To help the Family Centre in Lethbridge celebrate #YQLDads, we will be sharing stories all week about some awesome Ringette dads in Lethbridge! Today's post is about Johnathan, dad to Rebecca and Madeline!
The Director of Coaching at the Lethbridge Ringette Association tells us Jonathan Taylor is an exemplary ringette dad. He coaches and volunteers countless hours as an LRA board member, he is currently the President of the association and represents the group wonderfully. He caught wind of an Alberta movement called "Friends First" where each ringette player wears a red lace in their skate to represent the spirit of camaraderie, friendship and fun in ringette. He quickly instigated an LRA policy that adopted "Friends First" (posted on LRA webpage) - and Lethbridge quickly sold out of red skate laces. Jonathan also leads his team in pre-game warmups (a changeroom dance) and as a result, he has earned the nickname "Solid Gold" from our coaching group! He has some serious moves and is always a leader when it comes to fun.
Here is what Jonathan had to say about his experience with ringette:
When my daughters were born, from time to time I would get the inevitable question "Are you disappointed you didn't have a boy". My answer was always an honest no. I had two beautiful healthy daughters. However, as time has gone on, that answer has changed slightly. I would say now that I am glad I didn't have a boy. One of the reasons I say that is ringette.
Having grown up in a family where the world of sport figured prominently, from a young age I was involved with team sports. One sport's season would end and the next would start. I learned some of my most valuable life lessons from team sports, and have always hoped my daughters would have the opportunity to do the same. They participated in a variety of activities at a young age, but nothing really caught on until a fateful invitation from friends across the street. My eldest Madeline was invited to a "Come Try Ringette" event with the Lethbridge Ringette Association.
Like most Canadians, my initial impression of ringette was that is was "hockey for girls without a puck". The girls had done some skating so we thought we'd give it a try. Madeline, and subsequently Rebecca, both enjoyed the sport right from the start. However, the more I learned about ringette, the more I realized how different it is than hockey. It is sport that emphasizes passing and team play, speed and skating. No one individual can excel at ringette without the help of teammates around them. I could see that this was a sport that would easily fulfill all of the desires I had for my daughters' involvement in a team sport.
Very early on I got involved with coaching my daughters. I was going to be at the rink anyway. Might was well get out there, get some exercise, and have some fun. There have been few experiences as a father more rewarding that coaching my daughters. The pride in watching them develop. The challenge of dealing with defeat and setbacks. The excitement of competition. Being right there with them through each stride along the way is something I would not trade for anything.
When I watch my daughters play ringette I see strong confident young women in the making. They have already learned the value of hard work, and the challenges it can overcome. They have seen the incredible things that can happen when a group of individuals unite for a common goal. They understand that a setback or loss is only temporary, and it is how you respond afterward that really matters. These are things that will help them become better ringette players, but more importantly, better people.
My daughters each have a T-shirt that sums it all up perfectly. "EAT. SLEEP. PLAY RINGETTE. REPEAT".