CELEBRATING AJAX PICKERING RINGETTE FOUNDER: RUTH BENNETT, News (Ajax & Pickering Ringette)

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CELEBRATING AJAX PICKERING RINGETTE FOUNDER: RUTH BENNETT
Submitted By Chrissy Moutsatsos on Monday, October 08, 2018
Ruth Bennett is a person all ringette families in Ajax and Pickering should know about...50 years ago, in 1968, she brought the sport of ringette to Ajax.  

Her daughter, Joan Bennett, recently shared with our association some amazing newspaper articles and pictures from her family's personal collection of the beginnings of ringette in Ajax.   




RUTH BENNETT

One of the pioneers of Ringette, Ruth Bennett turned to the new sport because she felt there was a need for a girls’ winter sport, and was unable to convince enough parents to send their daughters to girls’ hockey. In 1968, she managed to find enough players to form two teams of 12 players; most of them were former figure skaters. She coached them herself, and two years later had enough players to form a traveling team in the ‘tween division. She made each girl’s uniform out of a blue tracksuit. This was the first Ringette uniform not formed from hockey gear. Though she faced criticism from parents for sending the girls on tournaments to come back with 20-1 losses, she continued to do so on the belief that in order for them to improve, they had to be exposed to a higher competitive level. Her team kept losing, but the players kept returning until there were 65 players in 1974. Bennett was the Ontario Ringette Association’s first historian and advisor. Bennett died from cancer at the age of 51. The following year, the Ajax Legion Belles, a team she helped create, won the first National Championships held for Ringette. In 1979, she was posthumously honoured for her contributions with an induction into the Hall of Fame as a Provincial Builder.

Credit:  Ringette Ontario Hall of Fame

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