The annual Laurie Morton Ruppe Memorial Ringette Tournament is back. The tournament is usually held each year in Strathmore at the end of January.
The tournament will take place from January 28 to 30 and this year there will be 525 participants visiting Strathmore with their families. Tournament organizers say that there will be players from U10 all the way up to U19 divisions this year, some who will be travelling from as far away as Regina.
Because the tournament will be operating during the pandemic, ringette fans should expect to see a few changes. The tournament director and Strathmore Minor Ringette Associaton board are monitoring the current changes to COVID-19 guidelines.
According to SMRA, “Strathmore arena is currently operating under the Restrictions Exemption Program and our board will be screening for this at the Rockyford arena. All our players, coaches, and officials are required to be masked at all times when they are not on the ice. All the fans will be asked to social distance and wear masks if they are coming to watch games. Of course, nobody should be coming if they have COVID symptoms. Our board will ensure that there are hand sanitizers available and a package of sanitary wipes is included in every player bag for all teams.”
In addition, Ringette Alberta has informed teams that if a player has tested positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for 10 full days.
According to SMRA, “It’s important to honour Laurie Morton Ruppe because she was a huge advocate of the sport of ringette in Strathmore. She played herself and her daughter played as well. She was very involved on the board and grew the sport in Strathmore.”
It was said Ruppe was incredibly kind and loved by many people.
Emma Moore explained, “I think because of her passion for the sport she would want us all to have the opportunity to play. The last almost two years have been really hard for kids and teens where nothing has been normal. When we are on the ice it feels normal. For that hour you have the opportunity to be with your friends and share a game you love and just have fun and forget all that is happening.”
She continued, “We obviously want to do this as safely as possible but having an opportunity for all of us to play is important both for our physical and mental health. As players we appreciate all the board members, coaches and parents who have worked really hard to give us the opportunity to play this season.”
SMRA hosted the Laurie Morton Ruppe Memorial tournament in 2020, but they were unable to host tournaments in 2021 to the cancellation of minor sports during the pandemic.