For a sport as fast as ringette, this coming year will challenge even them. The athletes, coaches, officials and organizers have one year, minus one event, to get ready for the next edition of the BC Winter Games.
Normally there are two years between the holding of each BCWG, but because of COVID-19 there was a bumping of one edition, so now, the clock is already audibly ticking on the Lhtako-Quesnel version even though the Vernon Games just ended this weekend.
The bling around the necks of Avery Cassidy and Ivy Sinkinson serve as a reminder and a motivator for what is to come, and that’s not even as bright as the bling in their eyes.
The two players were the only ones on the Zone 8 ringette all-star team who don’t reside in Prince George. They travelled to PG for Zone 8 practices, and even though they knew they formed a formidable team, no one was sure how they would stack up against the rest of the province. It has been three pandemic years since the ice surface was even, across the province, in that sense.
As it turns out, Zone 8 was pretty ringin’ good. They took third place and reestablished that this region has some ringette power.
“I’m really proud of these girls this weekend,” said coach Stacy Furlong. “I told them it’s been a dream of mine since I played ringette in the BC Winter Games to be able to coach at this level and bring home a medal. We may have shed some happy tears in the dressing room this weekend.”
Of course gold is always the colour an athlete wants, but the achievement of making the podium has a lot of meaning for everyone involved on the Zone 8 team.
“The BC Winter Games was an amazing opportunity and one great way to end the season,” said Cassidy. “All of the athletes are beyond talented and I can’t believe I got the chance to play with and against them, let alone win bronze.”
“I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. And I am never taking this medal off,” said Sinkinson.
“Avery and Ivy played hard all weekend,” said Furlong. “Avery scored four goals in the first game and was a leader on her line as a center. Ivy had to work hard in net all weekend as the teams were all very strong; she had a lot of shots on net. The medal feels amazing and I’m super proud of these girls. The kids have made lifelong friendships and bonds from this weekend away together. It’s been an experience of a lifetime.”
Furlong also stressed that “Vernon was a great host, they were so organized and it was amazing how many volunteers they had and how kind everyone was,” which will set the tone for their Cariboo counterparts. “It will be amazing for Quesnel. It’s a little gem.”
And on the ringette ice, it now shines a little brighter.