To say that Canberra Freeze cutter Adelaide Dennis had a nervy start to her Ultimate career might be an understatement.
But since those nervy beginnings she has established herself as a force in the Australian Ultimate scene and will return for the Freeze in 2019.
After joining a social team called The True History of the Kelly Gang, she had to wait five games to get her first touch of the disc.
“Despite not touching the disc I enjoyed the game and started playing in a couple of leagues and at university,” she said.
“At that point it was all just a bit of fun.”
Stepping up into the higher leagues
Adelaide was enjoying herself playing league Ultimate in Canberra when a women’s team named Factory entered themselves into the mixed division.
It was a decision Adelaide found curious at first, then amazing as she took part in a match where the women’s team “completely crushed” her mixed side.
“I thought to myself, ‘I want to ball that hard’,” Adelaide said.
“I introduced myself to some of the Factory women and played Nationals with them for the first time in 2012.”
Since then, Adelaide has competed at the 2014 World Ultimate Club Championships, the US Open with Ellipsis in 2015, the World Ultimate and Guts Championships with Firetails in 2016, was a reserve for the Australian Crocs in 2017 and lined up at the WUCCs again in 2018.
Not bad for a player who struggled to get a touch in her first few games.
Adelaide’s vision for women in sport
The launch of the Australian Ultimate League in 2018 was a watershed moment for Adelaide, Ultimate in Australia and women in sport in general.
“The AUL represents a paradigm shift in Ultimate,” Adelaide said.
“This is the beginning of professional, gender-equitable ultimate in Australia.
“There’s no question of the value of everybody on the field in gender equitable sport.
“With any new format, there a new culture. We get to build that culture here and now.”