Democratically chosen, our captains Georgia and Olivia, and our spirit captain Jess, really encapsulate everything that makes the Stingrays what we are. They are players who care; their determination and desire to improve personally and as a team makes them among the most dedicated players in the game. Georgia is our only returning Stingray and brings with her an experience and a skillset that cannot be replicated. She is such a pillar of the team, a voice of calm and well articulated knowledge, and a hero on the field when we most need it. Anyone who has played with G knows that when she wants it, she’ll get it and you’ll hear that from the sideline. Olivia is our hype machine. She could rally someone on their deathbed and brings the best out of the team when we need to kick into another gear. She is a gutsy player who isn’t afraid to take the risks we need, and owns the middle of the field like no one else. Then there’s our spirit captain, Jess, and I couldn’t think of a better candidate. If you are to look around at any given time, Jess will be dancing, laughing, screaming her heart out on the sideline or playing her heart out on the field. She is fair and generous on and off the field, cutting through zone or match with her decisive cuts and athletic grabs.
These three women are the Stingrays and we are them - and man, that makes me pretty proud.
Why are you good at ultimate?
Georgia: You won't generally find me in the highlight reels, but if you look on field you'll find me pretty consistently shutting my player out of the play, my coaches relying on me to shut down the big opposition players. On offence you'll find me using my explosive speed to catch my defender on their back foot to run the middle of the field. Work ethic is a huge thing.
Olivia: I'm athletic, fast and can catch and throw!
Jess: I’m good at ultimate because I’m athletic, strong and work hard. I prioritise pushing myself to be a better athlete and teammate. I like to think I’m a hype machine and I believe that’s something my teammates value in me.
What has surprised you about the experience of being a stingray so far? Have you surprised yourself?
Jess: I’m honestly very surprised at how much I’ve grown as a person through the experience. I knew I was going to develop as an athlete but being apart of the Stingrays campaign has taught me things about myself I’m not sure I would have learnt otherwise. It’s been incredibly emotional and quite confronting but I’m coming out of this campaign a stronger and happier person.
What has been the hardest thing about becoming/being a Stingray? What sacrifices have you made?
Georgia: I wasn't sure I could move states, leave my family and friends to start studying Medicine and be a Stingray all in the same year, but here I am trying to juggle it all. It's been a challenge and it hasn't been rainbows and sunshine all the time (sorry QLD) but I can say I have given it my best shot.
What would you be doing with all of your time and money if you didn't give it all to ultimate?
Olivia: Money: probably trying to save some of it tbh. Time: trying a little bit harder not to fail my degree!
Side note: Olivia and Georgia are both studying medicine, as if captaining a national sports team wasn’t enough…
What does being a captain of the Stingrays mean to you?
Georgia: Being a captain of the Stingrays really cements in my mind that hard work pays off. I wanted to show that giving my all and throwing so much effort onto the field really meant I had earned it. I didn’t want to walk into a leadership position because I was a returning Stingray, I wanted the team to decide whether I really deserved it.
Olivia: I have held small leadership roles in the past, but being a co-captain of the Stingrays is easily the biggest honour I have ever received! Having the team elect me and G as the captains at the end of a big tournament in New Zealand is definitely the highlight of the campaign so far. The fact that this group of 21 incredibly hard-working, passionate and talented individuals think I am fit to lead them makes me even more determined to work hard and be an exemplary role-model for the team. Every time I go to the gym, or do a throwing set, or go for a run, I do it for the team. Being captain of the 2019 Stingrays means everything to me. I hope I can live up to the honour.
Jess: I’m so proud that I’ve been chosen as the spirit captain for our team. Being a role I haven’t yet taken on in my Ultimate journey it’s a little nerve wracking but I’m slowly but surely becoming more confident in myself.I knew I definitely wanted to be involved in the Stingrays leadership in some way and I’m really excited to take on this role. I think it’ll push me to be a better player and embrace the spirit of the game which I’m really excited for!! I’m so obsessed with this team and I can’t wait to go on this adventure with them 😍
Shoutout someone you look up to in ultimate, then tell us why:
Georgia: Alex Prentice is an amazing athlete and from very early on in my frisbee life I was able to play alongside her in multiple teams, from Melbourne Uni to U22s and Stingrays. She's always so consistent, supportive and a beast on field you'd rather play with than against. Although, if you said any of this to her, she'd probably modestly shrug it off.
Olivia: Georgia Egan-Griffiths was part of the 'leadership team' at Ellipsis this year. As a result, I had the privilege of not only seeing her play but also lead (along with others) a team of rookies to a(nother) National Championship. G's commitment to training is evident every time she steps onto the field - her throws are incredibly accurate and creative, she's fast and athletic, huge in the downfield space and can dominate in pretty much any position. This, combined with one of the most spirited dispositions I have met, make her someone I not only look up to, but also completely idolise.
In the Rogue vs Ellipsis game at Nationals this year, G made 3 tough calls against the Rogue opposition. Each time, the call G made went against Rogue's favour. However, the Rogue players accepted the calls because they knew G and trusted her judgement enough to agree with her point of view. This highlights G's well-founded reputation for highly spirited play.
If I could be half the player G is, and display half the spirit she does, I think my ability and my spirit would increase exponentially.
Jess: Caro Ma, my first ultimate experiences were with her and she’s been an inspiration to me every step of my ultimate journey. The fact she’s coaching me this campaign makes me want to push myself harder than I ever have and be the best I can be :)