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Foreword for the 40th anniversary gallery

Ringette Walapais was founded in 1981 and is one of the oldest ringette clubs in Finland. As a sports club Ringette Walapais has an exceptionally eventful history, for a timeline that stretches for more than four decades. Even with all the success at national level and in juniors - the story would not really be complete without noticing the tough years in between. At times the history of Ringette Walapais has had the events, phases, and twists and turns for more than a single sports club’s share.

The story of Ringette Walapais is about resilience. It is a story of not giving up in the face of adversity, and it is a story of the relentless work to enable girls and women to play and enjoy the game of ringette. The work for this club has been continued even when the circumstances have been far from optimal and the odds have been stacked against us. The long history of the club owes directly to a mere handful of chairwomen and chairmen of the club and to those individuals ready to carry the responsibility. They have - unselfishly and often totally alone with their irreplaceable contributions - enabled the blue-red-and-white torch to be passed on safely to the next generations.

This is also a story of equal rights – the right of girls and women to come to the ice rink and play the sport of ringette in an environment that does justice to this great game. Ringette Walapais is one of the clubs in Finland that has served as a pioneer on that path for justice, better conditions and an environment for girls and women to play the game they love.

Ringette Walapais has, throughout its history, always had a determined, fearless and vigorous approach to doing things hands-on. Goals have been achieved through hard work. The sheer enthusiasm and energy of youth was the rocket fuel - especially in the early years of the club - often exceeding the amount of know-how and experience. But, as in life general, the best way to learn is by doing. Much like the only way to learn how to skate is by getting on the ice, despite the bumps and bruises acquired in the learning process.

During these four decades of history there have been times of fighting for the very survival and existence of Ringette Walapais. The direction the club had been travelling during the darkest of hours has always been reversed from negative back to positive. That is a main reason why the story of Ringette Walapais is worth telling. In life there is no such hardship or adversity, which – eventually – can’t be overcome. Reflected against this kind of history, the current strong growth of the club and the bright outlook of the future feels ever so much greater.

Four decades ago, the seeds of this ringette club were firmly planted by a group of teenage girls. They had a burning passion to put on their hockey skates, and to skate and play the sport of ringette and have a good time as a team - so much so that they felt the need to found a ringette club. Today, that is the core legacy of Ringette Walapais, and the attitude and mentality that we proudly carry on to the decades to come. That being said, the very best way to celebrate our 40th anniversary is to put on the skates, to show the blue-red-and-white colors of the club and to jump on the ice with us!  

We warmly welcome you to join us to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ringette Walapais! Grab a pair of skates and let’s meet on ice!


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40th anniversary gallery is chronologically divided unto different time periods.
Click on the links and pictures to enter each sub-gallery and timeperiod.

40th anniversary gallery part 1:
Early years and success 1981-

Ringette Walapais was founded by a group of underaged teenage girls, who had so pure and undeniable fire to get on hockey skates and to play Ringette, which was developed by Mr. Sam Jacks in Canada back in 1963. Naturally the in the early years, the new sport of Ringette was still quite unknown sport in Finland.

Many of these black and white-pictures tell more than thousand words: about enthusiasm, energy and joy of playing ringette.

Success in finnish National Ringette League and promoting ringette internationally

There is a lot included in the pages of 40 year history of Ringette Walapais. We have also been able achieved success along the years. Walapais has achieved in women and in the highest national level in ringette in Finland: Silver in 1987, Bronze 1990-1992 and fourth places in 1988, 1989 and in 1993.

Players of this club: Pia Pullinen, Jaana Oikarinen and Anneli Levander (os. Suhonen) were winning Ringette World Championship in the year 1994. On junior level Finnish Championships have been won in different age groups and tournaments won. Trophy Cabinet of Ringette Walapais can be seen at our home rink, in 2nd floor of Myyrmäen Jäähalli.

Internationally Ringette Walapais has been promoting the sport of ringette e.g. to France, to Czhechoslovakia and to Soviet Union.

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40th anniversary gallery part 2:
Articles and publications 1981-

Newspapers have written about Ringette Walapais and Ringette Walapais have written to newspapers to demand same equal and fair rights to have ice time from ice halls, in comparison to men and hockey teams.     

Now we’ve written our story and created this 40th anniversary gallery, so that the story and phases of our history can be preserved in a digitalized world.

Battling for ice

Back in the 80’s to be even able to get any, then enough ice from the inside rink or to be able to get it any kind of reasonable hours of the day – was something, which could not be taken for granted. On their own behalf, Ringette Walapais was one those ringette clubs who participated and pioneered the work in Finland, that girls and women could play ringette in ice hall – in the same equal and fair way as other ice sports are treated. 

Letters to the editor from the past tell an important and unrelenting message about the themes, which we have to work for still after 40 years. Fortunately times and attitudes have changed at least to some extent, in comparison to the starting situation back in the 1980’s.

Facts about Walapais and Ringette in Fin
Facts about Walapais and Ringette in Fin
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40th anniversary gallery part 3:
The years after National League 2000-

In the first decade of 2000, Walapais seriously tried to win back their position at the highest national level in womens’ ringette in Finland. The club logo was temporarily replaced with a new one. However as the return to highest national level was unsuccessful, so the club returned to using the original iconic logo and to the true way of playing the sport, emphasizing skill and protection of the ring with the body.

The difficult years

As in several long stories, also within the story Ringette Walapais there are those darker chapters and difficult years. In front of the pressures to renew, serious humane and structural mistakes were made. These mistakes led to serious downward spiral, which significantly complicated club operations in the upcoming years.

In the decade of 2010, the junior recruitment and continuity of the whole club rested on several occasions only on shoulders of a few Chairwomen of the Club and key persons carrying the full weight of the club themselves. Today we owe and thank them from the bottoms of our heart – that is their sole merit – that we can celebrate 40th anniversary of Ringette Walapais.

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Walapais, Hartwall Jaffa-turnaus Raumall
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40th anniversary gallery part 4:
On the New Rise 2018-

Around 2016 and 2017 it had become apparent, that the future of a traditional ringette club would not look bright, if fundamental and radical changes would not be made.

Radical renewal

The renewal of Ringette Walapais was initiated by new persons who had come to the club. Series of big and crucial changes were made, which created a strong foundation to create new kind of atmosphere, in which to initiate inescapable rebuild- and reorganizing work.

The complete overhaul, which we begun in 2018 has started to bear more and more fruit every year. Now in 2021, despite of a colossal amount of workload since 2018 – supported and proven by growth figures, we have been able to create a newfound, strong and healthy foundation, on which we have been able to build a more solid, stronger and growth-driven ringette club.

Thus it is our absolute delight, that after our biggest difficulties and adversities and on our 40th anniversary, our future looks bright and that we have good prerequisites to continue strong growth.

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40th anniversary gallery part 5:
Events and annual traditions

As mentioned earlier, throughout the history of Ringette Walapais, we have always fearlessly and vigorously started doing things hands-on and then worked hard to make things happen. Thus part 5 of the gallery tells about the volunteer and community spirit within this club.


When we speak about traditions, it is an absolute necessity to separate the weekly work and voluntary work driven events from another. The pictures in this part are only minimal scratch of the surface, compared to the humongous amount of basic club work, which is almost always left invisible. Because most people just don’t understand, how staggering amount of voluntary work it requires to run a ringette club.

So dear visitor, when you visit this part of our 40th anniversary gallery, we’d really hope that you’d recognize the overwhelming amount of tough work for the ringette club, which rarely or ever is visible and which people seldomly even know about, understand or give justifiable credit for. Without the untiring effort and dedication of these people, there would be no sports club.

That is also the undeniably the biggest tradition and legacy, which we want to cherish and foster in this ringette club. We know, that there is no bigger reason nor purpose, than to continue this hard ringette club work to enable children, girls, youth and women to enjoy skating and play ringette and gain positive experiences and feelings from that – that is the work what we’ll have continue onwards from this 40th anniversary for years and decades to come.

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News Archive

Our  values
Club executive board
The birth of Walapais

Supporter membership
Partners and affiliates

Skating schools

Skating school for 4-10 year old children

Skating school for teenagers and youthful women
Register for skating school

Open summer practice


About teams

Junior team G

Junior team F
Junior team E

Teenagers' hobby group
Womens' team (recreation- / C-level)

Game calendar

What is Ringette?


Blog (only in finnish)

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