This will be Sheri Pringle’s last season as head coach for Prince Rupert’s figure skaters (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

This will be Sheri Pringle’s last season as head coach for Prince Rupert’s figure skaters (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Heart of Our City: It’s not work when you love your job… all three of them

Sheri Pringle will be retiring from Prince Rupert’s figure skating scene

Sherri Pringle is a busy bee.

After the demolition of Rupert Lawn and Garden, Pringle has been buzzing around with the grand opening of the Pop-up Plant Shoppe on Third Ave, which opened on Sept. 6.

That same week, she was helping young skaters bloom on the ice as the new figure skating season began. In between both jobs, she also finds time to cultivate conversations surrounding gambling and gaming addictions.

This season is an exciting one for Pringle. Her dream of keeping Rupert’s garden shop open year-round will come to fruition and it will be her last year coaching her kids on the ice.

Since Pringle, 42, moved to Prince Rupert 20 years ago she has worked in many different fields in the community. None of her jobs really feel like work to her because she loves each and every one.

“I really love my jobs so I really don’t feel like I am not getting that me time. Or that fun time. My jobs are all really fun so I am really fortunate that way,” she said.

What makes them really special to her is that she comes at each one with the same goal. To share knowledge.

Sheri Pringle has been working at Rupert Lawn and Garden for more than a decade.(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

“I am interested in creating conversations. It does not have to be the teacher sitting in front of the class. I’ve learned so much from the people around me and from teaching children, they’re brilliant,” she said.

Pringle began working for Rupert Lawn and Garden back when it was known as Azalea. She remembers watching her mom garden as a kid and learning a lot about plants through trial and error. But it was talking with customers and constantly asking questions that really helped her find her groove in the business and become the store manager.

“I really enjoy the educational piece. There’s so much that can be learned by so many people in our community. In Prince Rupert, I find it’s better to talk to someone who lives here and knows the stuff because the growing seasons are a bit different here.”

READ MORE: Tips for Prince Rupert and North Coast gardeners

Pringle takes her love for education to the classrooms and addiction programs through her work with B.C. Responsible and Problem Gambling Program — a government program not affiliated with BCLC that provides free resources on healthy behaviours with respect to gambling.

Pringle worked in prevention for the past 10 years by educating folks about gambling issues, gaming and internet use. She gives workshops, presentations and leads circle-way conversations about what gambling is and how we should treat it. Her aim is not to prevent people from gambling, but instead to start a conversation about what it looks like to balance it in their lives in a responsible manner.

During her free time, Pringle obsesses over books and her pets. Surprisingly she does not do much gardening herself and likes to joke that she has the ugliest garden on her street. Pringle enjoys gardening but keeps it simple and says that while she does love plants, it is not the passion that drives her in the field.

“I like being creative, I like colour and pairing colours together are fun. I do think plants are pretty cool but I am passionate about being creative. The pop-up shop is new every day and it’s so creative and fun that it’s so hard to leave work every day.”

Figure skating will be the hardest job for Pringle to leave this year.

“I’m always saying I am going to wait until the kids graduate from high school because I like to see them through, but there is always one more.”

READ MORE: Skaters join Jamboree before getting Lost in Space

The real reason Pringle moved to Prince Rupert from Baddow, Ont. was to take up the job as coach for the figure skaters. Almost everyday during the season she heads to the rink at 3:30 p.m. to prepare her students for January’s regional championships — this year in Prince George — and their year-end local ice show in March.

Pringle encourages her students to delve into the creative side as well by letting them pick their own music and sharing their ideas for routines. Of course, she also satisfies her passion to share knowledge, but also receives a lot of wisdom from her students who range from 2.5-15 years old.

(Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

“The kids are always challenging you. I am finally old and I think I know things but I really don’t. They teach me about technology and they teach me how to be humble and remind you how to laugh.”

“It’s been a load of fun and I’ve met a lot of people. At one point I was watching a Rampage game and I realized I taught everyone on the ice except the goalie. I thought ‘this is hilarious!’ So it’s been a neat concept to see how everyone’s grown up.”

After beginning to teach the kids of the kids she once taught, Pringle figured it is time to retire from her coaching position. She plans to continue working on her desire to see Rupert Lawn and Garden open year-round, and hopes to build a Winter Wonderland in Seal Cove during the holiday season.

With one dream in full bloom, it is time to move on to another.

READ MORE: New plant shop sprouts in downtown Prince Rupert

READ MORE: Heart of Our City: Giving back to their street friends one meal at a time

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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