New ringette rec club off to a hot start
The Winnipeg ICE aren’t the only new kids on the (Wayne Fleming Arena) block.
Starting this year, the ‘Flem is the home barn for the Western Hockey League’s ICE, as well as the primary practice facility for the inaugural season for the University of Manitoba RAPID—U of M’s REC Club ringette team.
The RAPID have come out of the gate flying: in a tournament in Regina the weekend of Nov. 1, the club went undefeated en route to a first place finish.
We chatted with Rapid president Danielle Demetrioff to share some of her experiences with the ringette club and why she loves being a part of it.
How and why did you decide to start the ringette club?
It was actually my coach, Glen Speaing, who had initially informed me about the rec clubs at the university and that the U of M did not have a ringette club. I hadn’t realized that so many other universities had ringette teams, so why not my university?
In Manitoba, after a player ages out of the U19 program, if players choose to continue to play, they can only play in Open League or NRL (National Ringette League). Both of these leagues are quite extreme in terms of commitment, cost, and travel. Our goal was to create a team to find this perfect balance and fill the void of competitive ringette for post-secondary students in Manitoba.
Why did you decide to become the president of the ringette club?
At first, I was hesitant to volunteer to become the club’s president. I’ve played ringette for over 14 years, but I never had to manage or run a team per-say. I always just showed up and played, without really grasping how much goes on behind the scenes. Becoming the president was something out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to try something new and embrace the challenge.
What have you learned by being the ringette club president?
Communication, organization, leadership, and even how to get team sponsorships. Completing the annual and travel paperwork for the team has even given me some basic administration knowledge that will definitely transfer to future jobs. I also designed the team jerseys, which was a cool experience in it itself.
What else can you tell us?
The U of M RAPID ringette club is made up of 16 players and two coaches. All the players have vast experience in playing high-level ringette, with each of us playing AA throughout our careers. We have players who were apart of the Manitoba CWG Ringette Team, Junior Team Canada, and Manitoba’s NRL team, Manitoba Intact.
Our plan this year is also to attend the Western Canadian Ringette Championships from March 25-28, 2020, in Prince George, BC. Next year, the team will be travelling to the Canadian University Challenge Cup, where we will compete for the National University Ringette title.
The UM REC Clubs include badminton, climbing, ringette, rugby, soccer, synchronized skate, tennis, table tennis, ultimate, volleyball, and wrestling. Want to join? Visit uofmactiveliving.ca for more information.