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Skills and drills series a success

Melissa Wheeler, right, demonstrates throwing techniques. Credit: Nicole Bishop

Ultimate NL successfully hosted its first skill development series for female-matching players from April 10-May 15.

Fifty-three athletes participated in the inaugural series targeting female-matching players to improve their skills through group instruction and drills. With players divided into beginner and intermediate levels to better target the needs of participants, each session focused on one rule and one skill. Topics ranged from backhand and forehand throwing, proper cutting techniques, and offensive and defensive strategies.

All participants who provided feedback indicated that they enjoyed the sessions and felt that their skills improved over the series, says Kathleen Sullivan, Ultimate NL’s sport development co-ordinator.

“We identified the need for this series through feedback from the leagues and our membership, and we decided to create this league to improve the skills and confidence of female-matching players in the community,” says Sullivan. “I am so proud of all the facilitators for their commitment to this series and of all the participants for coming out and wanting to improve on their skills. It was amazing to see how much people improved their skills in only one hour sessions! I hope that everyone had fun and learned something.”

With participant feedback indicating an interest in continuous skill development, Ultimate NL will explore similar opportunities in the future.

Funding for this series was provided by the City of St. John’s Sport Grant.

Free MZU/Tempest clinic

Mile Zero Ultimate (MZU) and Tempest, the province’s competitive club team for female-matching players, are hosting two free skills clinics soon.

The first clinic will take place on Monday, May 13 from 9-11 p.m. at the Techniplex in St. John’s. Primarily targeting beginner and intermediate players, the clinic will help participants improve their backhand and forehand throws as well as learn how to defend both cutters and throwers, and different cutting techniques.

There will also be a group warm-up and an injury-prevention discussion.

For more information, click here.

To register for the clinic, click here.

Details about the second clinic will be released in early June.

Storm tryout dates

Members of Storm, Newfoundland and Labrador's junior competitive club teams, march in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Canadian Ultimate Championships.
Storm at the opening ceremony for the 2018 Canadian Ultimate Championships.

Youth players are invited to try out for Storm, the province’s junior competitive club teams, next month.

Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador offers junior open and female teams in its competitive Storm program. Male- and female-matching players who are between the ages of 14 and 18 as of Dec. 31, 2019 are eligible to try out.

The teams will compete at the 2019 Canadian Ultimate Championships from Aug. 11-14 in Edmonton, AB.

Tryout dates are as follows:

Junior Women

  • Wednesday, April 17, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 20, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 1, 7-9 p.m.

Junior Open

  • Saturday, April 6, 8-9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 13, 8-9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 20, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

All tryouts will take place at the Techniplex in St. John’s.

Athletes outside the Avalon who cannot make the tryouts and are interested in the team, as well as all other inquiries, may be directed to Luke Dyer, Youth Development and Competition Director, at youth@ultimatenl.ca.

Storm is sponsored by Veterinary Specialty Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador.

New skills and drills league for female-matching players

Ultimate NL is pleased to introduce a new skills and drills league for beginner and intermediate female-matching players.

This six-week league will focus on introducing and improving skills related to throwing, cutting, defence and offence.

Kathleen Sullivan, Ultimate NL’s sport development coordinator, says the league will help gender equity efforts in the provincial ultimate community.

“With the increased attention on gender equity and the use of WFDF Rule A by Mile Zero Ultimate, increasing the confidence and skill level of female-matching players will translate to a better experience in all their encounters with the sport,” she says. “The goal is to have these players feel comfortable with the disc so they can fully enjoy their playing experience and continue playing ultimate in the future.”

The league is open to female-matching players ages 16 and over. Each session will focus on a specific skill with participants being divided by skill level for some drills in order to help players master the concepts being taught.

“This will be a learning series focusing on skills and drills to allow female-matching players the opportunity to improve their skills in a safe and inclusive indoor environment,” says Sullivan.

League dates:

  • Wednesday, April 10: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 17: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 24: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 1: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 8: 8:30-10 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 15: 8:30-10 p.m.

All sessions will take place at the Techniplex in St. John’s. The cost is $60.

Register here

Storm coaches named for 2019 season

Left to right: Craig Stoyles, Laurel Penney, Natalie O’Donnell and Claire Moore-Gibbons.

Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador has selected two returning coaches and two new coaches to lead the 2019 Storm season.

Craig Stoyles is returning as head coach for the junior open team while Laurel Penney also returns as assistant coach.

Stoyles is a trained community ultimate coach and Special Olympics coach with 15 years of coaching experience. He also currently heads the team at Holy Spirit High School and is working on competitive coaching certification.

Penney is a trained community coach and is also working on certification at the competitive level. She’s currently the head coach at Beaconsfield Junior High and Waterford Valley Senior High and has organized many events and tournaments related to promoting Spirit of the Game.

“I love this sport,” says Stoyles. “I want to foster growth at a grassroots level by teaching the team the importance of Spirit of the Game and how to win with dignity and lose with grace.”

On the female-matching side, Natalie O’Donnell has been selected as head coach with Claire Moore-Gibbons filling the assistant coach role.

O’Donnell and Moore-Gibbons are two of only three nationally certified competitive coaches in the province. They are co-coaches at Mount Pearl Senior High, and O’Donnell also leads a team at Paradise Elementary School. They both coached the junior women’s team in 2015 that attended the Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC).

“I’m excited to work with Ultimate NL to build a junior women’s program that’s sustainable and successful in the long-term,” says O’Donnell. “I really think that we have a lot of talent and room for development at this level here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

All four coaches are currently involved in Ultimate NL’s youth competitive development camp.

Storm tryouts will be held in April.

Winter elementary, junior high leagues announced

Elementary-aged participants in our summer elementary camp are pictured with discs.
Ultimate NL is hosting elementary and junior high development leagues this winter.

Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce that it is hosting development leagues for elementary and junior high-aged players this winter.

The winter elementary development league will be held on Tuesdays from Feb. 19-March 26 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Players in Grades 3-6 are eligible to participate, and the cost is $50.

Register here

The winter junior high development league will be take place on Mondays from Feb. 18-April 1 (no games on March 18) from 7-8 p.m. This league is open to players in Grades 7-9 and there is a $50 registration fee.

Register here

Both leagues will be held in the gymnasium in the Paul Reynolds Centre in St. John’s.

These leagues will focus on introducing new skills and enhancing understanding of ultimate while also providing the opportunity for more experienced players to develop their skills with progressive drills, one-on-one coaching and weekly scrimmages.