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  • Writer's pictureRegina Ringette

Coach Spotlight - Colleen Butz-Purdue

Colleen started her coaching career in 2009/10 out of Buffalo Plains Ringette Association. She quickly found her desire to get involved with high performance teams and through much collaboration with BPRA and RRA brought U14AA ringette back to Saskatchewan in time for the 2012/13 Western Canadian Championships in Regina Sask. In 2015 Colleen was selected as an apprentice coach for the Saskatchewan Canada Winter Games team. This is where her Competition Development training began. In 2019, she was again an assistant coach for the Saskatchewan Canada Winter Games team. From 2017 to present day Colleen has been involved with the Buffalo Plains Open A Grit team, a team she started after taking a step back from AA. In 2021/22 season, Ringette Saskatchewan was able to bring back the NRL to our province. Such a fantastic step in the right direction for ringette in Saskatchewan. Colleen has been the Head Coach of the Saskatchewan Heat and is looking very forward to her third season with the organization.

Here's a bit more about Colleen:

What made you want to coach ringette?

As a youngster I always wanted to be a teacher. My life path however did not take me down that road, so coaching quickly filled that void of not pursuing that dream.

How long have you been coaching?

Going into my 13th season

What is your coaching style or philosophy?

I have an athlete centred approach. Everything I do I put the athlete’s first. I believe in hard work, but having fun doing so and making the most of every opportunity that’s given.

What is the most challenging part of being a coach?

Managing expectations.

How do you ensure all players feel included in the team?

Having open communication, being receptive and approachable. Have an inquiring mind, ask them questions and show genuine interest in them as athletes and individuals.

Do you have a favourite coach or role model you look up to?

Phyllis Sadoway. This incredible woman mentored me through my Comp. Dev course and was instrumental in getting me through that very tough 3-4 years. I learned so much from her and I will treasure every second spent under her wing. At 70+ years old when I first met her, she taught me the very valuable lesson that no matter how old you are or how much you’ve experienced, you can always learn and I sure did and I continue to every day.

Did you or do you play ringette?

I still play. I’m entering my 38th year playing ringette.

What is your favourite memory or highlight from your coaching career?

I have so many, but a few that stand out is winning a Gold Medal at Westerns, experiencing that first win in the NRL and being involved with Canada Winter Games.

Describe one of your most successful moments as a coach.

It’s hard to pick one. I find my most successful moments is when I’ve made an impact or difference in an athlete’s life, on or off the ice.

What do you love most about coaching ringette?

The incredible people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and lifelong relationships that have developed through coaching. Priceless to me.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start coaching?

Go for it. It’s an incredibly rewarding way to give back. Learn from every experience, good or bad and keep learning. Coaching will give you a whole new perspective and appreciation for our sport.

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