By Anna Dowling, Staff Writer
For the first time in five years, the UMF Ultimate Frisbee club has gained enough women to branch off and create a full women’s team to compete on their own.
Traditionally, the Ultimate Frisbee club has been split into two teams: men and women, but for the past five years the club has struggled to maintain the numbers to compose both teams. This semester however, the club has gained enough women to create their own team. Junior member of the club Gunnar Heckle said, “To see this women’s team is super encouraging.”
The Ultimate Frisbee club participates in tournaments in both the fall and spring semesters. In the fall, the team plays mixed tournaments, where the men and women compete together, but in the spring the club is able to split, as men and women, and travel to their own tournaments.
In recent years, the few women remaining in the club were forced to choose between playing with the men’s team in the spring or not playing at all. Junior Katrina Streeter said, “It’s a sacrifice we were willing to make to be able to play, but there’s something really awesome about being able to play on a team full of women against a team full of women.”
Of course the men’s and women’s team will still be able to travel to some tournaments together. Kristen Tarr, president of the women’s team, feels it is important to continue working with the men so that they can form relationships with one another. “We will be able to cheer each other on and have that team dynamic and support,” Tarr said.
According to Streeter, the club never turns away any members and is always willing to teach the game to anyone who wants to play, no matter their current skill level.
“We have great coaches that are willing to teach you and help you learn the game and to help you grow,” Streeter said. Streeter also mentioned that now is a great time to join the team. “We have a very young team right now,” Streeter said, “so this would probably be the best time to join.”
All three members feel that the club is a great way to get in a workout, take a break from the stresses of college, and create bonds that will last a lifetime.
“It’s really nice to have a team that feels like family, said Tarr. “Everyone gets along so well you couldn’t ask for a better group of people.
Agreeing with Tarr, Streeter said,“You meet friends that are going to be your friends for life when you play frisbee.”
Tarr, Streeter, and Heckler hope to gain more members, but until then the women’s team is just happy to be a team again. “It’s really exciting to show everyone what we can do,” said Tarr.
The team will be competing in their first tournament at Princeton University in New Jersey. The tournament will take place the first weekend of April.