There must be something in the WA water because our Perth girls are a force to be reckoned with. Dominique (Neka) Elliot, Thea Pulbrook and Bronte Wearing - these three fierce, fast and adaptable players are set to catch all the goals in Heidelberg. Neka has flourished throughout this campaign, becoming one of our most reliable initiating cutters using her speed and level head to her advantage. Thea started as a cutter to be feared, and despite an unfortunate hand fracture at Nationals, remains among the safest hands (or hand) on the field. It’s hard to sum Bronte up into words, but her presence is always known as she roasts her defence with her speed, her hype and of course her mullet. Expect to see these three dominating the downfield and thriving in our horizontal structure, showing the world how it’s done. Oh and as you’ll probably be able to tell, Bronte and Thea are best friends.
Why are you good at ultimate?
Neka: I enjoy the challenge of the changing game, in one instant you are trying your hardest on defence, the next the turnover has happened and you now have to take advantage of what's on offer on field. My speed helps with that on both offence and defence.
Thea: I never stopped trying to get better (and I'm still trying).
Bronte: When I first started playing ultimate, I was only good because I was fast and could run around a LOT (I could not throw a flick and I was very panicked by defense). I think my determination (stubbornness?) makes me a good player - if I'm not good at something I work quite hard to improve and learn.
What has surprised you about the experience of being a Stingray so far? Have you surprised yourself?
Neka: I'm surprised be the fact that I truly do rate myself as an athlete. It feels like it would be disrespectful to the team to call myself anything less because each one of us has put in so much effort and accomplished so much.
What has been the hardest thing about being a Stingray? What sacrifices have you made?
Bronte: Being a Stingray is such an honour and the only difficulty would be the post-training camp exhaustion after flights, and the stress from catching up with uni content. The added workload from the training has meant reduced free time to see friends, and I've missed events (birthdays, gigs) that I really wanted to go to.
What's something you wish the general public understood more about ultimate?
Thea: I wish more people from the public would give ultimate a go themselves -- it's not just for lonely uni students! Also no, the boots I'm carrying are not for soccer.
What would you be doing with all your time and money if you didn't give it all to ultimate?
Bronte: I would go on more dates with Thea! Think icecream, other desserts, beach, markets and gigs.
Thea: Going on dates with Bronte.
Neka: I would probably have more house-plants and I would be learning more about coffee.
Shout-out someone you look up to in ultimate, and tell us why:
Neka: My shout-out goes to Ali Lim, she is a force to be reckoned with on field and she has shown me what strong driven women can get done when they set their mind to it.
Thea: If I had to pick just one, I would shout-out to Gen Woods; in our first year of ultimate she was a huge deal in our Uni Games team. She took Bronte and I aside and insisted on telling us how important we were, even though we were both rookies. I think that feeling of being Part of a Team is what really got me addicted to ultimate.
Bronte: I would like to shout-out Gen Woods. Gen was super supportive during my first year of Uni Games, and she was the first female I saw laying out. She was a main reason I learnt how to layout - without seeing her lay I would have considered the skill out of my reach, something that only boys could achieve.