In just over a year’s time, Burnaby rinks will be ringing with the sound of international competition.
There will certainly be a number of ringers in attendance, too.
Ringette Canada announced last week that Burnaby will host the 2019 World Ringette championships, bringing the best from around the globe to see who’s No. 1.
Being tasked with some of the hosting responsibilities is the Lower Mainland Ringette League (LMRL), which applied for the privilege to have the action take place at the Bill Copeland and Burnaby Lake arenas.
“In 2012, Burnaby hosted an amazing Canadian Ringette championships, and Ringette B.C. is very excited to welcome the ringette community (back) in 2019 to once again show Canada and the world a quality ringette competition,” said Nicole Robb, executive director with Ringette B.C. “(We’re) thrilled to be a part of this momentous event, as this is the first world ringette championships to be hosted in B.C., and it will be an amazing opportunity for our ringette players to experience the highest level of ringette.”
Eunice Cho, president of Burnaby-New West Ringette, said the opportunity to have the elite teams and players on local ice, competing for the biggest prize in the sport, is only going to help boost the game’s profile locally.
“Yes, we’re very excited to be working with (LMRL) to host the world ringette championships in November 2019,” said Cho. “We will be taking an active role in coordinating the event and supporting (it) with many volunteers.”
The sport, which has evolved into a co-ed sport after its early beginnings as a game developed for young girls, involves more than 1,100 players in the Lower Mainland league and nearly 30,000 across Canada.
The world championships feature teams in the junior (under-19) and senior divisions, with the senior trophy named for Canadian Sam Jacks, who co-founded the sport in 1963.
While Canada has hosted four of the last seven world championships, including in 2017 in Mississauga, Ont., the national senior team has finished second behind Finland in all but one of those years – with Canada last emerging as No. 1 in 2002 in Edmonton.
Canada did capture the u19 world title, edging Finland for the prize.
At the last world championships, five nations came to Mississauga in search of a medal: Canada, Finland, Czech Republic, Sweden and the U.S. Slovakia is another nation which has attended in the past.
“We are very excited to once again be hosting the World Ringette championships in Canada and showcasing our sport on the international stage,” said Natasha Johnston, Ringette Canada’s executive director. “Burnaby is a destination city in Canada with experience in hosting major world events, and we are confident the host committee will hold a memorable event for ringette fans from across the world.”