Girls’ Ultimate Movement, Volunteer Structure, Start-Up Leagues Discussed
Colorado Springs, Colo. (Jan. 14, 2019) – USA Ultimate’s Competition Working Group met in Denver last month for its annual meeting to discuss various aspects of the sport’s competition structure across all age divisions – youth, college, club and beach – as well as outreach. The meeting included 10 USA Ultimate staff members, two members of the board of directors and 24 key volunteers and was held over two days. Following the meeting, we are releasing summaries of each smaller group’s discussion. The club division recap was released late last month, followed by the youth update last week. The college and beach updates are still to come.
The outreach working group consists of USA Ultimate Manager of Youth and Education Programs Dan Raabe, USA Ultimate Coordinator of Youth and Education Programs Sarah Powers, National Outreach Director Chuck Gargaly and Girls’ National Outreach Director (GNOD) Gail Reich.
The outreach working group continues to learn and evolve with each passing year. Again at the annual Competition Working Group meeting, they continued to refine their nationwide volunteer structure, redefining the roles of regional outreach directors to make them outreach advisors. The refreshed role allows the volunteers to better serve and respond to outreach coordinators and support the GNOD’s efforts to have a pulse on outreach efforts around the country. The group also committed to increasing communications efforts amongst outreach volunteers, both to celebrate outreach successes and create more resources to help volunteers get new efforts up and running, no matter the state of the current ultimate infrastructure in their area.
The outreach working group spent much of their time focusing on the Girls’ Ultimate Movement (GUM). Four new high school teams will be added to the Girls’ Team Startup Project in 2019, bringing the total teams participating to eight. New GUM Ambassador Teams will also be added in 2019, both at the club and college levels. The GUM Ambassador Program currently includes six club teams from around the country, two from each gender division. In collaboration with the youth competition working group, the outreach group identified several locations in which to concentrate resources for start-up leagues for girls. The group hopes to help start between four and eight new girls’ leagues this year.
One major area of focus for the outreach working group is the new GUM strategic planning group that is already in the process of forming. When GUM was launched in 2014, it operated with an initial five-year vision plan and its five strategic priorities. With that initial plan set to expire at the end of 2019, the outreach group is in the first stages of creating a new strategic plan specifically for GUM. The strategic planning group will include six core members: GNOD Gail Reich, Sarah Powers and four local organizers from around the country. The group will also include two female-identifying players who have experience competing at the high school level. The GUM strategic planning group will have their first meeting in-person in March.
The outreach working group is also excited to implement a new team development grant for U-20 girls’ teams competing at the Youth Club Championships. In 2019, the program will sponsor three new girls’ teams by covering the participation fees for 10 players ($700), making the world’s best youth club competition opportunity more accessible to girls around the country. Additional details and applications for the new team development program will be available in the coming months.
The 2018 Competition Working Group meeting was the last for National Outreach Director Chuck Gargaly. Gargaly served two years in the position before electing to step down. Applications for the national outreach director position are open now through February 7.
Stay tuned to usaultimate.org for more summaries from the 2018 Competition Working Group meeting. The beach recap is up next.