‘I really like the strain’: Barrie resident, Guelph college scholar competing in World Below-24 Final Championships
Brianna Prentice is heading into the “Ultimate” challenge this summer.
The 21-year-old Barrie resident and University of Guelph student will play for Canada’s mixed division team at the World Under-24 Ultimate Championships in Nottingham, UK in July. Prentice has played Ultimate — a flying-disc noncontact team sport — since the summer of 2017, initially taking it up to improve her cardiovascular conditioning.
But she quickly became infatuated.
“It’s one of my favorite things to be doing,” Prentice said. “I love the pressure, the excitement of when we score, the highs and lows — all of it. It’s an adrenaline rush. There are people I know all across Canada, just from playing Frisbee. Most of my close friends I’ve met through playing Ultimate.”
She credits her old Innisdale Secondary School coach, Nigel Martin, with being the mentor who “really pushed me in the direction of competitive Frisbee.”
On the field, Prentice plays the “handler” position on offense, which involves having the disc in her possession and making key passes and decisions that influence play. Think basketball’s point guard spot for comparison.
Prentice will practice with her squad in Orlando in February, then compete in tournaments in Boston and Toronto in early summer before heading to the worlds.
“I’m very excited (and) a little bit nervous,” Prentice said. “The chance to play against and meet players from all across the world, see different play styles, that’ll be really exciting to learn from. From what I’ve heard, the experience of being in that tournament is like none other.”
Prentice plans to try out for other Canadian national teams in the future. But she also sees herself as a local ambassador, both for the sport in general and the Barrie Ultimate League.
“I encourage everyone to give it a try,” Prentice said. “There’s the ability to get into the sport with very little experience. There’s so many different levels to the sport. Even if you’re 35 and you’ve never played Frisbee, you can find somewhere to start with a supportive community that will teach you.”
For more information about Ultimate, including barrier-area teams and training clinics, visit barrierultimate.com.