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Pembina Ringette Association kicks off new season

U19 Royals to host provincial championships in March 2023
The Pembina Ringette Association began its regular season last week, with one of the first games of the year as the U16B Pembina Pursuit and the Edmonton Surge faced off at the Rotary Spirit Centre Oct. 15. Pursuit player Emerson Belton keeps her eyes on the ring, left, while fellow teammate Nevaeha Woodcock, far right, assists on the play during a 7-3 victory.

WESTLOCK – The Pembina Ringette Association has started their season on a high, welcoming the U19 Royals, who will host the 2023 provincial championships March 23-26, 2023.  

“It’s actually our first time ever having a U19 team and that’s also exciting for us,” said Pembina Ringette Association president Kyley Belton. “We hosted the U16 (provincials) last year and the tournament was really successful, so we are definitely happy to be awarded a provincial tournament again.”   

Belton, who’s in her first year as president after serving on the board for about five years in such roles as vice-president and coach of player development, said  

they had a large number of girls moving out of U16 so there was a need to add U19.

“We have a division for all ages now in this area so it’s definitely a positive that our members can play here and don’t have to travel to other associations,” she said.   

Prior to the start of the season, the association held an eight-day camp at the end of August, where players took part in skills drills and three on three games.  

“It's a great opportunity for our players to be involved in a local camp with coaches from our association,” noted Belton, adding that one of the first tournaments of the regular season took place over the Thanksgiving weekend in St. Albert. Three teams from the association took part in the Turkey Ring tournament, with the U12C Pickles bringing home a silver medal.

Teams have been practicing since early September and hold practices twice a week during the regular season, which runs from October to March, said Belton. Teams in several age categories including U10, U12, U14, U16 and U19 play in the Black Gold league against teams from Fort McMurray to Red Deer as well as compete in tournaments throughout the season.

In addition to the age groups, there is also an ‘active start’ category for young ringette players ages 7 to 11 who can learn how to play the sport and develop their skills — registration for the program is ongoing.    

“Kids who are brand new to the sport, they could be 10 years old and possibly just want to start at the active start level,” said Belton. “Players may be older but they want to get into skating and learning the sport. They’re welcome to register in the active start program.”

For more information visit the association's website at

Kristine Jean,