OVERVIEW

Ringette Ontario is taking a fun approach to award season through our 2020-2021 RO Choice Awards! Help us recognize and honour our awesome volunteers, community members, and clubs.

Voting is now OPEN! 

The award show will air live on May 10th.

Nominees

Essential Worker of The Year
Nominee Club What Others Have To Say About Them
Blythe Carota Sault Ringette Club Blythe is an employee of of local health unit and jumped through hoops to allow us to play Ringette this year. We were able to successfully play 5 on 5 for the season. Without her, we would not have had a season! Thanks so much Blythe.
Katie Flear Caledonia Lightning She has been working throughout the pandemic between playing and being student council primeminister! Although its been tough and they need her at work she will always do her very best to make the little ammount of games we do have. In the past she has been a referee going to multiple tournaments, played on multiple teams on different levels of play and fit right into their dynamic as a fullrime or just pickup player. She has helped with bunnies development programs, been a eagle lake ringette camp councillor for 2 years, has been scorekeeping for multiple associations and helping promote the sport for all young plyers and others in the community! This year its been hard but she has been nothing but positive on the ice and keeps the atmosphere fun and engergenic while also being cautious wirh the new regulations! Truly a treat to coach no matter the dynamic
Jennifer Keeler Oshawa ringette My mom has been on the bench for my sister or I ever since we started playing. She is an ER nurse and also works in the remote fly-in only reserves in Northern Ontario. She is also camp nurse for Eagle Lake! She has worked really hard since COVID started and it is scary. She started to play ringette again last year and I enjoyed watching her play. This year during COVID she made the time to be the bubble leader for my age group and she helped out with my sister. She switched shifts and took vacation so she was there for practice.Everything she has seen in the hospital and does during Covid makes her a great nomination, also that she always makes time for us. She also made time for ringette practices and tried her best to make them fun since all we were able to do was practice and no games.
Sabrina Eklund Sault Ringette Club Sabrina is a physiotherapy assistant who really stepped up this year by helping out at the long-term care home she works at taking on a PSW role whenever they become short staffed... which has been often. Despite the stresses at work, she came to every practice and game with a positive attitude on the bench and on the ice. I’m nominating Sabrina because she’s an incredible mother, athlete, and friend.
Liisa Levasseur Sudbury Ringette Liisa is a family Physician who helped and worked with our local PHSD assessment centre and who helped contact families who may have been close contacts. She worked with two ringette teams this season as assistant coach and manager and is also a member of the Sudbury executive. She is passionate about ringette and was someone who helped educate our players and parents about COVID and our protocols to help keep families and players safe.
Michelle Falkiner Paris Ringette Association Michelle is a MRT at Sick Kids in Toronto and commutes to the city every day. Due to the pandemic she had to switch from taking the train to driving. Even with that as our association president and CSL she was at the rink for nearly every ice time, standing outside in the cold to make sure everything went off without a hitch. Her care and concern for all around her extends to checking in with others who might be struggling and being a strong shoulder to lean on. Michelle is the type of person we should all aspire to be, working with children, being a strong ambassador for our sport and always showing up with a smile and a plan.
Holly Davies Oshawa Storm Ringette Holly Davies is the Pesident of our Association, and I cannot begin to describe the amount of work she does for our Association. On top of this, Holly is a primary school teacher! This year during the pandemic our teachers have gone above and beyond, shifting on a dime with no notice, to be there for their students. Thank you Holly for being an education hero, in addition to being our fearless leader!
Coach/Bubble/Cohort Leader of the Year
Nominee
Melanie Norris Waterloo Wildfire Melanie has been involved in ringette for over 30 years both playing and coaching! She recently was announced Assistant Coach for Team Ontario! She is a hard working, loving coach! She has participated in 3 covid bubbles over 2020-2021, including U12, U14 and U19! She was a key and huge role in getting Waterloo Ringette back on the ice! She put forward tons of hours in the love for the sport and seeing girls love the sport just as much! Melanie has a encouraging coaching power about her to keep things positive even through tough times! She kept so many girls involved and motivated!
Bruce Graham Sault Ringette Club Bruce is an amazing coach and has worked so hard for all the girls despite the challenges of COVID! He is always the coach to tell them they had a great game and communicates well with all parents. Thanks Bruce for all you do.
Ellen McClure Western University She made practices a very enjoyable thing during the pandemic, even though practice started at 6:30am. The creation of a scrimmage that was COVID friendly allowed new and returning players the chance to play together in a real game situation. Even though rules were constantly changing she did a wonderful job of creating a consistent schedule for workouts and practices.
James Zurall CORA James made this year fun, but also hard working. He even helped get extra ice time for players that wanted extra ice, where he even organized the practices by himself. He was extremely inclusive and has so much knowledge on the game.
Melissa Daly GCRA This bubble leader guided us with strength and positivity. Even with the incertainty and confusion with this pandemic year Melissa kept us on track snd excited to be on the ice again
Jessica Mainwood GCRA Jessica Mainwood was a bubble leader this year and worked hard to make it to every practice, plan practices and encourage us to stay positive even tho she was busy with her own things. She never missed a night and never failed to keep us motivated during these hard times. Coach jess was an assistant coach in u16 AA ( went to Nationals) and u14 aa (went to easterns) before she became head coach of the u19aa GCRA team during the 2019-20 season. This team had great potential and would’ve seen success in provincials because of the great leadership behind it. I nominate Jess because I appreciate all of her hard work in the assosiation and she has really had an impact on me as a player and I think she deserves this recognition. This year was hard for everyone but Jess always had a smile on her face and motivated me to go to practice and people like her deserve to be appreciated wich is why I nominate her:) To make this year special, she organized three teams between the u16&u19 and made mini games. This initiative encouraged us to push ourselves and added some competition unto our practices. Her way of building practices to push us is important since we are missing out on game play. Jess incorporated fun games and cardio drills to keep our interest in this bizarre year and to keep us smiling on the ice.
Rob Cram City of Ottawa Ringette Association Rob was the head coach this season for the CORA U19 Competitive bubble composed of 3 cohorts and a total of 32 athletes. He attended up to three practices a week and was always organized with a detailed practice plan that was engaging, challenging and fun for every player even though there was a large difference in skill amongst the players. Even with the ups and downs of the season with the numerous restrictions, he would quickly adapt and stay positive. He was attentive to each player's development and would give them feedback as well as encouragement throughout the entire season to keep them motivated. Parents were not permitted in the rinks so Rob made sure to send detailed emails regularly to ensure they felt reassured thay all COVID protocols were being followed and that their daughter's skills continued to be developed. Many players and parents expressed how their mental health during this difficult season was much improved as a result of coming to Rob's practices. CORA was very lucky to have Rob during this difficult season.
Eric Levasseur Sudbury Ringette Association Covid safe scrimmages, unique drills, encourages players!
Andrea James Markham Region Ringette Association Coach Andrea made a difficult and challenging ringette season as normal, engaging and fun as possible both on and off ice. She went above and beyond to keep the girls connected, active, and engaged. When ice was available in our region Coach Andrea made sure the our bubble was able to enjoy safe and fun practices. Ice time was focused on maintaining core skating skills while having fun! She made use of every second of ice time available. When our arenas closed, Coach Andrea continued to engage the girls in our cohort with virtual yoga and fitness classes twice a week. These virtual dryland sessions were essential to keep the girls connected and our ringette family together. Coach Andrea came up with several ideas over the year to challenge the girls with fun fitness challenges including a 500 shot challenge, and a Bear Fit challenge! Not only did she ensure that the girls kept healthy and active but she also ensured that our girls remained socially connected with virtual social activities every month the included online games, quizzes, scavenger hunts, and movie nights. Coach Andrea made the best of a challenging year and gave our girls an amazing ringette season!
Courtney Boehmer Paris Ringette Courtney took on 2 practice teams within our bubble and had amazing feedback from her players and parents. She always tried to get the most out of her players but also makes it fun. This was so important in a year like this. She is working with our players over 14 so again so amazing to have a great young skilled ringette player for the players to look up to. Courtney was also the coach of one of the bubble league teams and took on that role with her normal competitive fun nature with her team only losing 1 game all season but all teams having a blast! We are so lucky to have a coach like Courtney who ensured rules and safety were followed and took all RO, PRA and arena rules into consideration when planning drills and activities and ensured her players followed and respected the reason this was necessary.
dave mainwood GCRA Most definitely the best coach I’ve ever had, always made practice fun and ensured that we were doing drills that we liked to do
Sarah hyndman Paris ringette Always on the ball, Sarah had so many hats this year but was always available when needed to lead our teams. She planned the ever changing ice, signed us in, took good care of us when we were hurt! Sarah is an awesome to the Paris ringette association!
Jen Mayhew Paris Ringette association Jen has gone the extra mile during the pandemic making sure that all protocols were followed ensuring the safety of all players, volunteer, staff, and families.
Katie Painter Oshawa Storm Ringette Katie has stepped up to volunteer to lead 2 Bubbles this year. She has selflessly dedicated her time to providing our kids a fun environment to play in during a very difficult year. Thanks Katie!
Laura Gallagher Oshawa Ringette Laura was a bubble leader for both of her daughter's bubbles, this season, often juggling 2 different ice times, work schedules and protocols for the benefit of the kids wanting to play.
John Hyndman Paris Ringette Association John is a positive hardworking coach who coached 2 teams this year. John provides lots of encouragement to the kids while teaching them new skills.
Sarah Hyndman Paris Ringette She was there for every practice and 3 on 3 game in the U10 to U14 bubble.
Steve Peters Trent University Steve is the glue that has held this association together. He has been here since day one 5 years ago, and continued to coach this team after his daughter had graduated. Steve assumed the position of head coach, CSL, and managing arenas this year. Steve excelled in every position. Steve drives every sunday for 10pm practice from ajax to Peterborough every week for five years, and still is committed to returning year after year for this team. Steve worked endless hours helping us run this team and making sure we were running smoothly in order to get on the ice this year. I cannot stress this enough, we genuinely would not be a team without Steve, and he genuinely deserves every single recognition and award possible.
Sharolyn Wouters Oshawa Storm Ringette Sharolyn serves as our association's 2nd VP. In this role she has been integral in designing and implementing our on-ice program for all players during our "COVID season". Responding to the every-changing health and safety protocols, Sharolyn created a program and worked with all of our bubble leaders, which focused on individual skill development and fun. Sharolyn also volunteered as an bubble leader herself with our U9 aged players and is regarded by parents, players and other leaders as extremely knowledgable and a ton of fun! Sharolyn is an invaluable asset to Oshawa Storm and we are very lucky to have her.
Tim Walsh Whitby Ringette Association Tim has been involved with Whitby Ringette for many years, before I was involved in the association. I always heard positive things said about him over the years in his dedication to the sport and retaining players by making every aspect of the experience fun. I was able to see this first hand over the last couple years. After Tim's daughter aged out of minor Ringette, he continued to coach our U16/U19 level regional groups. While other associations have been losing players at this age and level, Whitby has continued to be able to ice teams with a near 100% retention rate even this season. I feel this is directly related to the experience Tim provides as the coach and leader of this group. He simply makes it fun.This extends beyond the players though. Attending one of his practices the stands are as full as any game. Even the parents enjoy the team atmosphere Tim provides.I'd really like to see Tim recognized for his years of service to Whitby Ringette, and recently continuing to keep players active and having fun.
Penny M WORA Penny went over and beyond for WORA this year as the CSL. We would receive emails from her super late at night and early in the morning. She worked tirelessly to keep the players on the ice. She went over and beyond in her role. She was always there when we had a question about rules and regulations, and she was also in constant discussions with the CSRs to make sure things were running smoothly. I can’t say that many other people would have dedicated the amount of hours that Penny did to this role. She is a true star and deserves to be recognized for all her hard work.
Erin O'Grady-Bimm Mississauga Ringette Association Months before the season began, Coach Erin emailed "her girls" to touch base with them, encouraged them to staying active, checked on their mental well-being, and updated them on what the realities of the coming season may look like. When the season began, she laid out the protocols and handed out Mississauga Ringette Association face masks, to remind them that they belonged to this inclusive ringette community, where they had support for any struggles they were facing. Coach Erin kept the skates upbeat and challenging; and always safe. When the season came to an early close, she maintained email contact, offering resources for fitness, nutrition, mental health, and off-ice ringette drills. And she reminded them to continue in community service, when restrictions allowed, through her example of staying involved in fundraising endeavours. I believe that Coach Erin deserves this award, because she not only mentors our girls in the sport of ringette, but she also gives them valuable skills they can use, beyond sport.
Bryan Fraser Markham Region Ringette Association Bryan worked hard keeping his team engaged when they could get in the ice, active while off the ice, and put in many hours working with the association to include all the girls on the team including our daughter. Due to pandemic rules she was deemed out of association and had to hit the ice with her bubble. He never forgot her and strived to include her every time there was a “pivot” in provincial pandemic policy. Bryan as a coach leads some amazing staff as well. A seasoned assistant coach, dedicated trainer, two player/ assistant coaches being mentored. His Team manager is a machine in her organization skills. It was a pleasure to be part of this team last year, almost part of the team this year, and honestly looking forward to making the tryouts for this September's Team. I would also like to mention that on top of his volunteer hours to this great sport, he is a secondary school teacher. He dealt with all the challenges of these past school years, and still managed to promote a team culture to the roster (past and present). I believe the girls benefitted from his presence in spite of the pandemic.
Innovative Club of the Year
Nominee
Western University
Sudbury Ringette Association Went out of their way to ensure this season was safe and fun filled for all players!
Paris Ringette Association PRA made the decision early in the season to put the focus for Ringette this year on the players aka "the kids". With the stresses of the pandemic everyone agreed that the kids needed to have some fun. While the teams had practice ice within their normal age groups a 3 on 3 house league was created with two distinct bubbles, U10-U14 and U16-U19. Each team had three players from each age group and they generally played against their own group using buzzed shift changes. This was more fluid with the older group while in the younger bubble players often had the opportunity to "play up". In order for all of this to have the real game feel referees and minor officials were also included. Every team had at least one game per weekend plus the regular practice ice during the week. When numbers were reduced due to Red zone restrictions games were dropped, teams massaged to meet the maximum numbers allowed and practices continued. There was a plan to have a year ending 3 on 3 tournament which had to be scrapped due to the pandemic. Both last season and this year, in lieu of a banquet, the executive chose to put a little extra money into year end gifts for the players. This season they were able to be given out at the last ice time Last year they were delivered over the course of a couple of weeks which offered a social media opportunity where delivery photos were posted and players responded with their own photos. If success were based on player smiles this year, PRA achieved every goal.
Western University Online workouts, well organized socially distanced off-ice workouts and practices, use of video chats and online games for team bonding, well-organized assigned ice times and dressing rooms to follow bubble and number rules where applicable, modified half ice 3 on 3 to follow restrictions but maintain game sense. This team did a lot of work to safely run bonding exercises, training, practices, and engage followers/fans online. They respectfully upheld the ethics of sport while creating a meaningful experience for athletes.
Oshawa Storm Ringette Our programming planners Stacey Wright and Sharolyn Wouters LaRush have worked tirelessly this year to create a program that benefits all of our players. Regardless of skill level, every player had something to learn and work on. In addition to this they used this year as an opportunity to further develop our excellent coaching volunteers. They truly turned lemons into lemonade this year and we owe them a large debt of gratitude!

CATEGORIES

Essential Worker of the Year

Awarded to an essential worker in the ringette community for their strength and commitment to providing essential services to Ontarians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nominate a special essential worker now!

 

Best Club Social Media Account

Awarded to the Club with the most creative, engaging, and consistent social media posts. Nominate a Club now!

 

CSL of the Year 

Awarded a COVID-19 Safety Leader in the ringette community for their commitment to getting their members back on the ice safely. All club CSLs will be nominated for this award.

 

Club Innovation Award 

Awarded to a Club that has shown innovation through developing unique programs and initiatives for its members on and off the ice. Nominate an innovative club for this award.

 

Bubble Leader/Cohort Leader/Coach of the Year 

Awarded to a Bubble Leader/Cohort Leader/Coach for their commitment to their players during the 2020-2021 season through displaying excellent leadership and communication skills while encouraging development and fun. Nominate a special leader for this award.