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Ultimate NL announces Storm, youth tournaments sponsor

Pictured are Ultimate NL vice-president Melissa Wheeler, John Mackenzie, Dr. Trina Bailey and president Nick House at the 2018 awards gala.
Left to right: Ultimate NL vice-president Melissa Wheeler, John Mackenzie, Dr. Trina Bailey and president Nick House.

Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce that Veterinary Specialty Centre (VSC) of Newfoundland and Labrador is the new corporate sponsor for Storm and our youth provincial tournaments.

VSC, co-owned by Dr. Trina Bailey and John Mackenzie, is the only clinic in Newfoundland and Labrador that provides advanced medical care for pets in the province.

The duo became interested in sponsoring ultimate after watching their son, Ewan, participate in the junior open Storm program last year.

“I am so impressed by the communication, problem-solving skills and camaraderie of players on and off the field,” said Mackenzie. “I wanted to determine if there was anything our company could do to further support this inspiring behaviour, the skill development of the players and the growth of this commendable sport in the province.”

VSC’s sponsorship will help offset the cost of field rentals, athletic gear, travel and other expenses related to operating Storm, the province’s junior open and female competitive club teams. The sponsorship will also go towards expenses associated with hosting Ultimate NL’s annual elementary, junior high and senior high provincial tournaments this spring.

“We’re excited to partner with Veterinary Specialty Centre as it’s an organization that is invested in our community and shares our values in providing many opportunities for young people to play ultimate in this province,” says Nick House, president of Ultimate NL. “It will have an immediate impact on our Storm and youth programs, and help us expand them beyond what has been possible until now.”

“Ultimate is a great sport that is adaptable to many skill levels, making it inclusive and fun. It also brings people together in a positive way,” adds Dr. Bailey. “We look forward to being a part of an exciting season ahead.”

To learn more about Storm, click here.

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 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 board for SWURL

2019 SWURL board of directors.
2019 SWURL board of directors.

The St. John’s Women’s Ultimate Recreational League (SWURL) elected a new board of directors at its annual general meeting on March 12.

“I am feeling very optimistic about the upcoming year. We have four new faces and five returning board members, and there’s a noticeable level of liveliness and excitement,” says Melissa Wheeler, who was elected for her second term as president. “We’re all very eager to start planning our leagues, clinics and other initiatives for the year ahead.”

The new board consists of:

  • President: Melissa Wheeler
  • Vice-president: Rachael Fitkowski
  • Treasurer: Hilary Walsh
  • Secretary: Rosie Myers
  • Members at large: Jessica Mandville, Nicole Bishop, Jennica Seiden, Meghan Hollett and Sophie Blais

Outgoing members are Erin Daly as former president and member at large and Sarah Hoddinott as secretary. Daly has served eight years in various positions on the board while Hoddinott served two years.

SWURL is one of the longest running women’s leagues in Canada.

Upcoming Tempest tryouts

Logo for Tempest, the women's competitive ultimate frisbee travelling team in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tempest Ultimate is holding tryouts for its 2019 competitive season this month.

The province’s competitive travelling women’s team, based in St. John’s, marks its 10th year in 2019. Tryouts will take place over three weeks on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, March 5: 10-11:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 12: 10-11:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 19: 10-11:30 p.m.

To sign up for tryouts, click here.

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

Tempest aims to select a roster of 18 players that will travel to at least two tournaments (Boston and Ottawa) this summer.

The cost to participate in the tryouts is $30. Any female-matching player that is interested in attending the tryouts is welcome.

Questions may be directed to tempestultimatenl@gmail.com.

Ultimate NL honours top coaches, athletes and volunteers

Pictured left to right are Madison Hull, Erin Daly, Luke Dyer, Andrew Workman, Craig Stoyles, Stefan Barnes, Kathleen Sullivan and Kurtis Thornhill.
Left to right: Madison Hull, Erin Daly, Luke Dyer, Andrew Workman, Craig Stoyles, Stefan Barnes, Kathleen Sullivan and Kurtis Thornhill.

We were thrilled to recognize top athletes, coaches and volunteers with our 2018 Ultimate NL Awards recently.

The winners of the annual awards were announced at our volunteer gala on Feb. 9. They are:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Stefan Barnes
  • Female Athlete of the Year Award: Erin Daly
  • Male Athlete of the Year Award: Luke Dyer
  • Junior Female Athlete of the Year Award: Madison Hull
  • Junior Male Athlete of the Year Award: Andrew Workman
  • Coach of the Year Award: Craig Stoyles
  • Justin Frampton Spirit of the Game Award: Claire Genest
  • Kristine Cadigan Award: Kathleen Sullivan
  • Joe Coady Award: Kurtis Thornhill

“Our community, from running youth leagues to guiding the development of ultimate in the province, is led primarily by volunteers,” said Nick House, president of Ultimate NL. “Our awards are intended to recognize the hard work and commitment of these individuals, as well as the excellence demonstrated by our top athletes and coaches. Ultimate has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without their passion and dedication.”

Introducing the award winners

Barnes was the first president of Mile Zero Ultimate and also served on the Newfoundland and Labrador Ultimate Association, the precursor of Ultimate NL. He also played on a number of competitive teams including Granite, the province’s first co-ed competitive travelling team.

Daly became the only female from Newfoundland and Labrador to ever play at the World Ultimate Club Championships in 2018. There, she was the top-scoring female player in the mixed division with 22 goals, finishing 11th overall in total goals out of 1,100 athletes.

Dyer captained the Memorial Ultimate Touring Team to its top finish to date at the Canadian University Ultimate Championships (CUUC) and at the Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC) with Regiment, he finished fourth in scoring and 11th in total points (out of 360 athletes). His performance earned him a tryout with the U24 Team Canada  squad later this month.

Hull co-captained Storm at the Junior Canadian Ultimate Championships, where she lead the team in scoring and was named the team’s tournament all-star. In December, her St. Bonaventure’s team won the Mount Pearl Senior High Invitational.

Workman was a leader on Mount Pearl Senior High’s ultimate team that won the provincial high school tournament in 2018. He was also a member of Storm and led the team in points at the Junior Canadian Ultimate Championships.

Stoyles served as head coach for the open squad of Storm in 2018 and coached the team to its first two victories at the Junior Canadian Ultimate Championships, including an upset win over the ninth-seeded team. Storm finished 20th overall, up from a seeded position of 24th. Stoyles also coaches the ultimate team at Holy Spirit High School.

Genest is a member of Tempest, the province’s female competitive club team, where she is a leader in sportsmanship, fair-mindedness and respect for her teammates and opponents. She currently captains the Mount Allison Ultimate Team and has led them to numerous first-place finishes in Spirit of the Game rankings.

Sullivan is the current sport development co-ordinator for Ultimate NL. A leader on and off the field, she’s played on competitive club teams Tempest and Wreckhouse and is a current captain of Tempest. She regularly volunteers at youth ultimate tournaments and is an ambassador for Spirit of the Game at all levels of play.

Thornhill served as the youth co-ordinator for Ultimate NL from 2016-2017, where he was instrumental in the growth of the province’s competitive and recreational youth programs. His leadership led to the start of Storm, a junior competitive program that fields teams in the open and women’s divisions. In addition, Thornhill has served as tournament director for many high school, junior high and elementary school tournaments and was heavily involved in managing the city’s high school metro league.

Registration open for SWURL sprinter league

The St. John’s Women’s Ultimate Recreational League (SWURL) is offering another opportunity for female-identifying players to practice their skills with its sprinter (spring/winter) league.

This four-on-four league will run on Wednesday nights from 9:30-10:30 p.m. from Feb. 27-April 17 at the Techniplex.

The cost is $40 and players may sign up solo or with a partner. Competitive players are asked to sign up solo or with a new player to facilitate the team-building process.

Registration is now open.

This league is open to all skill levels and new players are welcome.

Ultimate NL launches competition development camp for youth athletes

Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador is offering a youth competition development camp for teens ages 13-18 this winter.

Participants will enjoy drills, skills development and game situations while also receiving one-on-one mentorship and guidance from experienced ultimate players and coaches. It’s the the first time that Ultimate NL has offered a camp specifically targeted at developing potential competitive athletes.

“The purpose of this camp is to help young players take their skills to the next level,” says Luke Dyer, Ultimate NL’s youth performance and development co-ordinator. “We will work with them to identify their strengths and weakness as well as show them what’s necessary and expected for players on a provincial-level team. Through individual feedback, we hope they can gain a greater understanding of what they need to work on to improve as ultimate players.”


“The purpose of this camp is to help young players take their skills to the next level.” – Luke Dyer

One of Ultimate NL’s priorities is to grow its junior competitive program. There are currently two competitive club teams in the junior open and women’s divisions, both named Storm. The competition development camp is intended to build player skills and capacity that will eventually help increase the competitiveness of the Storm teams.

In 2018, Ultimate NL sent its first junior women’s team to the Canadian Ultimate Championships where they finished 20th overall and second in the spirit rankings. The open team broke seed to finish 20th (up from a 24th-place ranking) and 11th overall in spirit.

“We’re offering them the opportunity to demonstrate and improve their skills, which they can then bring to competitive teams like Storm now and in the future,” said Dyer. “While you don’t have to be a Storm player to take part in the camp, we hope many participants will discover the fun and camaraderie that comes with playing on high-level teams and come out to tryouts later this winter.”

Storm tryouts will be held in February and March. Details will be announced in the coming months.

The competition development camp will be held on Thursdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Techniplex in St. John’s from Feb. 7-March 14. The cost is $60.

Register here

Celebrate Spirit of the Game!

International Spirit of the Game Day

Spirit of the game is an integral and essential aspect of ultimate, and on Monday, Dec. 3 it’s being celebrated worldwide with International Spirit of the Game Day!

As International Spirit of the Game Day falls on Mile Zero Ultimate (MZU)’s regularly scheduled league play, we’re pleased to partner with MZU to help mark the occasion. We are:

– encouraging spirited play in all games (and leagues!);
– inviting all teams to play a spirit game following their spirit circle;
– celebrating the Most Spirited Players with swag and photo ops; and
– encouraging players to have discussions about spirit both on and off the field.

This year, the theme for iSOTG Day is “youth,” so we’ll also be giving Spirit of the Game extra emphasis in our youth leagues on Dec. 2. We’ll talk about the importance of spirit in ultimate as well as play some spirit games so the next generation of players is able to carry forward the respect, passion and fair-mindedness that spirit of the game represents.

Learn more about Spirit of the Game.

Follow our social media channels for much more about Spirit of the Game and iSOTG Day!

SWURL winter league dates announced

The St. John’s Women’s Ultimate Recreational League (SWURL) will hold a four-on-four league this winter that will be open to all skill levels.

Save the date for 9:30-10:30 p.m. on Wednesday nights from Feb. 27-April 17!

Registration will open in January. For more information, visit click here or visit SWURL’s Facebook page.