Ultimate NL welcomes 2022 Summer Clinic Coordinators

Summer Clinics Coordinators Ava Whitten, left, & Ryan Pickard, right.

For those who would like to learn more about the sport of Ultimate, Ultimate NL hired two Summer Clinics Coordinators, Ava Whitten and Ryan Pickard to help introduce and showcase the sport to as many kids as possible this summer season. Youth clinics offered range from beginner to advanced skill levels, and are open to all ages.

Both Ava and Ryan’s introductions to ultimate began when they were in high school. Ava got introduced to the sport when one of her close friends told her that the ultimate team she played on was looking for more girls to join. She “joined the team and immediately fell in love with the sport and the community.” Ryan’s introduction to the sport of ultimate was a little different. He started playing ultimate with his high school team and since then he said “practices quickly became a highlight of my week.”

Ava and Ryan will provide participants of community groups, summer camps, kids’ camps, and not-for-profit organizations on the Avalon, and beyond instruction on throwing and catching technique, along with basic game play that teaches the fundamentals and strategies of the sport. The clinics also allow participants the chance to scrimmage in small-sided game play. Clinics, as part of the outreach program, are free (with donations always being welcome to offset the costs of reaching rural locations).

Ava currently plays as part of the 2022 Storm Junior Women’s Team roster. So for her, as a summer clinics coordinator, taking on the role is a great way to ”be able to do what I love every day; play ultimate frisbee, as well as help to further expand the community.”

Ryan is no stranger to the youth ultimate program, and has coached the Gonzaga high school Ultimate team for the last few years. He believes that the spirited nature of the sport is great for beginners. Ryan goes on to say that “while youth coaching and outreach has always been a passion of mine, my coaches throughout my junior years really inspired me to take on a mentor position in Ultimate.”

Last year in 2021, Ultimate NL offered youth clinics to community groups, summer camps, kids’ camps, and not-for-profit organizations on the Avalon, and beyond as part of the summer clinics outreach program, holding 39 clinics and reaching 832 participants. Ultimate NL has been able to reach close to 3,000 kids in the three years since the summer clinics outreach program began.  

On behalf of Ultimate NL, Ava and Ryan will hopefully teach Ultimate Frisbee to a greater number of youth than ever before during this summer season! For Ryan, his goal as a coordinator is to give youths across the province the same positive experience he was lucky enough to have with the sport. Ava’s goal is a little bit different, “to put a disc in the hands of as many youths who are willing, to connect with them, and to help kids find a fun way to stay active.”

Interested groups are welcome to learn and play Ultimate Frisbee with Ava and Ryan this summer! They will travel to you to conduct your clinic, and clinics can be booked through all of July and August by contacting them at summerprograms@ultimatenl.ca.