ST. PETER’S: Alayne Martell worked tirelessly to ensure that stories within the ringette world were told and shared across the breadth and depth of this country.
For over 22 years, as the head of media and public relations for Ringette Canada, Martell built the foundations to enhance the branding of the sport from coast to coast to coast and boldly promoted ringette, introducing an audience to the game which would otherwise miss the opportunity to experience the passion and dedication that she shared for the sport.
While Ringette Canada was dealt a massive blow as Martell lost her battle with cancer on Nov. 29, 2020, the amount of love, positivity, and strength she radiated will remain prominent in every soul who had the pleasure of meeting her.
In a Faces of Ringette section of Ringette Canada’s website featuring a small biography of Martell, she expressed how she found it hard to describe the raw emotions of experiencing the excitement of victory to the agony of defeat, which she had felt in the rinks across Canada.
“Without a doubt, the most rewarding part of my job is working with the athletes,” Martell wrote. “Words cannot explain the feeling of being able to contribute and be part of the journey with these passionate women as they lay everything on the ice to reach their goals.”
Angie Milbury, president of Ringette Canada, announced on Oct. 26, four individuals have been inducted as part of the 2021 Hall of Fame class, including Martell as part of the builder category.
“The Ringette Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these incredible individuals,” Milbury said in a media release. “Their contributions to the sport of ringette are well documented and their induction to the Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”
The Ringette Canada Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of the sport of ringette and the outstanding achievements of ringette athletes, coaches, officials and administrators across Canada.
Through her work with Ringette Canada, Martell developed and carried out targeted communications strategies in support of the organization’s objectives; she carried out on-site media relations support at the Canadian Ringette Championships since 1999 and served as the national media representative and webmaster for the National Ringette League since its inception in 2004.
Martell acted as the Sport Information Officer for ringette at the Canada Winter Games since 2003, providing on-site media and communications support at the event.
Since 2000, she was heavily involved in the promotion of Team Canada and the World Ringette Championship and conducted media training with the Team Canada athletes to prepare them for their interactions with the media.
“As a communications professional for ringette, Alayne was a builder in an area where few have such skills and expertise,” Ringette Canada said. “She excelled in a space where many would not even attempt to dabble in and brought ringette to the forefront of present-day mainstream media on a local, national and international level.”
Amanda Mombourquette, the warden of the Municipality of the County of Richmond, said while she didn’t know Martell very well for very long, she was a person that had a real community spirt.
“Her and I definitely chatted about different kinds of things she wanted to do in the community,” Mombourquette told The Reporter. “It was really sort of a recent relationship between her and I.”
The former executive director of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce described Martell as someone who had high energy and someone who always had a big heart.
“She was a kind of high energy person that ended up being a part of a team on the Amazing Race at one point,” Mombourquette said. “She was full of fun, always wanted to do something interesting and something good, especially for the community.”
A few years before her death, Mombourquette advised Martell was instrumental in starting up the Harbour Wars initiative in Little Habour, located in Lower L’Ardoise.
“I think their first event was August 2019. The whole purpose of that event was to certainly promote and educate the fishery and the skills required for when you work in the fishery,” Mombourquette said. “But also was to raise funds for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Patient Care Fund.”
That’s the kind of big heart that Martell had, she said, always wanting to give 110 per cent.
“While my heart’s warmed to see that announcement come out, but truly, I’m not surprised, because she really, really did built the sport nationally,” Mombourquette said of Martell’s Hall of Fame induction. “You know Alayne she breathed ringette, she loved the sport, she loved the athletes and working with them, and I think the fact she stated with them in 1998, when she was working in a PR firm, and stuck with them for over two decades is a fantastic legacy she built for ringette.”
Indicating if Martell was still alive to accept her induction, she suggested while humble, she would have had some of her renounced sense of humor behind it, as she was never in it for the accolades.
“You could tell that when you spoke to her, about anything that she was passionate about,” Mombourquette said. “Whether that’s the community, Harbour Wars, her family, or whatever it was, she was in it because she had a love for it.”