You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more passionate about ringette than Beverley Felske. For more than two decades if ringette was being played somewhere in the Lower Mainland, especially in Port Coquitlam where she lived for 50+ years, odds were Beverley was there at the rink holding her trademark cup of tea, organizing, volunteering, coaching, and probably encouraging someone to sign their daughter up for the sport. Few individuals did more for ringette in BC than this amazing woman many came to know affectionately as ‘Big Red,’ ‘Trail Boss,’ or simply ‘Bev.’

Growing up in Murrayville, BC, Beverley was a self-described tomboy, who loved being outdoors building forts in the forest or playing baseball with the boys. After marrying husband Melvin Felske and moving to Port Coquitlam where they started a family, both Beverley and Melvin volunteered with the local minor hockey association. Not wanting young girls to miss out on sports opportunities like her generation had, Beverley began focusing on the new sport of ringette created just a decade earlier in Ontario.

In 1975, Beverley co-founded the Port Coquitlam Ringette Association, one of the earliest ringette associations in BC. At the same time she was a founding member of Ringette Canada. In 1976, she was a founding director of the BC Ringette Association and later served as the organization’s president. That same year she served as tournament director of the first annual BC provincial ringette tournament, which later was named in her honour.

Over the years Beverley coached countless PoCo ringette teams, including three consecutive BC provincial Deb ‘A’ championship winners from 1992-94. She also coached BC’s provincial team on several occasions. It wasn’t unusual for Beverley to fly off to BC communities like Prince George or Houston to help them establish their own ringette associations. Her proudest accomplishment was bringing the Canadian national ringette championships to Port Coquitlam in 1984 and 1992, the former the first time BC hosted ringette nationals.

Beyond ringette, Beverley also served as a long-time director of the BC Snowmobile Federation and was a founding member and later president of the Quad Riders ATV Association of BC.

Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.