2013 Hall of Fame Inductee – Wendy Gibson, News (Richmond Hill Ringette)

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2013 Hall of Fame Inductee – Wendy Gibson
Submitted By Steve Zanon on Monday, July 1, 2013
Wendy Gibson joined Richmond Hill Ringette in 1997 when she registered her daughter Sarah as a Bunny.....

Wendy joined the executive in 2001 when the association had 8 Bunnies registered at the start of the season and less than 100 players in the entire association. The association was at risk of folding within a few years without a major new player recruitment effort. The executive committee at the time, under Paul Silbernagel as president and Wendy as secretary decided to make it the #1 priority of the association. Wendy was a very large part of the strategic planning to focus the executives energies on the growth of the association at the grass roots level.

Wendy helped start the LTS program with Paul S. in 2002. She recruited and coordinated the on-ice volunteers and volunteered on the ice every Sunday for the first few years of the program This program was the rudimentary beginning of our beginner programs that exist today. She also initiated an advertising campaign inserting flyers in local newspapers and brochures through schools, soccer clubs, community centres and libraries. She did most of the leg work in the early years distributing as many as 10,000 flyers to hundreds of schools in the Richmond Hill and surrounding areas. This along with the focus by the exec at that time to focus on our grass roots programs set up the frame work and the foundation for the associations success of today.

In 2004 RHRA hosted its first and only Provincial Championship to date. Wendy was on the Championship Organizing Committee and took charge of many of the components including the Opening Ceremonies, advertising for the Provincial Program and convening, all while helping coach Sarah’s Tween A team to the associations 1st ever Provincial medal.

In 2007 Wendy, Rob Evans and Jim File initiated an application for a Trillium Grant….a very complicated and cumbersome govt document that required in excess of 100 hrs to prepare.....the resulting $35K grant allowed us to purchase many important items for the association, non more valuable than the lending gear for our beginner programs which is still an intricately important component of these programs today. 

Wendy was also an instrumental contributor to the annual ringette tournament in RH each February….if she wasn’t overseeing the planning and execution as the tournament chair, she was a convenor or running another volunteer task.

Wendy was also very involved helping coach her daughter Sarah's Ringette team over her 12 yrs. Sarah’s teams were the early trail blazing teams being the 1st to participate at both the Prov “A” & then the “AA” levels. Wendy's daughter Sarah shared one of her fondest memories when they played AA for the 1st time. “It was a challenging and exciting year that tested us as players, coaches and a team. This was the year that my mom put on hockey skates for the first time, became a Level 2 certified coach and committed to being on the bench for each and every game. This is also the year my mom learned how to deal with the emotions of 15 teenage girls in the heat of a close ringette game. Just in case having one teenage daughter wasn't enough, her experience with our team of 15 girls most definitely was! She put up with more from us girls on the bench then any mother should have to. But her role on our team that year was one of the reasons we were able to play AA.

Most recently in 2010 Wendy helped us develop our role of Program Administrator … she took on the position as part time administrator for the association as a pilot to see if such a position would work and help alleviate the workload of volunteers.

Wendy questioned me as to whether she should be considered a candidate for the RHRA hall of fame. I told her I've always felt strongly the younger families are made aware of the important efforts that people like herself contributed in the earlier leaner years. People only see the successes of today......it’s important to recognize the earlier efforts from the likes of Wendy Gibson, Scott Sullivan, Ted Moritsugu & Rob & Barb Evans.

I'm very proud to bring Wendy here today to see what she was a very large part of creating and for our members to recognize the valuable contributions she made and the results of those efforts. I doubt Wendy would ever have believed we would be able to ice a team at every level….it has been through hard work, but initiated through the valuable early efforts of Wendy.

RHRA is honored to induct Wendy Gibson as the 2013 inductee to the RH Ringette Hall of Fame


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