For so many ringette players, participating in the Canadian Ringette Championships (CRC) in any given year is often the pinnacle of a spectacular season and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Friendships forged on the ice as linemates often turn into lifelong connections. The memories made at the National Championships are the kind players hope to share with a daughter who's chosen to play ringette too. This year's CRC 2018, was no different. Two fans - Leanne Harder and her daughter Natalie - whose paths we crossed in the concourse while covering the tournament's final day, are a perfect example of why such a national tournament is an awesome experience for so many. Leanne and 10-year-old Natalie are from South Manitoba and were here to cheer on the East Manitoba Flames - more often than not, called the Eastman Flames - in the U19 bronze medal game against the Waterloo Wildfire. Not only was Leanne an Eastman player, she was also a member of the only U16 Eastman team to win a Canadian national championship when the CRC's were hosted by Montreal back in 1997 and, at the time, was voted best centre across Canada. Both honours she holds close to her heart. Together with her daughter Natalie, who wore her mother's 1997 CRC Team Manitoba jersey, they were on their way to meet up with Leanne's former teammates from that 1997 winning Championship team. It was obvious to us that both mother and daughter loved ringette and couldn't wait to share their passion for the sport. Natalie was a U10 player and also loved the fact that her mother was her coach. She was excited to be in the stands to watch the tournament's final games. Clearly, and together, both mother and daughter were experiencing the magic of ringette.
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