Two Cochrane ringette players have returned with bronze medals from the Western Canadian Ringette Championship that featured the top teams from Manitoba west.

Pavelle Smith and Holly Deitz played for the Zone 2 14AA Blaze, formed by players in the Strathmore, Rockyford, Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks region. 

Thirteen-year-old forward Pavelle called her first appearance in the Western Canadian an amazing experience. Besides the games, there was a skills competition, banquet, dance, and opening and closing ceremonies. In the skills competition, she was part of the relay team for the Blaze.


In six games, she scored four goals and assisted on five.

To advance to the Western Canadian championships, the Blaze won silver at ringette provincials. 

Pavelle has been playing the sport for seven years, four of them with the Cochrane Ringette Association before making the zone team. She has no regrets taking it up the sport, calling it fun to play and a great way to meet people.

"I definitely recommend it. It's such a good sport and I feel like it deserves more hype. It's so fun and I just love being a part of it."

She goes into U16 next season and hopes to once again make the zone team. She encourages other Cochrane players to try out.

"Any Cochrane girls who are want to try out, definitely should do it," she says. "I want to encourage all kinds of players from Cochrane to try out when they're of age because it's worth it in the end. Just have confidence going in there and you should do great."

Her younger sister Vivian enters U14 next season and intends to pursue a spot on the U14AA team.

ringette 2Tim and Pavelle Smith (photo submitted)

Her father Tim Smith is an assistant coach with the Blaze and has been coaching ringette for several years. He remains a board member with the Cochrane Ringette Association.

Both the Zone 2 U16AA and U19AA teams recently claimed bronze medals at provincials, qualifying them for the Canadian Ringette Championships in Dieppe, New Brunswick from April 7 to 13. The Western Canadian is the highest level of competition played by U14 players.

There are several ringette teams in the Cochrane Ringette Association. One of the highlights of the year is the huge Bob Campbell Memorial Classic held annually in December.

Those who are interested in giving the sport a whirl can take advantage of a free try-it event this Sunday (Apr. 7) afternoon at the Cochrane Arena.