The Portage Thunder ringette program is hosting a free event this weekend catered to newcomers. President of the Portage Thunder Scott Van Damme outlines what it entails.

"We're offering a free one-hour skate. We call it the Come Try Ringette event. We still have room for some younger players in our program, and this is a chance for those that aren't sure to have a free and fun way to give it a try."

The Come Try Ringette event takes place on Saturday from 11:30 to 12:30. Van Damme says they're very grateful to bring something like this to the Portage community.

"This is offered through the Canadian Ringette program, and we're just happy to bring that to Portage. There are instructors that are coming out from Winnipeg to help run this and to make sure that all of the players have a great first experience in the sport," Van Damme explains. "It's for kids of all age levels. We take kids as young as three years old who can barely stand on skates."

Van Damme adds they haven't had an event like this since the pandemic but notes the last time they did, around 20 people showed up, with at least half of them signing up for a full season. The club president also says newcomers at the younger levels will have a reduced rate for registration at $100 for the season.

He says all the board members will be in attendance to answer questions from parents. Van Damme provides more details about the program itself.

"The younger age group is from three to seven from there we offer U10, U12, U14, U16, and U19. We start practicing toward the end of September into October and generally have one practice per week per team. Once November starts, that's about the start of our season, and there's typically one game played per weekend, with the season wrapping up around the start of March, depending on the level."

For anyone looking to attend the free ringette hour, Van Damme asks you to send them an email with your child's name and age to The president also asks players to arrive at 11 a.m. with skates, a helmet, and gloves. Everything else will be provided for them.