The final few days of the Canadian University and College Ringette Association's (CUCRA) University Challenge Cup (UCC) of ringette were full of fast and fierce play and continued to showcase the exceptional competitiveness of the game at the university-level across Canada. Teams from thirteen universities including University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Lethbridge University, Brock University, Carleton University, Dalhousie University, Guelph, Laurentian, Nipissing, McMaster, Western, and Wilfrid Laurier showed up to play and compete to win.
In the initial days of the UCC, teams compete in round-robin play to determine whether they will play in Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the playdowns. The top eight teams earn a spot in Tier 1 and the remaining five teams make up Tier 2. For Tier 1, the final days of the tournament involve determining which two teams play in the gold medal game and which two teams play in the bronze medal game.
This year, Tier 1's gold medal game was the battle of Alberta with the University of Calgary up against Lethbridge University. Tier 1's bronze medal game had the third Alberta team - Northern Alberta - up against the Carleton Ravens.
Gold Medal - University of Calgary
Silver Medal - Lethbridge University
Bronze Medal - Carlton University
For the remaining five teams playing in Tier 2, a round-robin format was used to determine which teams at this level finished the tournament with gold, silver and bronze medals. At the end of their 4-game round-robin play, the Tier 2 gold medal was awarded to the Dalhousie Tigers while the silver medal was given to Nipissing and the bronze medal given to Brock.
Gold Medal - Dalhousie University
Silver Medal - Nipissing University
Bronze Medal - Brock University
In addition to the medals being handed out at this year's UCC, one team from each Tier were also awarded the Jessica Hamather Sportsmanship Award. This annual UCC award is given in honour of Jessica Hamather, a special University of Guelph Gryphons ringette team member who lost her life to a rare form of brain cancer in December 2015 and recognizes the respect for the game and to fellow players that Jessica always exemplified when she found herself on and off the ice. This year's team honourees were Northern Alberta in Tier 1 and Nipissing in Tier 2.
Tier 1 - Northern Alberta
Tier 2 - Nipissing University
For this year's UCC organizers, it was important to include a program component that reached out to local female athletes to help empower these athletes to embrace their athleticism and to celebrate their participation in sport. To this end, girls aged 12 to 16 years from local sport organizations were invited to participate in a Fast & Female Power Hour Leadership Program. Hosted by Fast & Female Event Coordinator and Athlete Ambassador Jessica Koepfer, this two-hour long program provided over 30 girls the chance to meet 9 established and elite femal athletes, to hear about their athletic experiences at the elite level of sport and to learn what it means to be a leader in sport.
Congratulations to all of the teams that competed in the UCC and to tournament organizers from Wilfrid Laurier University who, with the help of volunteers from Waterloo Ringette, put together a great experience for athletes, coaches and team supporters. Next year's UCC will again be back in Elmira, Ontario and hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University. Definitely lots to look forward to.
Find the Canadian University and College Ringette Association and Fast & Female in our Athlete Advisor, your online athletic business directory. Find, rate and review ringette programs, local community offerings and businesses that will help you do your thing.
Need a place to coordinate and connect with your own ringette team? Find or start a ringette group on our SWSCD Hub.
Look for advice, stories, news and more on our Ringette activity page.
Have your own great memory or moment playing ringette? Share your highlights directly on our Discover blog or by using #seewhatshecando on social media and inspire others to get active.
Action photos from the 2018-19 UCC will be available for purchase shortly through our SWSCD Marketplace. In the meantime, we invite you to head to our gallery to see a sampling of the action shots captured in the first few days of the tournament.
Blog and photos by Caroline Wiley. Caroline is the Founder of SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her world has always revolved around sport. Caroline's passion is moving, doing and photographing the active moments all around her. When she’s not making plays on the ice or actively exploring the world with her family, she can be found researching her genealogical history and immersing herself in all things Cornish.
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