Competitive Clubs

Kaylee Sparks | Women’s Ultimate

Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff

“Meet a Gee-Gee” takes a look at the people under the jerseys. Whether they’re varsity athletes or otherwise, we ask the players questions you want answers to. We get the dirt, straight from the horse’s mouth.

I SAT DOWN with Kaylee Sparks, fourth-year translation student and co-captain of the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, to learn about one of the newest competitive clubs at the University of Ottawa. Fun fact: in summer 2010, Ottawa was the Ultimate Frisbee capital of the world.

The Fulcrum: When did you start playing ultimate Frisbee? 

Kaylee Sparks: I started playing in fall 2005.

Is it something you planned on playing when you came to the U of O?

Kinda, yeah. It’s only a competitive club, it’s not like varsity. Some people were like “Why are you doing that?” But I love it.

Do you think it should be varsity? 

I think it would be cool, but it would require a lot of work.

Does the team have any rivals?

Queens [University] is a big one. We met them last year in the Eastern Canada finals, and they always give us a really good game.

What would you say is one of the top misconceptions about your sport? 

A big thing is that it isn’t a sport, or that it’s something that you play with your dog. It has nothing to do with dogs. We get that a lot. It’s almost like football but played with a Frisbee and without contact.

Do you want to go pro?

Honestly, not really. They just started doing a pro league in the states called AUDL [American Ultimate Disc League]. Nobody really gets paid for it; even in AUDL they only get paid for how many seats got sold, so you don’t get paid a lot.

Is this something you want to keep doing after you graduate? 

Absolutely. It’s pretty big in Ottawa—we had the biggest league in the world at one point. Thousands and thousands of people play it, and the competitive scene is pretty big at the club division for Ottawa.

What is the coolest thing your team has pulled off?

Well, we go down into the States a lot where our big competition is—we don’t really compete here [in Canada] as much. So one time we all went down to San Diego, but our coach and captains got stuck here so we had to take care of everything ourselves.

Where is the coolest place your team has gone to play? 

We have gone to Boulder, Colorado twice in a row. We really enjoyed going there. That’s where the college national championships are, and only the top 20 teams in North America go. The only teams that have gone from Canada are University of British Columbia and us, so when we go to Boulder we play the best teams and then hike a mountain.

What is something that most people don’t know about you? 

I’m a huge language nerd. I get really excited when people have discussions about language, and I love making up words.

Who is your idol? 

She is actually a professor at the U of O; most people don’t know how amazing she is. Her name is Alison Flynn, and she’s a science professor, but she is also one of the most amazing handlers (which is like a quarterback) in Canada.

What is the best thing about being a Gee-Gee?

We get to wear cool swag! But it’s really great to be a part of the school like this. We represent the Gee-Gee brand and we support the school.

If you have a suggestion for an athlete you would like to see interviewed, email sports@thefulcrum.ca