Soo Girl plays in Sweden, News (Sault Ringette Club)

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Soo Girl plays in Sweden
Submitted By Rachelle Graham on Thursday, November 17, 2016
It’s been weeks since Bruce Graham – aka Dad - reached out and asked me to write a short post on playing ringette in Sweden. I have always loved playing Ringette and the sport has taken me in a pretty unique direction.

I’ve spend the last four years playing varsity hockey at Yale University.  I really appreciate the time I spent playing hockey; it gave me the opportunity to pursue an excellent education and meet some women that I count among my closest friends. But in the end, the stresses of competition were exhausting and I lost much of the joy that I once felt on the ice.  Even though I hesitated to step back into my skates after graduation, I’m so glad I finally returned to the sport I’ve always loved. 

With my return to ringette, I realized that I couldn’t talk about it without writing a novel!  As a young kid, I loved ringette even though I spent most games building snow mountains in my crease or staring into the stands. I cherish the memories of being coached by my dad, even though I was probably too stubborn to listen to anything he said.   I remember my older sister being my hero and inspiring me to become a goalie.  But it was during the practices with my first goalie coach – and then my first time coaching- that really defined who I was as a player. Whether I was playing at home with the club team or away on a tournament, I love the competition and the exhilaration of making the perfect save. The decision to quit ringette for hockey was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in highschool.

Playing ringette in Sweden has been amazing. Even though the club I joined is small (only a couple dozen members), it’s filled with supportive teammates, coaches and families. From day one, I have felt included on the team even though I don’t speak the native language, and I joined a team that’s been playing together for years. I have an incredibly supportive goalie partner who patiently translates the drills into English. I’ve even had the opportunity to practice with the Swedish National Ringette Team! Ringette is like family, anywhere you live you will be welcomed with open arms.

Ringette is something familiar that has kept me grounded amidst all the changes in my life.  I don’t know if there will be a ringette team wherever I end up 5 or 10 years from now, but I do know that this sport will always be a part of my life. rachelle_2.jpg

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