For upcoming 2013-14 season
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Ringette Association is looking to increase its membership for the 2013-14 season.
“It really is a fun all-girls’ sport,” said Francois Caron, president of the Summerside Ringette Association. “All our teams are full female. It is played on ice similar to hockey, but is a little bit different in terms of rules.
“What we’ve found is the girls really enjoy playing with other girls and have lots of fun.”
An opportunity for any girls interested in trying the sport exists with a pair of Come Try Ringette events. The first is scheduled for The Plex at Slemon Park on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 3 p.m., and another one will take place at Community Gardens in Kensington on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 12:40 p.m.
“Any girls aged five to 11 can come out and try it for free,” said Caron. “All they need are skates and a helmet, and we provide the rest.”
Registration for the Summerside program will be held at Credit Union Place in Summerside on Sept. 14 from 9 to 11 a.m. The program will be based out of Credit Union Place’s Ice Pad.
The association would realistically like to add 15 to 20 new girls to the under-10 programs.
“Once they see how much fun it is, the following year they may be able to bring a few friends and tell a few people,” said Caron. “The thing is, anybody who has come out and played it has really enjoyed it and stuck with it.
“The challenge has been trying to get people out to give it a try.”
The Summerside program offers a number of programs. For example, the under-16, under-14 and under-12 teams will play in Ringette P.E.I. leagues while the under-10, under-8 and under-6 age groups will comprise a Summerside-based learn-to-play ringette program.
“One of our priorities this year is to grow the younger ages,” emphasized Caron. “We have had this core group of 30 kids who have been moving through the system, but no one really coming behind them.
“What we decided to do this year is offer a very inexpensive program for under-10, and have it locally here where they learn to play ringette.
“The thing with ringette is the teams are in Charlottetown, Montague and Souris, so if you are playing in the older age groups you have a bit of travel. We really want to build the sport in Summerside.
“Once they see how much fun it is, the following year they may be able to bring a few friends and tell a few people. The thing is, anybody who has come out and played it has really enjoyed it and stuck with it. The challenge has been trying to get people out to give it a try.” Summerside Ringette Association president Francois Caron
“So for $125 you can get one ice time per week, your jersey and we’ll say 10 additional ice times throughout the year to do additional skating stuff and those sorts of things.
“We are really hoping that will be enough to encourage people to come out and give it a try.”
Caron said the goal is to teach the new players the sport first, and then have their skills developed to a point where they can play on a team in the Island league the following year.
“This is opposed to getting 10 new kids, putting them on the ice and having them go play teams that have been practising for two or three years,” said Caron. “I don’t think that will be a good experience for the girls.”