Playing in a top league like the NRL can be stressful for some, but for the Cambridge Turbos’ Melissa Findlay, playing ringette is a stress-reliever from her full-time job as an ER nurse at one of Toronto’s busiest hospitals.
“Ringette is definitely a stress reliever for me. Nursing can be an emotionally and physically demanding job, so just knowing I have ringette coming up makes me feel energized,” she says.
Melissa, who has been a nurse for several years, joined the ER at Sunnybrook Hospital last fall. Sunnybrook is one of two major trauma centres in the GTA and one of the largest in Canada. Her schedule of two 12-hour nights rotating from two 12-hour days makes it difficult to fit in all games and practices. Melissa is also a referee, but that has had to take a back seat recently.
“It's proving difficult to juggle playing, reffing and work schedules now that I have to work some weekends. Previously, I was a Charge Nurse and worked Monday to Friday, which was great for ringette. I haven't been able to referee much these past two seasons, but I try to squeeze in games where I can. I plan on reffing at A and AA Provincials this year if I can find fellow nurses to swap shifts with me,” says Melissa.
As if Melissa isn’t busy enough with her career and playing D for the Turbos, she also played on 2013 Team Canada and is considering a tryout for the 2015 team. “Team Canada was an incredibly rewarding experience. I made new friends and was able to experience the highest level of ringette possible. My body had never been in better shape and I'm so grateful I was able to be part of the program. I am considering my return to TC this year. If I fit in with their game plan, I would love to experience the World Championships again,” she says.
Helping Melissa with this juggling act is a very supportive family. In fact, ringette is a family affair. Her parents, Debbie and Andrew Findlay are at every game, with Debbie working the bench as Assistant Coach on the Turbos. Fiancé Chad Breslin didn’t hesitate to get involved with the Turbos as photographer and AV guy. Ringette is such a big part of their lives that Chad proposed to Melissa on the ice following last year’s national championship game. It seems ringette could even take the stress out of saying “yes.”