Ringette Canada stopped in Saskatoon to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Dad laces up the skates. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)The sport was invented in 1963 North Bay, Ontario by Sam Jacks. At the time it was intended to be an alternative winter sport for women. This was the first ringette scrimmage for this 7-year-old player from Saskatoon. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)But, life-long
ringette players say the sport has evolved over the last five decades and is now a fiercely competitive ice sport.
Members of Saskatoon's U 9 ringette team came out to scrimmage on Thursday night. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)Frances
Ringette Canada's sport development director. She says there are still misconceptions about the sport, but they're easily remedied once people see the game being played.
Girls are ready to hit the ice. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)"We've come a long way from broken hockey sticks and figure skates and what not. If you can go out and see a
ringette game, you'll see the speed, the intensity,"
Losier said. "It's not what people think,"
Calgary's U 16 Koda ringette team came along for the ride. They've started the anti-bullying Friends First initiative in their league. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)To celebrate the sport's evolution over the last 50 years, the group is stopping in 15 cities across Canada.
Ringette Canada says it has seen the sport's popularity steadily increase since 1998. Now, the organization says it has over 30,000 registered ringette players across the country.
The Koda ringette team from Calgary wear red laces on their right skates to remember victims of bullying while they play. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)"Its fun, its fast. And you're going to make a lot of friends,"
Losier said. "I think as a young athlete, as a young child, those are the things we are looking for. There is something for everyone. You can play until you're 80 years old."
Saskatoon's U 9 ringette team scrimmage on the ice. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)In December, Canada's national
ringette team will take on Finland to try and win back the top spot in the world.