Houston Ringette Association to receive grant from Local Sports Relief Fund

Fraser Lake Curling Club and Fraser Lake Hockey Association are all grant recipients

Players in the Houston Ringette Association will benefit from extra funding thanks to B.C. sports relief program (File photo/Houston Today)

Players in the Houston Ringette Association will benefit from extra funding thanks to B.C. sports relief program (File photo/Houston Today)

The Houston Ringette Association will be granted $7,500 in funding as part of the BC Local Sports Relief Fund (LSRF).

The LSRF has been developed to provide one-time financial relief for non-profit community level sports organizations, clubs and associations that are at risk of collapse or insolvency due to COVID-19. The Province of British Columbia has allocated the funds from the federal government with the goal of supporting athletic programs around the province that have taken a financial hit during the pandemic. The money will be administered through viaSport BC.

Also on the list of grant recipients are two programs from near by Fraser Lake; The Fraser Lake Hockey Association, and the Fraser Lake Curling Club.

According to the LSRF, all the money must go towards supporting administration and operational funding needs for a return to sport. Any new sports programming or initiatives are ineligible to receive the relief grant.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Houston Ringette Association or the sport, ringette is a unique winter ice sport that’s primarily played by females, however it is open to all and at all ages.

It’s aesthetically similar to hockey, but it’s a non-contact sport. Players use a straight stick with a tip that differs from a curved hockey stick, and the object being pursued is a hollow rubber ring as opposed to a puck. Ringette also has subtle rules that make the game play more dynamic and open than hockey. For example; the ring cannot be carried over the blue line, it has to be passed by another teammate. This creates more space as well as an emphasis on passing.

The sport was created in 1963 by Canadian Sam Jacks, after he noticed a need for a winter team sport for young women. Jacks was also responsible for creating floor hockey in 1936.

As of 2020, there were over 32,000 registered players across Canada, with over 95% of those being females. In BC there are local leagues and associations on Vancouver Island, throughout the lower mainland as well as in the northern parts of the province. Ringette is also played internationally in countries such as Finland, The United States, Sweden, France and the United Arab Emirates.