From the CFL to the BC Winter Games

Jan 23, 2014


What do CFL football and ringette have in common?  Ask Richard White.

As a young athlete, Richard was not on skates but, instead, applied his talents to the gridiron.   He was a linebacker for Simon Fraser University football team and then was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1981, which led to a five-year career in the Canadian Football League.

Richard started coaching ringette when his daughter became involved in the sport and has coached at the 2011 Canada Winter Games and the 2012 Junior World Championships.

As head coach of Vancouver-Squamish Zone 5 ringette, Richard will lead his team to the 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission this February.  In addition to his coaching duties, he is also taking part in the Female Coaching Mentor/Apprentice Program and will be mentoring a female apprentice coach at the BC Winter Games.  

Here are a few Q&As with Richard White.

How did you get involved in coaching Ringette? My oldest daughter didn’t get into soccer in grade one and she was very sad. One of her friends saw that she was sad and told her she could play a sport with her other friends. Her friend told her that there was lots of room on her ringette team and she could play with her.  So, Lynita joined the team.

After the first year of watching the sport, and me having a little bit of experience of coaching I offered to help out on the ice.  The next thing I knew I was asked to head coach her team the next year.  In the second year we placed second in the provincial championships and won a great many tournaments and the league championship.  Over the past few years I have been offered positions coaching elite teams, which is a great honour.

Lynita played for Team BC at the 2011 Canada Winter Games and has been part of the National Ringette League in Ontario for the last five years.

What do you love about coaching? I love to see players want to come back and take on the challenge of getting better at their sport.  I really love watching players develop and improve.  I also love mentoring new coaches in the sport, because it is something that I really see improvement being needed.  So many times at the most important time for a player’s development is when we have the least experienced coaches working with them. 

What to you hope to accomplish by being a mentor coach for the BC Games? My goal for being a mentor is making ringette better in BC.  I would like to accomplish this by introducing coaches to all aspects of preparing a player for an elite level competition.  This way the newer coaches can go back with a complete arsenal of information that they can use when they feel comfortable trying it. 

Why do you think a program to mentor female coaches is important? In the sport that I coach, where the majority of players are female, it gives the players a person that they can relate to as an athlete that would understand their way of thinking.  Also, this gives our local communities all the way up to our country, a more diverse level of coaching, with a more balanced view on dealing with challenges. In order to have your athletes believe that there are opportunities out there they need to see people that have achieved and accomplished goals and opportunities that they may someday want to be in that position. 

What are you most looking forward to at the 2014 BC Winter Games?  I am looking forward to introducing a fresh batch of athletes to what high level performance is all about.  It is an incredible feeling when new people show their excitement for something they have never experienced and want more of.

See Richard and his Vancouver-Squamish Zone 5 team square off against the best in BC at the Mission 2014 BC Winter Games, February 20-23.

The Coaching Mentor/Apprentice Program is a partnership of the BC Games Society, viaSport and Promotion Plus and provides mentoring opportunities for female coaches at the BC Winter and BC Summer Games.


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