Well, here we are in our fourteenth year of University ringette. The progress that has been made over the past thirteen years has been absolutely remarkable!
This year, the team has made a quantum leap forward in its on ice skills and performance. We are looking forward to our upcoming January 2017 trip to compete in the University Challenge Cup (UCC) against several other university ringette teams from across Canada. To-date, the University Ringette team has won four Canadian National University Championship gold medals and one bronze medal.
In June 2014 the University Ringette Team was inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame. This honour was bestowed on the team in recognition of its outstanding contributions to the community through events such as Ringette Scores on Cancer, its three weeks of outstanding summer camps and the extensive school visitation program it conducts. It also acknowledged the three consecutive national championships the team has won (2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014).
In June 2015 the four coaches of the University Ringette Team were inducted into the City of Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in the Sports Builder category. Their induction recognizes the significant long term efforts the four coaches have shown in establishing university level ringette in Edmonton and all across Canada through the creation of the Canadian University Ringette League. As well, their outstanding contributions to the community through events such as Ringette Scores on Cancer, which has raised in excess of $625,000 for cancer research to-date, were recognized.
I am thrilled to see the growth of university ringette in Canada. This year, there are more than two dozen Canadian universities that have competitive ringette teams. Additional Canadian universities are currently working toward having their ringette teams ready for the 2017/2018 season. I believe that over the next few years university ringette will continue explode in Canada as more and more girls proudly wear the jersey of their university, while aspiring to obtain the significant post secondary ringette scholarships that are beginning to appear. For more details on university ringette in Canada refer to www.CanadianUniversityRingette.ca
A significant feature of the University Ringette program are the scholarships, totaling more than $50,000, that are available to the players. Strong corporate sponsorship of the University Ringette program makes funding these various scholarships possible. Additional corporate sponsors are continuing to inquire about university ringette sponsorship and this bodes well for a strong financial future.
This year's University Ringette team is an overwhelming success due to the incredible efforts of so many people. First, the coaches, who all give so much of their own time and resources. Second, the sponsors and supporters of University ringette, without their contributions of goods/services and money nothing would be possible. Finally, there are the 18 young women who are the players on this year's team. These highly motivated girls continually have to balance the significant requirements of post secondary education, part time jobs and University Ringette. As part of their team responsibilities, each girl contributes significant amounts of her time towards an intense schedule of ringette practices, dryland training and games, team fundraising and ringette development activities in the community at large.
Of particular note was the outstanding effort put forth by the players and coaches of the University Ringette team in hosting the eighth annual Ringette Scores on Cancer event at West Edmonton Mall in January 2017. To-date, the event has raised in excess of $625,000 to support the Alberta Cancer Foundation in its efforts to find a cure for cancer.