This past February we had the pleasure of partnering with Brighton Ultimate for a Women's Skills Clinic! The weekend was a great opportunity for women at all levels to learn together from great coaches and players in the UK and we were extremely pleased to be a part of it. Read our recap interview with tournament director Hannah Brew below!
1) How was the idea for this clinic day hatched? What was your main goal?
Although there are various other skills clinics days available to women in the South, I wanted to create a big day event where the players themselves chose what they wanted to learn. It also timed in nicely for those that were going to University Women's Regionals (5th/6th March) as well as those looking to kick start their club season. The main goal was to create a memorable event that catered for all abilities and actually taught the skills that women wanted to learn.
2) What went into the planning for the event? Did you run into any unexpected road blocks?
I originally contacted as many University and club teams across the South to ask them what they wanted from a skills day. This started back in September. Then with the help of the Brighton Ultimate name I started advertising and contacting the teams to get them to sign up, and start letting us know what they wanted! I had to persuade our very lovely coaches to volunteer their time for the day. Luckily they are all as passionate as me about improving the opportunities that female ultimate players have to attend well run events like these that cater for the needs of the female player. Roadblocks probably didn't occur until the week run up to the event. The weather was going to play a big factor in the day, and we were incredibly lucky that despite a bit of wind, and it being very very chilly, we couldn't have asked for a more sunny February day!
3) What were you most excited about leading up to the day?
I was most excited about seeing how many ladies would turn up! I had an idea of how many to expect as people had to sign up for the event, but there were various teams who contacted asking if they could bring more ladies on the day!
4) Take us for a walk through the clinic day. What did the average attendee experience?
An attendee would turn up, sign in, and then be encouraged to chat to the other attendees. We then split everyone up into 6 groups. Each group had a very enthusiastic team leader from the local area. We has a mass warm up, poor Ste had to direct ~80 women who couldn't stop talking to each other! Just before the groups were split off into their drill stations we had a mass game of stuck in the mud, which was filmed!
The group leaders then directed their group of ~12-14 ladies to their relevant drill stations. The stations were; Agility and cutting by Shimmy, Sprint mechanics by Toby, Throwing clinic by Felix, Throw 2 space by Tom Mannings, Boxing out by Miles, and finally timing of hucks with Nick. We had a big lunch break where everyone ate together and spoke about the day thus far, and then the day finished with 2 big games.
5) How did VC Lookfly add to the event?
Lookfly gave us Brice for a start. He was great, he came shopping with me, signed everyone in, made loads of sandwiches, took photos, set up pitches, and generally helped towards the smooth running of the event! We asked the coaches to watch the games at the end and nominate some players that made big plays! The rest of the swag went to MIPs from each group nominated by the group leaders. It was nice to have something to reward the players with, it certainly added to the event.
6) What are your plans for this event in the future?
We're currently collecting feedback from the players. We'd like to go bigger and better next year, perhaps cater more for the difference in experience. We would like a much more diverse range of stations and allow players to sign up to the ones they were interested in doing. We have long term plans of making it into a weekend event later in the season, perhaps with camping, parties and a hat tournament on the Sunday! Who knows, we just see this as the start of a great women's event that we can only build on every year.