The 2019 Australian Ultimate League season will see a crop of new, young talent enter the competition – including Sydney Suns tyro Kya Wiya.

The 19-year-old has already forged quite the name for herself in Ultimate with selection in the national under-20 women’s side in 2018 and also in the mixed under-24 side this year.

Kya was a promising young soccer player but admits that she “wasn’t super committed to the sport” despite making representative teams at centre back.

It was when her brother signed her up for Inner West and paid her registration one year that she discovered the joy of Ultimate.

“I really loved the feeling of freedom running all over the place on the field and I found chasing the disc so exciting – nothing has changed,” she said.

Falling in love with the AUL

Kya admits that she wasn’t aware of the AUL until the matches started in 2018. But once she watched the newly minted professional competition, it was love at first sight.

“I had no idea what the AUL was in 2018 until the games were coming out, and then I was obsessed,” Kya said.

“The level of play was so high and I loved getting behind a team in the same way people get behind AFL teams and the like.

“Basically, if you love watching high level sport, you’ll love this.”

Kya Wiya of the Sydney Suns

Mixed gender sport a natural progression

Being a young athlete, Kya has been lucky to be exposed to mixed gender sports including the opportunity to represent her country in a mixed team.

For her, gender equity in sport just makes sense.

“It seems to me like a natural progression to play high level Ultimate alongside men, we collaborate in all sorts of things outside of sport so why not on the field too?” Kya said.

“I think it is important because to me it simplifies ‘mixed gender sport’ to just ‘sport’ and everyone on the field is an elite player in their own right.

“I think it’s a healthy mindset to have that can flow into other areas of life.”

And Kya is excited about how big the AUL and Ultimate in Australia can become in the future – starting with her debut in the 2019 season.

“It seems that Ultimate can only get bigger, I know that more and more people are hearing about it and giving it a go at leagues and uni etc,” she said.

“I think it’s really cool how much players value the things that make Ultimate unique.

“I believe if that continues to happen in combination with competitiveness and hard work the quality of Ultimate in Australia can be exceptional.”