Excitement rings from the four Terrace ringette players who are headed to the B.C. Winter Games this weekend.
Lisa Nicholson is going for the second time, first time in ringette, and it is a first for Ty Giesbrecht, Nolan Kaye, Grace Magnusson, and Sophia Wright-Seymour, who will form a Zone 7 team with players from Houston, B.C.
“I feel really, really excited about it,” said Wright-Seymour. “I’m excited for having fun, meeting new friends and hopefully getting a few goals in there.”
Wright-Seymour joined ringette a year ago, switching into the sport from hockey after getting a concussion. “It looked really fun and some of my friends were in it,” she said of ringette.
“I like the ice time, and I like the exercise… there is lots of passing and you have to talk a lot,” she said. “It’s really fun.”
Magnusson also played hockey and then switched into ringette four years ago.
With more experience on the ice than the other hockey players on the team, Magnusson said she found hockey a bit slow, but in ringette she played with older girls who were stronger skaters.
She says she finds ringette more challenging, and it involves more teamwork because passing is so crucial.
“In ringette you have to pass constantly because you can only have the ring for 30 seconds, so its a lot faster of a sport,” said Magnusson.
She said she is excited and looking forward to Winter Games.
“It’s going to be such a cool opportunity! I know lots of people from my school who are going for different activities,” she said.
“A lot of older girls said when they went it was so much fun, they met lots of new people and it was a really exciting experience to be able to play with different people,” she said.
“Playing with a new team is always fun. You get to make new friends, and I know we are playing with Prince George girls and Prince George girls are very aggressive, so it’s going to be fun to play more aggressively with the team,” she said.
The eagerness to play with people outside of the north is shared by Nicholson.
“It’s exciting to play with different people who I haven’t played with before… [and] playing against different teams,” Nicholson said. “I’m really excited.” She joined ringette five years ago and says it is fun to play.
“It’s fast and you have to work hard, skate hard and think a lot through the game,” she said.
Nolan Kaye joined ringette two years ago because he “wanted to see how ringette plays and meet some more friends... I like the friendship, the tournaments and the competition,” he said.
Most looking forward to the competitive part of the games, Kaye said he is excited to have the opportunity to go.
“I wanted to be a part of something really big,” he said.
“I’m really excited to represent my zone and meet new friends.”
Coach Dinah Qualizza says it is a great opportunity for these players to go to a competition at this high calibre.
“It’s hard to compete at the level that the Lower Mainland has… but it gives them an opportunity to see what its like [to compete at a high level] and to experience it,” said Qualizza.
She adds that the environment is similar to Olympics, with big opening ceremonies and a torch. Flying to Penticton tonight, Feb. 24, the players will stay in a school with all the other ringette players from across B.C.
“Our main focus is just to go, have some fun, meet new people, and play as hard as we can,” she said.