, but resumed to them a year later in the capacity of the Games and Tournaments Director. From 1985 to 1987, Missen held the position of Second Vice-President. In 1988, she was honoured with her place in the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder.
Robert (Bob) Mitic
Robert (Bob) Mitic started in the Kitchener Ringette Association in 1981, where he served in Executive positions, including Vice-President. He later accepted an offer for the Chair of Western Region. From 1987 to 1991, he served on the Ontario Ringette Association Board of Directors as Vice-President, President and Past President. The numerous positions he served required many volunteer hours, all of which he served with serious responsibility. His cheerful disposition and ready smile made it easy for him to make new friends. In 1994, Metic was honoured for his accomplishments in the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder. At the time his Ringette career had spanned more than 13 years.
Carolyn has been involved in Ringette for twenty years as a parent, trainer, manager, coach, player, NCCP Learning Facilitator (CSI & CI), Come Try Ringette Organizer, Volunteer, Association President, Regional Director and Director at Large on the ORA Board. Carolyn was elected as Vice President Administration and later Vice President Communications during her five years in the ORA Board of Directors. She was an ORA representative on the Ringette Canada LTAD Steering Committee. At the local and regional level, in addition to being the Whitby Ringette President and Central Region Director, she coordinated Come Try Ringette Programs and coached teams from C to AAA Level. She was instrumental in starting up the Whitby Women’s Ringette Association. Her contribution to the sport and the ringette community set the bar high for those who follow. For these reasons, Carolyn earned her place in the Hall of Fame in 2011.
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Paul Paradis was a devoted volunteer whose influence is still felt. Paradis started as a coach in 1974, a position in which led him to bring the 1978 Toronto-Niagara Belles to the Ontario Winter Games in Kingston. He also served nine years on the Etobicoke Ringette executive, five of which were spent as President. During his career as a volunteer, Paradis created the Central Ontario Ringette League and innovations in equipment rules and development. He was part of the group that developed the Ringette Constitution. For his achievements, Paradis was recognized as being a Provincial Builder and received his place in the Hall of Fame in 1984.
Though Barry Redwood served positions other than coaching, it was his first love and the one to which he always returned. For fourteen years and up until the time he received his Provincial Builder Award, Redwood coached everything from bunnies to debs, from C to AA. As Ontario Ringette Association Director of Coaching, he operated the most reliable coaching conductors teaching clinics throughout the province. At Ringette’s first ever Canada Winter Games, he was selected to coach Team Ontario. Aside from his numerous contributions as a coach, he was also Equipment Manager for Cambridge Ringette and acted as their Vice-President. He also started a bunny program in Guelph and Cambridge. For his numerous contributions, Redwood won a place as a Provincial Builder in the Hall of Fame in 1991.
In Cambridge Ringette, Marise Robb has coached both her daughters on two separate teams and served Ringette Nationally and Internationally. For eight years, Robb was a local executive holding different positions. She also served as Head Coach of the Provincial team. She sacrificed much of her time to travel to different centres, so other coaches could become certified at higher levels. Robb had also organized tournaments between Finland and Canada, a task that required arranged dinners, billets and tournament games between all of the tween teams. In 2008, Robb was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder for her achievements and consistent dedication to the sport of Ringette.
In 1980, Bob Robb was the first formal President of the Metcalfe Ringette Association. He became Chairman of Eastern Region in 1985 and later Regional Director in the Ontario Ringette Association. He was recognized for his achievements in 1993.
Walter Rohrer had a hand in some significant firsts. He started on the ground floor of Central Ontario Ringette League and was the Chairman of Central Region during the first three years of the formation of the Regional Committees. He helped develop the Level 1 Technical course, and the Player Development Instructor’s program manual. Quanahar Ringette Camp, which closed in 1991, was one of the organizations that benefited when Rohrer was Chairman of Player Development. He took over the Presidency of Oshawa Ringette when registration was at its lowest ever and managed to put the Association back on its feet. Outreach was important to Rohrer and to that end, he took his players on trips to promote the sport. A major force in Oshawa, he helped host the Provincial Championships in 1979. Rohrer was honoured for his achievements with a place in the Hall of Fame in 1988 as a Provincial Builder.
Known within her association as “Kitchener’s First Lady of Ringette,” Barbara Rose has been there from the beginning of Ringette. She served four years as the first President of the Kitchener Girl’s Ringette Association and three as Past President. During her seven years on the Executive Board, registration increased more than threefold, up to 325 in 1973/74, which was an increase from about 100 in 1968. Rose was a founding member of the Ontario Ringette Association and for three years brought promotional clinics to London, Caledonia, Listowel, Guelph and Waterloo. Her passion for Ringette was solely her own. She had a ladies Ringette league that she coached, refereed, organized and played, although she had no daughters of her own to play the game. Her achievements were worthy of recognition. In 1980, she was awarded Provincial Builder status and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Peter Rumble provided many years of service to the sport of Ringette. Rumble was President of Hamilton Ringette for four years. For two years, he was the Chair of Sport Development, the Coaching Coordinator for Southern Region for five years, the Provincial ‘A’ Level Coach in Hamilton for four years and the Assistant Coach of Southern Region All-Star Team in 2000. He was also the Community Sport Initiative Clinic Facilitator for two years, a Level 1 Coaching Instructor for three years and a Level Two Observer Coach for five years. Rumble was honoured for his service in 2005 with Provincial Builder status in the Hall of Fame.
After Jeanette Saint watched a ringette game during her daughter’s hockey practice, she asked what game was being played. Fascinated by Ringette, she asked what she would need to start the sport in Lambeth. When she found out that all she needed was time on the ice, she spoke to the Recreational Board in Lambeth and got some ice time. A local association quickly followed, where 15 girls signed up. When associations were organized at a Regional level, Saint became involved. She was their Treasurer twice, as well as an Officiating Coordinator. She served on many tribunal hearings and disciplinary panels and attended standing committee meetings on behalf of the region in officiating, outreach and coaching and player development. Jeanette continued to work with Lambeth Ringette until the city amalgamated with London. Jeanette encouraged many new associations within the region and helped the sport’s growth in London. She coached teams from Bunny to Open. Saint was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 2008. At the time, she was still active within the Western Region as Treasurer.
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Marie Spence was a founding member of the Ontario Ringette Association. She served on committees that drafted the first set of official playing rules and the first Official’s Handbook. She promoted Ringette in Hamilton, Waterloo, Brantford, Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira and Orillia. She was involved in hiring the first Administrative Director and worked to obtain a copyright for the rules of Ringette. Much of the early growth of Ringette can be attributed to Spence’s work. When she started her involvement in 1967, she helped Kitchener get their start with only 24 players. By 1974, they boasted 325 players. She was recognized for her accomplishments in 1981, with an induction into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder.
Ringette was still a relatively young sport in 1972 when Paul Stone answered the call to coach in Cambridge, first for one season of house league and then at the rep level. Five years in, when referee Gary Simpson was forced to “go to the hips” to eject him for “conduct unbecoming,” Paul realized it was time to step out from behind the bench and step up as a referee.
“Stoney” – as his colleagues called him – soon found that officiating suited him pretty well, so he began to upgrade his qualifications and increase his contributions to the game. After filling multiple roles close to home, Paul quickly rose through the provincial and national ranks. He guided aspiring referees through the certification process as Officiating Supervisor for the Western Region, helped advance ORA policies and programs after accepting a seat on the Board as Director of Officiating Development in 1982, and served as both Director of Officials for the 1983 Provincials in Waterloo and as a Supervisor at the 1990 Nationals in Calgary.
Throughout his involvement, Paul led by example as a supervisor, instructor, evaluator, and mentor to hundreds of officials throughout the province and across Canada. On and off the ice, he was the consummate role model for officials and regional supervisors alike: firm, yet fair and approachable.
In acknowledgement of Paul’s many contributions to the Ontario Ringette Association’s officiating program, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 1993.
Robert (Bob) Sugden
Robert “Bob” Sugden was one of many pioneers responsible for spreading Ringette throughout Canada and one of several who set themselves apart through continued dedication and a profound influence on the way the sport was taught and played. He was President and Past President on the ORA board and stayed when there was no one else to take the job 1969 to 1979. Sugden wrote the Level I Technical Manual, the Official’s Handbook, the Starter’s Kit and the Sport Resource Kit. He also established a player development program. In addition to establishing a Ringette curriculum, Sugden spread his sport to his home of Hamilton and beyond. Herm Wills, the first President and a founding member of Nova Scotia Ringette, said Sugden was one of the key trainers at a leadership clinic they hosted when their organization started. For these reasons and more, Sugden was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, as a Provincial Builder.
June Tiessen, nicknamed “Grandma Ringette,” was a woman of firsts in Ringette. She was the first President of both the Waterloo Minor Ringette Association and Ringette Canada. In between, she also served as President of the Ontario Ringette Association from 1974 to 1976, after serving as a Director in 1973. According to her nomination letter, Tiessen started Ringette to give her something to do when she became “edgy” as a mother and homemaker. Tiessen was recognized as a Provincial Builder and granted a place in the Hall of Fame in 1979.
From coach to politician, Barb Welke always inspired confidence. Realizing the need for keen volunteers at the provincial level, Barb served a term with the Ontario Ringette Association as Vice-President in 1984. After a single term, she became President for four years when the Ontario Ringette Association faced difficult issues that included an uncertainty of rules, bylaws and ORA’s relationship with Ringette Canada. At the same time, the ORA endured a troubled financial situation. Through it all, she kept a cool head and led the ORA to calm and sensible solutions. She started as a coach and continued until shortly before winning Provincial Builder status in 1990, along with her place in the Hall of Fame.
Lesley Wilson began as an adult player with the London Ladies and continued to be an organizer for the adult league. When she started playing, she promoted Ringette in the local media and shopping malls. As an Adult Development Coordinator in the Western Region, Wilson worked to increase both interest and awareness in the Adult Divisions.
She organized Adult Getaway Camps, produced “rINgFORMATION”, the ADP newsletter and fostered growth in the Master’s division, encouraging its inclusion in the Adult Provincial Championships and Invitational Tournaments, alike. As Adult Development Chair, she turned her efforts to the task of bringing the Intermediate and Master Divisions in line with the rest of the ORA programs. This required she certify coaches and ensure competent officials were available for the benefit of all ages and levels of play. Wilson laid the foundation for bringing the Adult Development Program up to the level that the minor level enjoys. Wilson was honoured for her contributions in 1996, when she was awarded a place in the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder.
Scott has devoted much of his time to the Ajax Ringette Association as President for five years. as well as Vice-President and Past President. As President of Ajax, he co-chaired the A and AA Provincials and the Silver Ring Tournament and also played a role in the player evaluations and tryouts. As a NCCP Certified Level 3 Coach, he devoted a lot of time to coaching teams from Ajax and Whitby from all calibers; sometimes with or without his daughters on the team. Scott was also a member of the Ontario Ringette Association Board as a Regional Director and Vice President of Finance for nine years. Being such a great mentor for players and coaches, along with his valuable experience, earned Blakey a place in the Hall of fame in 2010.
Grace Kelly has been coaching and managing teams of all ages and levels since the 1980’s. She is well known throughout the Eastern Region and in her home Association of Nepean, as she selflessly donates time to making sure events are successful for everyone. She has extensive knowledge and expertise on the Games and Tournaments Policies and Procedures, which made her a valuable asset to the Eastern Region. Not only does she have the theory and knowledge of G&T, she also has the hands on experience as an Assistant Coach and Manager of Provincial, National and Ontario Winter Games Teams. For all her efforts and knowledge, Grace was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 2010.
Terry has devoted time over the past 10 years to helping the Ringette community grow and prosper. Being a Coach with the Valley East Ringette Association at all levels, Terry could always be counted on to make sure a team could participate, often working with more than one team in the same year. Terry also was a member of the Bench Staff for two Ontario Winter Games and coached the Laurentian University Ringette Team at the Winnipeg University Cup. In addition to his dedication to coaching, Terry has been the ORA President, Vice President Finance, Chair of Sports Development and CSI Facilitator. He was always a big promoter of Ringette, which was demonstrated at a number of AGM’s as “Captain ORA”. Terry brought fun and excitement to the sport, which is why he was recognized as a Provincial Builder in 2012.
Chris Beuglet has been involved with the sport of Ringette for many years at various levels. He has been a member of the Western Region Executive which led him to become the Western Region Chair. But he has always remembered where he came from, which is why he always volunteers with the Chatham Ringette Association. If there was ever a matter that needed a well thought out, unbiased opinion, Chris was the person to go to. He was always willing to help, which is why he was recognized as a Provincial Builder in the Hall of Fame.
It is very difficult to find areas in Ringette where Ellorie was not involved. Over the years Ellorie played, coached and was a member on various committees, including the ORA Executive Committee as the Vice President Communications and President. Ellorie was President during the controversial implementation of the Long Term Athlete Development program.
Working tirelessly, Ellorie embraced all the challenges of this project to bring Ontario in line with Ringette Canada’s requirements. Ensuring all areas of the Ontario Ringette Community were involved in the consultation process, Ellorie struck a working group which helped to bring some necessary changes to Ontario.
Another project that resulted from Ellorie’s efforts with the LTAD Working Group, was the U12 Pilot Project. This project was taken on by Ellorie’s home region and she played an integral role by attending meetings, on-ice sessions and events. She was always available to provide guidance and assistance throughout the entire process. Although she is no longer an active member of the ORA, Ellorie is always very quick to offer help at Provincial Events. Ever aware of how difficult it is to get volunteers, she is always available to give her time to Ringette.
For the endless contributions that she has made to the Ringette Community, Ellorie was inducted into the Ontario Ringette Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 2013.
This extremely enthusiastic supporter of Ringette has been around for many years and has endeavoured to help build the sport from the stands as a spectator in Sudbury to President of the Scarborough Ringette Association. For over 30 years, Gerald has been supporting and promoting Ringette. Gerald began his Ringette career in 1968 as a spectator of the original Sudbury Playground teams at Ridge Crest and Cedar Park. From spectator to referee, Gerald began officiating in 1970 and has a long career officiating all levels of Ringette from Sudbury to Scarborough for over 40 years.
Taking his skills off the ice, Gerald was a member of the Officiating Committee and the Referee in Chief in both Markham and Scarborough. Gerald has also been active for many years as a coach. Beginning in 1980 as a coach for the Onaping Falls Deb team, Gerald has led teams to win at both the Provincial and National level. On the Administrative side, Gerald was actively involved with the coaching program. For a number of years, he has been an active facilitator of the NCCP coaching program at both the Community Sport Initiation and Introduction Parts 1 and 2 Levels. He is also an evaluator of coaches and is currently the Southern Region Coaching Coordinator. With an endless passion and “Gung-Ho” attitude for Ringette, Gerald has dedicated countless hours as one of the original grassroots building blocks of this sport. For this and all his contributions, Gerald was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder of the Year in 2013.
Kevin Hanlon held many positions in ringette before focusing his attention on the implementation of LTAD and the Sport Development Committee. He was a coach and the President of the WRRL B/C League. His term as President extended from 2009-2011, inclusive. In 2009, when the call went out for people to submit applications to be part of the Steering Committee that determined how LTAD would be implemented in Ontario, Kevin submitted his application. From there, he became the Chair of the Sport Development Committee and remained in the position for three years between 2011 and 2013. His stance regarding player development: “What will allow them to grow into exceptional athletes and exceptional people, as I have discovered, being a team player in sport, often translates to being a team player in life. Not one person has the “right answer”. It is a combination of many different ideas culminated into a direction for which to strive.”
Throughout his term as chair of Sport Development, Kevin remained true to these guiding principles and continuously strived to do what was best for the athletes – melding the vastly different needs from one region of the province to the other, while carefully listening to and encouraging the input of all.
Cathy Nie started as the Registrar for the Cambridge Ringette Association in 1989. Through almost twenty years of service, she has developed this position into what is has become today. In 1996, Cambridge Ringette hosted the Provincial Championship and Cathy carried out the opening ceremonies without a hitch. She was also a Coach and Assistant Coach throughout the same time period. Doing double duty, Cathy was the President of the Cambridge Ringette Association and the Membership Services Coordinator until 2010. This led her to become the Chair of Membership Services for two years. One of the many ways Cambridge Ringette has benefitted from Cathy’s leadership, is through the dramatic change in their bunny program, which doubled in size. She has been very involved in setting up and running events such as Awards Night and the annual Ringette Dance. She has been a tireless, dedicated and unfailing volunteer in the Ringette community.
Jo-Ann Wilson has served on the Southern Region Association Executive Committee for many years and has spent countless hours in the arena, answering questions or just being available to anyone there. She was present when St. Catharines was struggling and growing. She was there when their house league grew from a few teams to a dozen teams in a year. She has also remained involved in Ringette long after her children stopped playing. She served as the Southern Region Representative on the G&T Committee for 17 years and received the Community Builder Award in 1993. She also was the Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair for many years, even through illness. For her tireless work within the Ringette community, Jo-Ann Wilson was inducted to the Ontario Ringette Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder in 2015.
Jeff’s love for the sport began in 1995, when he watched his daughter play RIngette for a local House League team. This would prove to be the beginning of Jeff’s career in Ringette. He expanded his role from bench helper to coach in 1998. In 2002, he was elected the President of the West Ferris Ringette Association, with the goal to increase membership within the Association.
He spearheaded a recruitment drive through handing out flyers, setting up information booths and speaking to parents. In March of 2004, West Ferris Ringette received a Trillium Fund Grant which allowed WFRA to increase their equipment library. This opened the door for many players who would not have been able to participate in Ringette due to financial reasons. Low Income People Involvement, Big Sisters and many other organizations working with disadvantaged youth, were able to play the sport through this initiative.
Furthermore, Jeff has worked tirelessly to market Ringette in North Bay. He takes every opportunity to promote the game of Ringette in the media, writing reports on tournament results and Association events. Jeff lobbied the city to install signs on awnings of the West Ferris Arena at Sam Jacks Complex to acknowledge the community as being the “Birthplace of Ringette”. This slogan can also be seen on the highway sign leading into North Bay, thanks in part to Jeff Francom. Jeff Francom has worked tirelessly to develop Ringette in North Bay and the Ringette community.