Two young local girls are headed to Regina at the end of March to play in the U14 Western Canada Ringette Championships.
Camryn Himech, 13, and Nadyna Monkman, 14, are joining a group of girls from their Northern Lights AA ringette team and some girls from the Okanagan to compete in Westerns March 28 to 30, against six other teams from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, said Nadyna.
Camryn, Nadina and Madison Emberly, 13, have been playing ringette for seven years with the Houston Ringette Association, and last September they took it to the next step and tried out for the Northern Lights AA ringette team based in Prince George, Nadyna said.
The Northern Lights team has 19 players 13 to 14 years old from Quesnel, Prince George, Houston and Terrace, and the girls said they’ve played tournaments Edmonton, Calgary and Richmond.
Asked why they decided to try out, Nadyna said they were inspired by local rugby player Jamie Beck, who competed nationally in early February and played in the B.C. Rugby Summer Games in 2012.
“She’s a role model to us, how she comes back and tells us all these stories of her going and playing different teams and meeting new people – it just sounded so fun,” Nadyna said.
“We want to tell people that look up to us the stories that she tells us,” said Camryn.
Northern Lights AA Coach Keith Sullivan says he is focusing on development with the team, because most of the girls are 12 and competing against 13 year old players, and most have never competed in A or AA level ringette.
Sullivan says it’s largely about the experience for these kids, and letting them see the big leagues and what is out there to encourage to keep going.
The key thing the girls bring to the team is determination, Sullivan said.
He added that Camryn is an incredible defenseman because of her speed.
“All of a sudden she’s up on the other end and then all of a sudden she’s back,” he said.
“Nadyna is strong. When she gets the ring, it’s pretty hard to take it away from her,” said Sullivan.
Asked what they like about ringette, Madison and Camryn said they like how it’s a team sport.
“Everybody will get a chance on the rink because you have to pass,” said Madison.
Camryn added that she also likes spending time with coaches and meeting new friends.
“I love travelling to places and meeting new people and just the team spirit,” said Nadyna.
“[I like] trying something new and loving it, and just wanting to go and do it again until you can’t,” she added.
“You can grow up and still have that skill and be able to tell your kids one day, ‘Oh, I used to play ringette,’ and you can teach them how to play,” said Nadyna.
Coach Sullivan says the Houston girls are good kids and just like them, he is looking forward to heading to Regina for the big tournament.