A little over three years ago, a group of about 30 captains and leaders of the best teams in the country met in the parking lot of the IM Fields in Austin to talk about the future of college women’s ultimate. There were a lot motivated, passionate people in that parking lot- two future Callahan winners, a handful of studs who now captain elite-level club teams, and more All-Region players than I can count. The sentiment that “no one cares about women’s ultimate” was probably more prevalent then than it is now, and we were all frustrated by it. We talked about tournaments, growing the sport, media coverage, and the importance of working together to make a difference. I left that meeting uncertain of what the future held, but confident that every single person standing in that parking lot knew one thing: we had the power to change things. Standing in that same parking lot two months ago, I had the opportunity to reflect on how much progress we’ve made. I think we’ve come a long way, but I know that we we’ve got a lot more work to do.
It’s easy to be frustrated with the places where our sport, and our division, fall short. Quality tournaments can be hit or miss, you don’t see ultimate on the front page of the news, and the women’s division nearly always takes a backseat to the open division. The problems seem too big to be solvable. So why should I care? Why does it matter anyway?
I should care because I know how much hard work, time, and emotional energy I invest into being a good player and teammate.
I should care because I know my teammates do the same for me. Caring validates their efforts.
I should care because I love this sport and the people who play it.
I should care because others before me cared enough to shape my ultimate experience positively.
I should care because I can make a difference.
I care. Do you?