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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.

MAUL spring league

Registration is now open for the Men’s Avalon Ultimate League (MAUL) indoor spring league.

Played in the familiar 5v5 speed point format, this league offers a fast-paced game that is friendly to newcomers. Great for both beginners and experienced players!

The league will run from March 21-May 16 with games at both 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

  • Format: 5v5 speed point
  • League capacity: 72
  • Team size: 12
  • Teams: 6
  • Cost: $100 (discounts are available for new players and referrals)

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.

Kitchen Party winners crowned

Buddy Wasisgame and the Other Handlers

Buddy Wasisgame and the Other Handlers took the title in Mile Zero Ultimate’s 2019 Winter Toque League recently.

Sixteen teams participated in the Newfoundland and Labrador kitchen party-themed league

Buddy Wasisgame took on The Play That Paddy Murphy Tried in the final, winning a tight match by a score of 15-10.

Other league winners were:

  • Most Spirited Team: The Rocky Road from the Techniplex
  • Most Spirited Players: Fred Perry and Sheila Delaney
  • All-star Players: Cameron Penney and Allie Guerra

SWURL to hold AGM

The St. John’s Women’s Ultimate Recreational League (SWURL) will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, March 12.

The meeting will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Rocket Room (upstairs at Rocket Bakery and Fresh Foods).

Current board members will provide an overview of events and leagues from the past year and a new board of directors will be elected.

Available positions include:

  • President
  • Vice-president
  • Treasurer
  • Communications
  • Members-at-large (four positions)

To stay up to date, join the Facebook event.

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.

Familiar faces at Ultimate Canada table

Five head shots of the current and former players involved with Ultimate Canada at the board and committee levels.
Left to right: Rob Langridge, Tiago Hori, Robyn Auld, Suzy Stever and Natalie O’Donnell.

Past and present representatives from Newfoundland and Labrador are making an impact on the national stage through Ultimate Canada.

Rob Langridge, a familiar face in many leagues in St. John’s, is president of the national governing body for ultimate.

Robyn Auld and Tiago Hori, both former players in local leagues, are at-large members on the board of directors. Auld was one of the founding members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Ultimate Association (now Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador) and served on the board for Mile Zero Ultimate, as did Hori.

Auld now represents Alberta on the national board and Hori represents Prince Edward Island.

Hori is also part of Ultimate Canada’s spirit of the game committee, where he is joined by former Ultimate NL president Suzy Stever.

Finally, Natalie O’Donnell has been appointed as the Atlantic representative on the national sport development committee.

Congratulations and thank you to all former and current players who are offering their skills and talents to grow the ultimate community across Canada!