The Ultimate Nation - Girls' Ultimate Movement

Posted: April 1, 2014 12:23 PM


Ultimate Nation: 2014 Episode #5


Host                     Guests 
Bourland Matthew   HeatherAnn web Headshot ZaraCadoux 

 Matthew Bourland
Manager - New Media
USA Ultimate


Heather Ann Brauer
Girls' Ultimate Movement

Zara Cadoux
Girls' Ultimate Movement

Note - the following is a transcript of this week's show, lightly edited for clarity:

USAUltimateLogo 200x200
  Hi, we're live! Welcome to the Ultimate Nation. Today we have the pleasure of being joined by two leaders in the girls' youth development community, Heather Ann Brauer and Zara Cadoux here to talk today about the Girls' Ultimate Movement or GUM. Heather Ann, Zara, thanks for joining us today.
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Thanks for having us.
HeatherAnn web   Thank you, Matt.
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   So there's been a lot out there in the ultimate circles and news about this movement. So this is going to be a great opportunity for people to learn about it, and we've already gotten a lot of good questions sent in. Speaking of which, if you're watching this, if you use the twitter #ultimatenation, we will be monitoring that and asking your questions on the air. So Heather Ann and Zara, if you could, please tell us a little bit about your background and how you got involved in the Girls' Ultimate Movement.
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Sure. HA, is it okay if I start?
HeatherAnn web   Sure, go for it. 
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Alright well, I have been partnering with Mike Lovinguth at USA Ultimate for several years on a couple different projects. And let me just say, Heather Ann and I are here as the co-chairs, but Mike is also a co-chair of this movement and kind of the unsung hero in the background this whole time. So we really appreciate him. I started playing ultimate, D-III at Vassar College, absolutely fell in love with it. Moved to Baltimore, I played mixed and women's club and started a women's development program in Baltimore. While I was starting to play more and starting to coach at the developmental college level, I also was working in Baltimore city and became really passionate about bringing ultimate to low-income elementary schools. And I sort of helped foster a partnership between Playworks, which is an organization I used to work for - absolutely amazing org, national org - and USA Ultimate. And that is where Mike and I really started to partner on creating a national movement to really get ultimate into low-income elementary schools. Currently, we were blessed this past year, and we're hoping for more next year. We're in San Francisco, we're in Denver, we're in Baltimore, Boston, and Durham, N.C. So super exciting other national project that I'm working on. And that's how I met Heather Ann, was through partnering with people working on youth ultimate in the Triangle, and she came out to run a training with me, and we started talking, became really good friends, always talking about getting more women involved in the sport. And then Heather Ann was also partnering with Mike, so I'm sure she'll talk about that. But that's how we all got to know each other and started this brain child. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Nice. And Heather Ann, before you jump in, I do want to throw this out to the viewers that Zara has actually written a number of articles about Playworks and ultimate, including in this most recent, sorry, last year's spring issue of USA Ultimate magazine, so be sure to check those out as well. 
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Yeah, thanks Matthew.
HeatherAnn web   Great. So Zara already mentioned her and I became good friends through working on the Playworks stuff when she came down to North Carolina. I was a member of the board for the Triangle Youth Ultimate League down there, and it was a great opportunity for us to work together and to introduce the sport kind of on a broader level. And one of the things I think has been really cool about the work Zara has done with Playworks is just the sustainability of that. And I found that really inspiring, and that kind of led to a lot of the work that I started doing in North Carolina. A little on my background - I started playing here in Seattle for the University of Washington for Element as a graduate student and then moved east after graduate school to North Carolina and was in the Triangle area, played mixed club there as well as played for the women's club team Phoenix for the last few seasons. I've coached on both coasts, all different ages from elementary up through college and became really involved in the youth scene in North Carolina, being on the board for Triangle Youth Ultimate. And during my time there, I also served as the Atlantic Coast women's college regional director for a year and started to invest a little more in the women's community and ways to help grow the sport for women. And then became the regional youth director for the South shortly after that because of my youth interests. And that was when I really connected up with Mike, started working with Mike and Baker at USA Ultimate for youth initiatives and for overseeing the South region.   My focus, kind of, as an RYD really became girls' ultimate growth, creating more opportunities and more programming for girls, in particular in North Carolina, but things that could be translatable elsewhere, and also creating more opportunities for our youngest players through Learn to Play clinics, and that was when I did a lot of partnering with Mike. The Learn to Play clinics have been really great in North Carolina and really took off at the elementary school and middle school level, and those are continuing on now, as a series, and have really become a sustainable thing, which I think a lot of that inspiration came from working with Zara and Playworks. And so I was really excited to partner with her and Mike and work on this project. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Nice. Thanks for giving us a little bit of your background. I think the Movement is going to be in good hands, given the length of both of your ultimate resumes and development resumes. You're the right people for this task force. So let's talk about the Girls' Ultimate Movement, or as you all call it, GUM. I kind of want to get a sense on how was it designed and what are kind of the short-term objectives?
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Sure. Well, it started out, like I said, as kind of this brainchild - Mike, Heather Ann and I talking about how do we get more girls to play and saying, "You know what, we really need to do something now." You know, we've talked a lot. There's been a lot of talk around the country about gender disparity, but we need to do something proactive now. And I think that something that I'm really excited about, about the way this is designed, it's 30 people from around the country who have demonstrated some sort of leadership in terms of youth ultimate and girls' ultimate, and they're all bringing their passion and their experience together into five different working groups. Part of the reason why I'm excited about the way that we've laid this out is that we're taking a very hands-off approach. I think it's hard to relinquish control over something that you really feel very passionate about, but we talked about it a lot, and we said do you know what, there's so much experience out there and such diverse and wonderful opinions that we really need to make sure that this is not Heather Ann, Zara and Mike making recommendations about what should be done. That this is really coming from the national community. So I don't know Heather Ann if you want to talk a a little bit about how we came to the working groups.
HeatherAnn web   Sure. Definitely. I think that, kind of piggybacking on that as well, one of the things Zara mentioned that I'm also really passionate about is the collaborative nature of this. And having lived in different communities where the youth scene was dramatically different, one thing that I think we really tried to do is draw on different perspectives and make sure that we were accounting for the areas that had robust scenes, areas that had growing scenes and areas that didn't have youth ultimate and were interested in getting that off the ground. And then we tried to think about group ideas. We wanted to come up with ideas that really were things that we could learn from different areas, but things that each group could kind of talk about - hey how do we address this in all of these different communities? How do we create something that is going to be sustainable and helpful at all these different levels? And so we have a number of, our five different working groups. We have our Building Systems, which focuses a lot on recruitment. We have our Coaching working group, which is discussing different aspects of coaching and coaching across girls vs. boys vs. mixed at the different levels, We have a Thinktank group which is kind of social conciousness raising, talking about how do we talk about this? How do we address some of these conversations? We have a group that is focused on Growth vs. Development, where they are looking to focus on how we are growing girls' ultimate at kind of the base level. How do we get more girls playing, that sort of thing. But then how do we also develop girls that are already active and playing. And then our final focus group is on Best Practices. That's right - best practices. Our final focus group is on best practices, which is kind of what is working in different areas, and how can we apply that elsewhere and what are the best practices for girls' ultimate. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Yeah. Those are some interesting questions. To follow up on that, about the five working groups, do you have a favorite that you're most excited about and why?
HeatherAnn web   I think for me, my favorite is - I think all of them are great actually - I mean, they all are really exciting and add something different. The one that I think is really most interesting to me, and I think that just comes from having been in both Seattle and North Carolina, is the growth versus development because I think it's really important that we create sustainable programming and things that we can use to really help develop girls who are playing at the highest level of youth and then also grow the sport to new players and give that support for those players to also develop. And so I think that those are two different focus points, and I think coming up with things that can really help in all those types of communities is really important to me. 
Headshot ZaraCadoux   And like Heather Ann said, they're all really important. You know, if we don't have best practices for coaching, then I don't think this would be a very successful task force. But I do have sort of my pet favorites also. Two of them really. I come out of social sciences, so for me, the best practices group really focusing on asset-based development, meaning, where are our strengths already? What do we already have in place? What do other sports have in place? What can we learn? Let's not try to reinvent the wheel, is one that is really exciting for me. And also the conciousness raising. How are we speaking about girls in ultimate is really important. Something I really, really pay attention to. I'm always reading you know different ultimate outlets, looking at the way people are discussing gender, and I think as a community, we have a lot of growth, and this is something that we really need to make sure is happening at the youth level. As a lot of the press has been covering, different things that Heather Ann and I have said or written, girls in middle school and high school face a lot of enormous pressures, so I think that we really need to get together as a community and figure out how are we speaking about females within our culture. So that one is really, really exciting for me. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Thanks. And now we're going to get into some of the questions we've received via Twitter #ultimatenation in just a minute. I just want to do one more follow up about the plans for GUM. I'm assuming that the initial objective of these working groups is sort of to come up with ideas. Beyond that, what are the next steps for the Girls Ultimate Movement?
HeatherAnn web   So we're hoping that each of our focus groups can come up with, each of our little task force groups, can come up with five kind of tangible ideas. Five programs or action items that we can present to USA Ultimate. We're going to work with those to kind of refine and generate a report about the top ideas and the things that we really think are things we can get off the ground. And we're planning on presenting as part of a report at the U.S. Open. And that's kind of our short-term goal of really trying to get to that point and make sure we're having voices heard from so many different avenues like we talked about. Zara, do you want to add to that?
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Yeah, I'll just say that something that hasn't really been covered so far in the press release and everything is we are planning focus groups with youth players. Again, coming from social sciences, it is really important to have the people who are most affected by a policy change weigh in on that policy change. So we are planning right now and working with people around the country who are coaching girls or are working with young girls in leagues, etc., to try to get some focus groups together. What are girls' experiences? What do they want to see? How would they want to get more girls involved? What are their, what's their advice? That kind of thing. So that's part of our short term before the U.S. Open as well. Really taking into account the voices of the players themselves.
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Sorry - Heather Ann, did you have something else you wanted to add?
HeatherAnn web   Yeah. I mean, I can expand upon kind of the long-term plan if you'd like, Matthew. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Absolutely.
HeatherAnn web   I think that we're looking at the long term is to not end this conversation. We don't really want GUM to be a one-off conversation: have a conversation, create some action items, go with them and be done. We're really interested in creating a sustainable programming, but also sustaining a conversation and kind of continuing to adjust and develop and meet the needs of the girls' division and kind of continue having these people involved and getting more voices involved as time goes on. And we're not really, we haven't really, defined exactly what that forum is going to look like, but our longer-term goal is to really keep this an active conversation. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   This is all very exciting, and I'm looking forward to that U.S. Open session. I think that's a good transition into a question we received on Twitter from Philip Renich. Who asks:
Headshot ZaraCadoux   That's such a phenomenal question. I saw that question before we hopped on the call, and I was really excited about it. I think being an ally is something that is not often talked about in terms of how men can really support the movement, so Philip I appreciate you. I think that again going back to the way that women are spoken about in the community is a big place that men can make a difference. You know, I've been working with my women's team in Baltimore the last few years and hearing a lot of different ways that girls are recruited to different teams. Again, this is at the club level but just for example. And a lot of the ways that girls are recruited to mixed teams is by saying, "Well, women have so much drama or they're petty, why would you want to play on a women's team?" Girls are this, girls are that. And I think that that's actually an example of some really insidious sexism within the community. So as a male, a way that you can, as you said, effectively and appropriately, really help is by asking people nicely, but to not make those kind of comments. I think that a lot of people don't realize the effect that that can have on women and on the way that we view ourselves. I don't think that I'm inherently petty or dramatic or any of those things. And then another way that I would say, besides sort of stopping those conversations, coach a girls' team. You know, try to get out there and be promoting and recruiting more girls actively. We would love to see that. We welcome men in this movement. And thank you again for your question. I was so excited!
HeatherAnn web   Zara was really excited about this one. I also really think this is a phenomenal question, and I think - we have a few men who are involved in the Girls' Ultimate Movement whose voices are on those, in those focus groups and who have been generating really awesome ideas and have really done a lot to kind of develop girls' ultimate in their communities and really had a focus on that. And so definitely getting involved is one way to help support ultimate at the girls' level. I think also' besides just getting involved' is helping spread the word about the work that's going on. You know, send out information to the boys and girls you coach about the Girls' Ultimate Movement. Generate more followers of the work that we're trying to do because I think that it's going to take lots of volunteers and lots of communities across the country to really help generate growth at the girls' level. So thanks for that question, Philip.
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Yeah, thank you, Philip. I should point out now that if you want to, well right now you should all go to the GUM Facebook page and like them, so you can follow their progress and be involved in the community. Kyle has a related question, and you may have already, Kyle Weisbrod has a question he posted, and you may have already kind of touched on this, but it's generic. He asks:
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Yeah, again, I think that that's a fantastic question. We are lucky enough to have Kyle on the task force, so it's really wonderful to see task force members posting. Thank you, Kyle. For us right now, it's going to be in the form of those focus groups. Getting groups of girls together, there might be some interviews. We're looking right now at possibly interviewing college players who played at the youth level as well to try to have that bridge and how are things different, what was your experience in each place? And I'm also hopefully going to have the time, because I'm trying to work it into my thesis for my master's, to really analyze all of this data and really give it the time that it deserves because having player voices within the movement is absolutely crucial, and that's something that as adults, we forget all the time when we're working for youth that they should have a voice. In fact, they should probably have the primary voice. So this will continue to evolve as the movement evolves. But right now, that's what we're planning on and planning to have those in May and June. 
HeatherAnn web   Yeah, I think that that's incredibly important as well. From talking to Take the Field girls, which Take the Field is a girls' leadership program that we had in North Carolina, and talking to those girls in some of our early meetings about why do you play ultimate, what drives you to be in this community, why don't your friends play ultimate, how do we get more girls to play? And a lot of them are really passionate about his movement, really passionate about trying to generate more girls, get more girls out there playing, create those opportunities. So I think getting their voices on the ideas that we come up with - hey, is this an idea that you all are excited about? How could this best be marketed to the friends that you know? Where can we generate more girls' involvement? So I think that having those conversations are going to really shed a lot of light on how we implement the things that we come up with. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   I think it's fantastic how many people already are involved in these working groups, and the more people that are taking part in this early step, that's going to mean a lot of buy-in, and I'm really excited about everything you all are working on. Let's move on to another question. This is from Ren Caldwell. She asks: 
HeatherAnn web   I think that this is a wonderful question. I feel really passionately about this. I think that injury prevention is huge. Nutrition is huge, especially for growing female athletes. I know that when I was in high school, I was not a Frisbee player. I was a runner, and that really played in taking care of your body and nutrition, injury prevention were things that I learned along the way. But I think I could have learned better at that time. I know that there is a few areas where we've started having those conversations. Our girls' state youth coordinator in North Carolina, Katy Harris, is doing some girls' strength and conditioning clinics, running form clinics, nutrition clinics as part of the first Girls' State Championship. And I think having people who have that expertise stepping up to get more involved and kind of create clinic-like formats and present that information to girls is going to go a long way. And I hope that that's something we're able to incorporate more at the youth level than we have in the past. 
Headshot ZaraCadoux   I also think part of this question actually speaks to the conciousness-raising piece about how are we talking to girls about gender, about femininity. I mean, not just to girls, to the community as a whole. I sort of see underlying this question in terms of getting girls fired up to be strong and athletic, that sort of says that girls are afraid to be seen as strong and athletic, to me. And I know that's something that as a child, I had to be kind of drawn out of as well because you have unfortunately some restrictive notions of femininity, and do I want to be strong or do I want to be cute or what do I want to be. And I think that when we're talking, this is so important at the youth level, when we're talking about middle school and high school girls and the incredible pressure that they feel and these are questions that they themselves are asking. So to Ren, to your question, I think it's a great one about part of creating programming is creating language. And how do we get girls to really open up about who they are and then feel comfortable to really show themselves as athletes and as women who are strong. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Thanks. Let's turn to recruitment. We have a question from LZHS Ultimate who asks:
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Yes, yes. I mean, I think - I can only really speak from my personal experience with this, but for me, you know as a women's player in college, it's so much also about the social. I had so much fun on my team. I've had so much fun on every team I've been a part of. And so you know, really creating the culture around the team is I think what sells the team more than the actual ultimate to start with, when we're talking about recruiting. So you know, throwing events, doing a lot of social things, bonding, I think that that is the kind of stuff that really brings people out. 
HeatherAnn web   Yeah, I think that as well. Community is what really kept me playing ultimate and has made me so passionate about girls' ultimate is the opportunity to kind of provide that community. And I've seen it be so powerful for a lot of the girls I've coached, and I just want more girls to have that opportunity. So community goes a long way. I'd also say, this is kind of a silly one, but go to a girls' tournament or a women's tournament, depending. It looks like this might be a high school, so go to, try to go to a developmental tournament somewhere. I have found that if you have new girls and you give them, or any youth player, and you take them to a tournament, there's just so much excitement about tournaments. It's such a different experience than a lot of other sports. And players often come away from that just so stoked about ultimate. And so I think that that's another great way to kind of help retain some of the girls who come out to play. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Nice. 
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Oh, Matthew - can I...
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Sorry, Zara. Do you want to chime in?
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Yeah, one other thing and I think this hits on some of the other questions that were asked in the Twitter feed, is Heather Ann and I have talked about, we're both so big on role-modeling, and if you can get, you know college players to come out to your practice, or club-level women, that goes a long way to girls really feeling supported, seeing that there's a larger community, that there is a pipeline that they can be a part of. And also what's possible in terms of you know, as you develop your skills, what a great player you can become. So mentoring and role-modeling, as well.
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   That's a great suggestion. Let's turn to some questions we had about youth mixed play. This is from Gwen Ambler. She asks:
HeatherAnn web   To start out on this, I want to thank Gwen. We're really lucky to have her also as one of the voices in our focus groups, so thank you for also submitting some questions for us to talk about tonight. I think that for, you know, one thing I feel strongly about is any opportunity is better than no opportunity. So in some areas, it's not realistic to have girls single gender playing right off the bat, but the opportunity for girls to be playing is really important, and I think that mixed is definitely a better opportunity than open for a lot of those girls. I think that it's important to kind of a lot of girls who go out to mixed or go out to open and are newer players and aren't as confident kind of end up shielding away or end up kind of hiding in the mix. Or not really playing a role on the field and getting the disc a lot, and so I think that having girls' opportunities is awesome and that that really helps develop players a little further than they could sometimes in the mixed game at the youth level. But at the same time, I'm a huge proponent of giving girls the opportunity to play and play in settings where they are set up for success. So in mixed, where you have a gender ratio and you're able to match that across the field, I think that that is a really great opportunity where you can't create single gender yet. And hopefully you can start moving towards that, towards that direction. 
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Yeah, and to piggyback on what HA said, I think that we get stuck though, sometimes, saying well we can't recruit enough girls, and I think that that's something when you're going, moving from open to mixed or mixed to a girls' team, something to think about is who isn't coming out because of the way that we're playing now. So I mean, I can tell you that I would not have joined my ultimate team if it had been, in college, if it had been an open team. I wouldn't have been interested in that. I was interested in playing on a women's team. So I think that there might be some girls who don't come out if it's mixed, but given the opportunity to play single gender, that we may see a boost in recruitment. And I think that that goes also for adult leagues, that often we keep gender ratios a little low because we say we can't get the women out. But I think if we made them higher, that they would come. So but to Gwen's question of the pros and cons, for me, there are a lot of pros in single-gender play. I've seen a lot of girls and women come out of mixed programs without a full skill set, without really being able to throw up-field really, and again, this is not the rule, I'm just saying it's an experience that I've had. So for me, single gender is absolutely the best thing that we can put out at the youth level, but that's my opinion. So going back to what we were talking about earlier, about the control of this process, this is something that's being very actively debated within all of our working groups. I've heard every single group talk about it. So it won't be coming from me or from Heather Ann, it's going to be coming from around the country, you know, what different opportunities should we be promoting and in what ratios. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   That's a good point, and it's  why you probably want to have so many different voices involved because there are differing opinions I suppose on that. It's been interesting at Youth Club Championships, cities that have the ability to support U-19 boys' teams, U-19 mixed teams and U-19 girls' teams and having people getting a different, something else out of each of those experiences. We have a related question from NUTC, who asks:
Headshot ZaraCadoux   I'm also going to guess that this came from Tiina since it's NUTC, and Tiina is also on the task force, so again we thank her for all of her opinions and input. You know, I think that this comes back to that question about getting more girls to play on that high school team, is role-modeling. So I think something that, for example, I know NUTC does really well is having a lot of female coaches out there, even if there are very few girls actually at camp. When you have Leila Tunnell be the one who does the distance throwing demo, that's something that speaks for itself. And boys I think will see, oh, women, female players are players to be respected. Oh, we have a female coach or oh females have been brought in to teach a certain skill. So I think in terms of this question of a new mixed team, really bringing in those role models, those mentors, who can show how amazing female players are and that they should be respected. If you're a male coach, I definitely recommend doing that because the boys will look at you and see the way that you are treating that other coach, that female player, and they'll fall in line. 
HeatherAnn web   Yeah, I agree with the role modeling, and I also think the waterfall effect is something that I keep bringing up in conversations with Zara. I think that I've see that so dramatically, that college women really look up to club women, like that next level. And the high school women really look up to the college women, like oh this is what I get to go do next. And even with our elementary Learn to Play clinics, the elementary school girls just love the middle school and high school girls. Just, they're the next level of role model, and they're so close in, they're close enough in age that it's attainable, where sometimes I think elementary school, they think, oh it's really cool this club woman, but they don't really feel as connected as they do, and I find that not only just the role modeling but the connection from level to level really draws girls up through the sport. And I think that that is pretty powerful, so I think at any level where there are girls playing, be it elementary school or be it college, that bringing in those role models can really be a huge benefit to kind of helping showing that kind of respect, helping show that girls are out there playing at every level. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Thanks. We're running a little long on time, but this has been so fascinating, I think we'll ask a few more questions. This one is a little more light-hearted. This comes from Bill Bourrett who, by the way, has sent in questions for every Ultimate Nation we've done this year. Thank you, Bill. His question is:
Headshot ZaraCadoux   It's all Heather Ann. 
HeatherAnn web   I guess. We were talking about having a girls' ultimate movement, and then it spelled out GUM. And I jokingly said that we really need something that sticks to everyone. And it was kind of silly at first, but that's kind of the whole point behind the movement, right, is that we want something that's going to be sustainable, that's going to be sustainable in every community and is going to stick. Something that's going to stay around for a while. And I think that that's the whole jive behind this project. So while a little silly, I think that the message is still there. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Nice. Actually there is another question from Bill. He asks:
Headshot ZaraCadoux   That's a great question. I'm not sure this is the biggest obstacle, but something that just popped into my mind is that in order to make recommendations for how to build systems for girls, first we need to kind of tackle the uncomfortable thing that we need to do things differently for girls. And that's something that I think the task force is really talking about right now. If we're making best practices for coaching for girls, then we're saying that there's a difference. And I think that that's a tricky - I was about to say a sticky thing, but I don't want to say that it's like GUM - I think that's a tricky thing when you're trying to fight for equality and trying to really promote gender equity, but also say that things should be done differently. That's a tough thing to navigate, and that's something that each working group is stepping through and trying to figure out - what are our recommendations for this specifically? How do we build a system that fits girls? I think unintentionally we often build systems that fit boys, and then we try to fit girls into that system. So we're trying to step away from that. And that's why we're here, but that's also one of our biggest obstacles.
HeatherAnn web   I think another obstacle that our task force has is we gave them some pretty broad things to work with. We said we want to develop these action items, we want to develop some action items to build girls ultimate, here are some very broad topics, and go. And I think that they've been doing a great job. We've been, Zara, Mike and I, have been hopping on different calls, listening into the conversations and kind of getting an idea of what everyone's been doing. And it's been fascinating to see the different ideas and the process that each group is going through, but we definitely handed them a very hard task. And it's been really impressive to see the work they're doing. So I think that they have a big challenge in front of them, to kind of define these action items in the next month or so. 
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Yeah, well, thank you both so much for all the work you're doing. I think we're going to wrap this up. Just to kind of summarize, if you want to hear more about GUM and learn the results of these working groups, be sure to come to the U.S. Open because Heather Ann and Zara are going to be there presenting these 25 ideas that came out of these working groups. Our next show for the Ultimate Nation, I guess I can announce, is going to be an interesting one. We will have Dr. Tom Crawford and Board President Mike Payne on sometime in the next few weeks. And so I'm sure we'll get a lot of questions for that. But circling back to GUM, Heather Ann and Zara, thank you so much. If people have any more questions for them, feel free to send them in and maybe we can get them to answer them in our transcript. Heather Ann, Zara - thank you so much for joining us today.
Headshot ZaraCadoux   Thank you!
HeatherAnn web   Thanks, Matthew!
USAUltimateLogo 200x200   Bye, everyone!

We couldn't get to all the questions sent in, so Heather Ann sent us a response via email to one of the questions she wanted to make sure was answered:

  @KlaraCG asks: "How can young players support GUM?"

HeatherAnn web  

Since this comes from Klara, a freshman at UNC-Wilmington, I'll answer regarding college aged women.  

Get your team involved in volunteering with high school (and/or middle school) teams that have girls on them in the area.  Be a role model to the girls playing (especially if they are playing open/mixed) - similar to things Zara noted in the interview, you can also demonstrate to the boy players that girls have a place and can be respected as players.  If your area doesn't have any teams - consider running a clinic for youth players.  Partnering with USA Ultimate and the Learn to Play program is a great way to do this!  

Contact us if you have ideas of how you can get involved.  There will also be more opportunities for you to use your voice in discussions moving forward - stay tuned to the GUM Facebook page (and get all your teammates and friends to like it!) for more opportunities coming soon!


Have any questions or comments? We welcome community feedback and discussion made in a respectful manner. Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks, as such public comments negatively reflect on our sport and community.