To be the best, you have to beat the best.
Which is why Rachel Turton has packed her bags and moved to Australia all the way from Liverpool, UK to compete in the Australian Ultimate League in 2019.
Rachel was selected in the AUL draft at pick #10 for the Canberra Freeze and she will bring a competitive edge to the league perhaps never seen before.
Because Rachel wants to be an Olympian. She wants to represent Great Britain at the Games playing Ultimate. And she knows the path to get there is by competing in the strongest leagues in the world.
“I dream of playing in the Birmingham 2021 World Games, and being a part of our sport for maybe the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympic Games,” she declared.
Ultimate Frisbee at the Olympics could be a reality in 2028
Her dream may become a reality, with the World Flying Disc Federation now IOC recognised. The sport missed the cut for the 2024 Games, but is a strong contender to make its debut in 2028 in the United States.
It comes as the IOC looks to add select events in each host city and the USA is regarded as the birthplace of Ultimate Frisbee.
To understand Rachel’s burning desire to reach the Olympics, we need to start at the beginning of her journey.
Enrolling as a Sports Science student and Sport Scholarship recipient at Bangor University, the game quickly found Rachel and her competitive drive was born.
While she enjoyed playing the sport with other women, it was the mixed competitions where she really found her groove.
Competing against the men
Rachel competed with north-east England team Smog at the World Ultimate Club Championships in 2018 and represented Great Britain in the mixed division at the World Under-24 Ultimate Championships.
“On both of these teams we would sometimes play D with gender mismatches, often with me playing a deep role and winning battles against boys,” she said.
“I strongly believe that mixed is the most advanced level of Ultimate it is possible to play. Having played mixed, women’s and open ultimate, I find the combination of having males and females on the pitch together adds a new dimension and difficulty to the game.
“During the UK’s club single-gender season in 2018 I switched to the open division where my opponents were taller and faster than me; it forced improvements in my footwork, juking, boxing out, and I got comfortable going shoulder-to-shoulder with the boys to bring down big discs.
“On the field, I see players, not men and women.”
Now, Rachel wants to test herself in the AUL – one of the world’s first semi-professional mixed sporting leagues in the world.
“The AUL values aren’t just blurb for me, I live them,” she said.