This weekend’s Esso Golden Ring Ringette tournament in Calgary will be a very emotional one for the Calgary Under 19 NW Grit team.
In October, the team’s star scorer, Meghan Bomford, was killed in a tragic rollover on McKnight Boulevard.
Meghan’s best friend and teammate, Kelsey Nelson, was critically injured in the crash. Kelsey was in a coma for over a week and missed Meghan’s funeral, but has since made an amazing recovery that has shocked the medical world.
Kelsey can’t play ringette anymore, but recovered quickly enough to make it home for Christmas. She will be cheering on her team this weekend despite an upcoming surgery to repair her skull.
“I had pretty much everything in the hospital you can have,” she said.
“I had to get my skull removed, knee repaired, broke all the bones in my face, my spine, my neck…I ruined my head.”
Meghan was known as one of the top scorers in ringette and everyone knew her for the pink gloves she wore in competition. Meghan’s team is planning to play in her honour during the Esso Golden Ring Tournament.
Kelsey said it was very special to hold Meghan’s pink gloves for the very first time, just before the ringette tournament began.
“Having her gloves, I just feel close to her just having them. We were friends for 12 years, ever since I started playing ringette. We were like the dynamic duo: I played defence and she played forward. We were always on the ice together; we were glued hip to hip.
“She was my best friend and I don’t know what I’ll do without her.”
Trevor Hall coached Meghan for four years and Kelsey for one season. He and the Western Ringette organization have set up a scholarship in Meghan’s name. For more information on the scholarship, click here.
He said he’s blown away by Kelsey’s recovery.
“Wonder child, absolutely amazing…just an inspiration,” Hall said. “I’ve said it to her a million times: I’m inspired by this kid every single day. Most everything I’ve done this year around the ringette rink is to honour these two young ladies.”
Kelsey said she can’t thank her family and the ringette community enough for their amazing support during her tough recovery.
“The amount of support I’ve had from my ringette team, I can’t thank them enough. My parents…I don’t know if I made them bald, if I balded them I’m sorry. Their support is crazy.”
Kelsey will be cheering on her team during the Esso Golden Ring wearing the “Yeahh Boii” cap with her and Meghan’s jersey numbers on it.
“So the ‘yeahh boii’ is a thing that me and Meg did. So you’d go up to someone and ask, ‘can I get your longest yeahh boii?’ and they’d say, ‘yeahh boii.’ They’d say it for as long as they could. So my friend just made these hats for me and Meg and stuck our numbers on there. Everyone knew us for that.”
Meghan’s father, who was driving at the time of the rollover, is still recovering. At the time of the accident, police believed speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.
Calgary police said Friday the investigation is ongoing. So far no charges have been laid.