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St Andrews students to represent the UK at world championships

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Seven University of St Andrews Ultimate Frisbee players have been selected to represent Great Britain and Ireland in the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) World U24 Ultimate Championships. The players will represent the U24 men’s and women’s teams at the World Championships in Perth, Australia in January 2018.

The Saints Sport undergraduate athletes all, except one, started their career in Ultimate Frisbee during their first year at the University of St Andrews. Having so many Saints Sport Ultimate Frisbee players selected to represent Great Britain and Ireland is a testament to the great guidance and ambition set out by their coach Benji Heywood.

During the 10-month selection process, the athletes attended rigorous training and selection weekends around the country.

Gabriela Starek, Fourth Year Psychology Student at the University of St Andrews, said: “At the beginning I doubted I could ever be a player at the GB level, so when I got the email I was so so happy! Opening that selection email was probably the most nerve-wrecking but at the same time happiest moment I’ve had with ultimate frisbee!

“I’m really excited to be playing with the women’s team and looking forward to the team trainings we have coming up. We will be incorporating and developing team tactics, so I’m excited to see how our team will grow and gel together over the coming months. First training is coming up in a couple of weeks, I can’t wait!”

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The athletes will continue to train through the summer and into the first semester to prepare for the WFDF World U24 Ultimate Championships. The GB Women’s squad has four training weekends, including one tournament where they will play against international competition. The Men’s squad has three training weekends and several tournaments lined up ahead of Perth 2018.

The World U24 Ultimate Championships are held bi-annually and are comprised of National Teams competing in three divisions (Men’s, Women’s and Mixed).


Image captions

Ultimate Team GB’s Lochlan Fischer (news page thumbnail) and Gabriela Starek (this page, top) in action on the frisbee field

Bottom: Ultimate Team GB members (left to right) Helena Slater, Ryan Moar, Gabriela Starek, Gabe Schechter, Jack Lynch, Arek Aspinwall, Lochlan Fischer

Background information/notes to news editors

Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact but extremely athletic team sport, played on something resembling an American football field. Players cannot run with the disc (though they run a lot without it!) and must complete a throw to a teammate to advance the disc down the field. To score, the disc must be caught in the end zone. No off-sides like in football, no rigid positions like in netball, just a simple, fast, free-flowing game.

The final selection from St Andrews is as follows:

  • Gabriela Starek (GB U24 Women) – Fourth Year Psychology Student
  • Gabe Schechter (GB U24 Men) – Fifth Year Psychology
  • Arek Aspinwall (GB U24 Men) – Fourth Year Zoology
  • Jack Lynch (Ireland U24 Men) – Fourth Year Chemistry Student
  • Lochlan Fisher (GB U24 Men) – Medicine (2017)
  • Ryan Moar (GB U24 Men) – Chemistry (2017)
  • Helena Slater (GB U24 Women)

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Christine Tudhope on 01334 467 320/07526 624 243 or christine.tudhope@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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