Dave Walker, a Sault Ringette Club member, has accepted a position as Ringette Ontario vice president.
Walker has been an active member of the local ringette community since 2013, becoming involved as a coach when his two daughters took up the sport.
“It’s great to see the athletes back on the ice for the social and physical benefits that ringette provides them (after COVID shut the sport down). This year is another recovery year so we are taking it slow and following the provincial and local health unit guidelines and continuing to rebuild and grow the sport,” Walker said in an email.
Over the years Walker has coached various divisions from U8 to U16, including house league, Provincial A, and Provincial AA competitive teams. The Sault Ringette Club's competitive travel teams are called the Sault Ice Hawks.
Walker's involvement in ringette administration has progressed over the years.
He became a member of the Ringette Ontario Board as Director at Large in July 2020. He has also held the position of Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.
Ringette, like hockey, is played on ice but with a straight stick and a ring instead of a puck. The players have to pass the ring over each blue line and only three players from each team are allowed in the offensive or defensive zone. The emphasis in ringette is on skating skills and playmaking, which gives ringette players excellent skating speed and agility.
Ringette was invented in 1963 by Sam Jacks, a recreation director from North Bay, Ontario, who saw the need for a winter team sport for girls.
“Ringette provides athletes, coaches and officials both competitive and recreational pathways,” Walker said.
“It is a sport that people can play well into adulthood and is played competitively by university teams across Canada. Ringette Ontario runs a high performance AAA program where teams participate in the Ontario Winter Games and a Team Ontario program that attends the Canada Winter Games. Ringette is a true team sport and it teaches athletes how to work together in order to achieve their goals which translates into strong life skills,” Walker said.
Some athletes who started out as ringette players have gone on to represent Canada in the Olympics in other sports, most notably speed skater Catriona Le May Doan.
"On behalf of all Sault Ringette Club players, coaches, and parents, we congratulate Dave Walker on his new role," said Amy Peltonen, Sault Ringette Club marketing director.