Coaches Rock Ringette
Coaching brings new and old friendships
Ringette has given Jessica Romanski her best friends.
And now she’s happy to watch other young girls form those early friendships that often last for a life time.
“I started playing ringette when I was six years old. An older girl in the neighbourhood played and her parents recommended that my parents sign me up. That year my childhood best friend and I both signed up and we still play.
“I have been playing on the same open team for about 10 years and I have been so lucky to be part of such a wonderful group of women who have become great friends. I play for the competition, the exercise and of course the social aspect and the friendships.”
Romanski and her sister Hannah are behind the bench this season coaching the U12B Shock.
The pair’s foray into coaching began four years ago when they decided to take on coaching duties for a U10 team.
“My Mom’s friend, who we also grew up next door to, mentioned that they were looking for coaches for her daughter’s division,” she said. “My sister and I decided it would be fun to try out coaching, along with a friend of mine and we just enjoyed it so much that we keep coming back.”
Unlike many other coaches who get behind the bench of their children’s team, Jessica and Hannah Romanski don’t have a child in the game. Their motivation to coach is to serve as positive role models for young girls.
“When I played when I was young there were very few female coaches,” said Jessica. “I really wanted to share my love for the sport and show that p
laying ringette can be a life-long hobby. Also lacking positive female coaches when I was young, I was very excited to try to empower girls to
be a leader not only in sport but in every aspect of their lives.”
From a coaching perspective, Romanski says she’s glad to see emphasis on female coaches.
“Coaching has changed a lot from when I played as a child,” she said. “The emphasis on having female coaches was not there when I was young and I believe that having female coaches for young girls gives them someone that they can relate to, helps build self-esteem and helps keep girls active and interested in ringette.
Romanski also believes that the physical aspects of the game is only one of the benefits.
“One of the things Hannah and I enjoy about coaching the most is seeing players improve and come out of their shells,” she said. “There is no better feeling when you see a new to ringette player coming off the ice after she has made a great pass, check or goal and seeing them smiling from ear to ear.”
And being able to hang out as sisters is another benefit. “It’s really a fun thing that I get to do it with my sister and as we are both older and busy with our careers it gives us a great opportunity to stay involved and collaborate together,” she said.
Jessica and Hannah can also be found on the ice playing ringette when they’re not behind the bench with the Shock. As for the future, there’s no plan to do anything different.
“I think my ringette future looks very similar to the past few years – I just want to continue to play and continue to coach.”