Athlete from Strathmore heads to the world stage

A Calgary ringette athlete who got her start in Strathmore is headed to the World Ringette Championships in Espoo, Finland this month.

Ann Sauve is one of eight athletes from the Calgary area who was selected to compete on Canada’s senior and junior national teams. Sauve is the sole member from the Calgary area to be selected for the senior team.

“I am pretty excited. I’m a little nervous for sure, just with having the break from ringette through COVID-19, but it’s definitely been something I’ve been working towards through COVID-19 and I’m very excited to travel and play with my teammates again,” said Sauve. “I made the national team in 2019 for the junior team … but now that I’ve aged out of that group, this is my first time being eligible for, and making the senior team.”

Sauve typically plays for the Calgary Rath in the National Ringette League (NRL), which was scouted for players to try out for the national team.

She explained camps were held every long weekend throughout the summer, for which she travelled between Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal to participate in. The national team was formed roughly a month ago from players selected out of the camps.

The NRL was founded in 2002 with play beginning in 2003 in an effort to raise awareness for the sport of ringette, as well as to allow the best players in the country to square off and compete against each other.

The league now boasts 13 teams across Canada and allows its players opportunities to be scouted for the junior and senior national teams.

For Sauve, her road to get to worlds started when she was in kindergarten just starting out in the sport, she has had a love for ringette since day one.

“When I was in Kindergarten my best friend was playing ringette so I thought it would be fun to try out and I’ve been playing ever since,” said Sauve. “My friends are here and I love the competitive environment. I love the skills that I learned in ringette, I definitely apply to my real life, school and work.”

Getting her start in the sport in Strathmore, Sauve played locally until she began to compete in Calgary at the age of 13.

Sauve added she captained the Canada Games ringette team for Alberta in 2019, with ambitions of playing for the national team at the time.

“I’m feeling confident about going to worlds. I’m a little nervous, but I think those nerves will work in my favour. I’m very excited,” said Sauve. “I’m very proud to come from Strathmore and going through the Strathmore Ringette Association … I think anyone who is there can definitely work towards goals like worlds. Just because you are from a small town doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to play at a high level. Just keep playing because you love it.”

Canada’s national ringette team will be participating in the world championships from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, departing to the championships on Oct. 26 and the senior team will compete for the Sam Jacks trophy.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times