Coaches Rock Ringette - Pandemic Means Creative Team Events
Ask any ringette player and they’re likely to tell you that the most enjoyable aspect of any ringette season is the socializing and friendships.
A global pandemic obviously isn’t conducive for socializing.
Sheryl Bird, head coach of the U19A Regina RIPT, used an innovative way to introduce her new teammates to one another – they assembled in the parking lot of the old Costco location in east Regina.
Sheryl Bird and the 2020-21 U19A RIPT
“A Costco parking lot is a little unusual for a team meeting,” Bird said with a laugh. “Usually, we would meet in a meeting room like the Ringette Regina office. But with the COVID-19 restrictions at that time, meeting indoors was not possible and we thought it was important to have a face to face meeting. So other places were passed around like meeting in a park etc. In the end we came up with the old Costco parking lot due to the space.”
The meeting actually turned out to be an enjoyable experience. It was a warm early October day and parents and players got to know each other as they spread themselves out in lawn chairs in the vacant parking lot.
“I think meeting this way started off the importance of team bonding for our group,” said Bird. “It was just all about trying to find unique ways to meet and keep some kind of ‘normal’ during the playing season.”
The RIPT have also used ZOOM and other electronic communication to keep the team together – but according to Bird nothing beats getting together in person.
“Zoom meetings are great and we have used Zoom for RIPT one on ones,” she said. “But we were fortunate that our team was made early and the weather was still nice. We thought this would be a great and little unusual way to meet everyone and while being a little more personable.”
Looking back on the event, Bird says in hindsight the meeting might have been even better had the team opted for the current Costco location.
“Since we met at the old Costco there were no chicken wings or hot dogs,” she said. “But the parking lot meeting was a good start to our season except at the end of the meeting when had hundreds of seagulls fly over our heads.”