At the heart of womenƒ?TMs club hockey: Jane Ring ƒ?TM63

By Emily Dunn

There is more to the Macalester womenƒ?TMs club hockey team than pucks and ice skates. Behind the late night practices and weekly games is a group of women steeped in laughter, camaraderie and spirit, and behind that awesome team atmosphere is Jane Ring, the founder of the Mac club sport. Graduating from high school in 1947 Ring served as a nurse for 16 years prior to receiving her B.A. and teaching certification from Mac. She started playing hockey when she was 47 years old with her children and neighbors.

ƒ?oeI couldnƒ?TMt even skate backwards then,ƒ?? she says with chuckle. Ring, who is now in her mid-seventies, is a member of the Minnesota Hockey Hall of Fame and still enjoys the occasional pickup game here and there.

Five years ago Ring approached Macalester in hopes of forming a womenƒ?TMs varsity hockey team. ƒ?oeI wanted Macalester to have a team like most other colleges in Minnesota but I was only able to start a club team,ƒ?? Ring said. Her daughter and Mac alum, Sue Jarbi ƒ?TM76, has also helped with the team.

ƒ?oeExposure to the sport is really what I want the women to get out of being on the team, I love hockey, I want them to too,ƒ?? she added. She stressed the importance of self-confidence and teamwork among the women.

To get the team off their feet Jane bought them everything but their skates and continues to do so today. She also got them rink time and paid for referees. However, now the team has started to take over much of the logistical planning and expenses. ƒ?oeThey are running the show now, keeping track of payments, scheduling ice time, and finding recruits,ƒ?? Ring said.

Ring has been with the team since the beginning and still tries to go to as many games as she can. ƒ?oeI have to go to my grandsonƒ?TMs [hockey] games first, but I absolutely love watching the women play,ƒ?? Ring said. ƒ?oeTo quote Plato, you can tell more about a person in one hour of play than one year in conversation.ƒ?oe

Impressed by the ability of the women on the team to balance playing sports and their challenging academic schedules, Ring is happy with the outcome of the club team. ƒ?oeI remember two years ago at a tournament when all the girls spent their free time between games studying in the stands, they had their books all over the benches,ƒ?? Ring said.

When the women on the team are asked about Ring they all smile and have nothing but positive things to say.

ƒ?oeThere is too much to explain, Jane does so much for us. She throws us a holiday party with gifts, lends us her car, and outfits the entire teamƒ?Ýsheƒ?TMs awesome,ƒ?? Robin Canavan ƒ?TM08 said.

ƒ?oeJane brings inspiration as a former Mac student and amazing female athlete,ƒ?? Anja Witek ƒ?TM08 said.

The team has experienced more success this season, with a 7-6-1 record after dropping from the C1 division into the C3 division where they play against teams of older women. ƒ?oeI suggested [the division change] because most of the girls on the team do not have any hockey or skating experience, but that is part of the beauty of the team,ƒ?? Ring said. Now in the less competitive division the team is also a member of WHAM (Womenƒ?TMs Hockey Association of Minnesota), a group of more than 50 womenƒ?TMs hockey teams. ƒ?oeJane is always plugging for us, always,ƒ?? Witek said.
As the women finish up their season they share positive attitudes about their successful season, strong team and supportive atmosphere. ƒ?oeJane isnƒ?TMt our limbs, but she sure protects them,ƒ?? Witek ƒ?TM08 said. The teamƒ?TMs next home game is this Sunday against the Clean-Up Crew at the Highland Arena.