Sports

Organizer hopes to go viral

Ringette has always been a huge part of Sharon Smit’s life.

Involved in the sport since 1978, Smit has four daughters who play the game, a husband who officiates, and Smit herself is the owner of Streamline Ringette, which sells ringette equipment and ringette uniforms.

“Ringette is a huge part of my life,” Smit explained.

“I wanted to find a way to help raise the awareness of the sport locally and across the country, maybe even globally.”

“If someone is going to choose to register their child or themselves in the sport of ringette, they have to be aware that the sport exists and have some kind of idea of what it is.”

So Smit hatched a plan.

The idea came through a course she was taking called the Self Expression Leadership Program.

The students were tasked to come up with a way to create a project which would benefit their community, so for Smit, helping the ringette community was a logical choice.

“Even though 2013 is the 50th anniversary for ringette, there are still lots of people out there that don’t really know what it is, even if they may have heard about it,” Smit explained.

“If someone is going to choose to register their child or themselves into the sport of ringette, they have to be aware that the sport exists and have some kind of idea of what it is.”

Smit’s plan involved using a flash mob at the National Ringette League’s game between the B.C. Thunder and the Edmonton WAM! on Dec. 8 at Langley’s George Preston Recreation Centre.

All of this was done to the surprise of the players and other fans in attendance.

They performed a 90-second routine set to the music of the song Gangnam Style by PSY and Beyonce’s Put a ring on it.

“I figured social media was the best way to (raise awareness) quickly and globally,” Smit said.

“And with the popularity of flash mobs and how much fun they seem to be, the pieces of the puzzle just seemed to fit together.”

Each of the Lower Mainland’s 10 ringette associations were on board and provided players and parents — 150 total — who took part.

The participants, who were as young as eight and as old as 50, received the dance routine in a video link email a week prior so that they could practice their moves.

The flash mob was filmed and packaged together with highlights of that night’s NRL game — which the Thunder won 7-4 — and the hope is to draw more attention to the sport and garner more registration.

“The measurable goal is for the YouTube video to be shared through social media across the country and around the word,” Smit said. “My goal is for at least 25,000 people to view the video over the next 12 months.”

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