Saturday was Seattle weather at its finest, with the thermometer hovering below 50˚ and a chilly drizzle that numbed fingers and toes. The rain didn’t didn’t stop the Girls Ultimate Movement (GUM) clinic and organization fair, though. More than 40 elementary through high school-aged players showed up and had a blast: running drills, practicing fundamentals of the game, and playing Ultimate with their peers and the elite athletes that volunteered to coach them.
GUM is an awesome national outreach organization that works to get more girls playing Ultimate, a sport that encourages leadership and character. Communities volunteer to organize their own clinics, and GUM provides the curriculum, promotional material and everything you need to play, including: discs, cones, rulebooks and guides for spectators. Signing up to run a clinic in your own community is as easy as filling out this form online.
It was incredible to see the turnout to the clinic Saturday. The players young and old ran around with smiles plastered on their faces, despite likely not being able to feel their hands.
Before the girls took to the field, they sipped hot chocolate and chatted with local Ultimate organizations, companies and teams that had set up tents for the org fair. The tents ranged from elite Seattle teams like Birdfruit, Underground and Riot (who each had players coaching at the clinic) to companies like Ren Fitness and Five Ultimate. It was particularly cool to see girls crowding under the All-Star Ultimate Tour tent watching highlights of elite women with the tour’s organizer Qxhna Titcomb.
The goal of GUM is to encourage more girls to play, and Saturday’s clinic was a huge success, bringing girls together to celebrate Ultimate and each other, while learning how awesome it is to #playlikeagirl.