Road to Worlds - GB U23 Womens.
In October 2012 Ultimate players aged 23 or younger descended on Coventry in order to trial for the three GB U23 Squads who will be competing in Toronto for the World Championships in July 2013. After two days of gruelling hard work, sprints and being put through our paces the women’s squad of 2013 had been chosen. We were set to work with fitness and throwing drills to work on before our first training as a team in December. In the middle of December the squad arrived at Coventry to find, as with the rest of the country, it had snowed, so after a short warm up involving shovelling snow off of the main pitch, the 21 squad members got to work. We train one weekend every month as a squad and focus on defence on the Saturday and offence on the Sunday; this split allows us to focus solely on our jobs so we can achieve our highest level of play. Away from training, each person in the team is expected to follow the fitness plan – a 27 week programme designed specifically for the GB squads, so that we reach our potential as we enter the tournament.
On writing this article the squad has had 4 training weekends and 2 tournaments. These have all been a resounding success on our road to worlds despite difficult conditions, the training weekends have pushed us both physically and mentally as we have learnt new systems, techniques and strategies that we will use at Worlds. The tournaments (Club Women’s Indoors and Lemmings Luau) have allowed us to put into practice all that we have learnt so far and have gone a long way into cementing the players as a team. At Club Women’s Indoors the two teams finished 3rd and 4th, meeting each other in the final game to end a brilliant weekend, and at Lemmings Luau we managed to win the tournament which left all the girls hungry for more silverware.
With Worlds only 3 months away the excitement is building in the squad as our fitness programme gets tougher and the season starts to get fully underway. Between now and then, the squad has 4 more training weekends before we fly out to Toronto. The coaches took an early decision not to enter GB Women U23 as a Tour team and instead insisted that all of us trial for a top 8 tour team; this has allowed us to learn new systems and play against a variety of people so that we are ready for whatever the Japanese, Germans and Canadians have to throw at us. An added bonus of this is that we will all get to play against each other at tour, match-up against our team-mates and win bragging rights for the rest of the season.
During Mixed tour, and Women’s tour the GB U23 Women’s squad will be fundraising throughout the events in order to reduce our team and individual player fees. This fundraising has already taken the shape of a cake sale at Luau and with plans for a 50/50 draw in upcoming tournaments. We will be continuing our fundraising activities in the run up to worlds and if you want to help us in anyway then please get in touch with us at any of these tournaments.