It’s an exciting time to be a woman in Atlanta ultimate and Kirsten Shell is in the center of it all. Oxygen, AWU, combines. If none of these ring a bell, you need to read on.
What is your current role in the AFDC?
I’m a league player, forum stalker, and I serve as chair for the AFDC women’s development committee.
What are you looking to accomplish within the next year/season and how do you plan to do it?
The women’s development committee started last May, and with the help of my ozone teammates and other members of the AFDC community, our goal was to create opportunities for quality women’s ultimate, and at the same time increase the number of women playing in AFDC leagues. We had over 100 women participate in women’s league in late fall of 2013, and hope to continue to grow our numbers in 2014. We also want to support the new summer coed league format of 4/3 and create a culture where veteran women participants feel comfortable leading teams, and beginners are welcomed and developed into solid ultimate players.
Atlanta Women’s Ultimate (AWU) has become the name of a new movement in which many club and community players have kick-started to address some of the challenges Atlanta faces with developing and retaining competitive women players in the Atlanta area. This is a very exciting time in women’s ultimate, in the past few years we have seen several Atlanta area high schools and colleges add women’s ultimate teams. Women from Ozone, Bucket, So-Rev, college teams, and other backgrounds are very much on board with growing ultimate in the Atlanta community. For Club Women’s, Ozone’s 2014 team will be supporting the formation of Oxygen, a second women’s team for developing competitive players, captained by Miranda Knowles.
AWU needs people with ideas on how to grow the quality and quantity of women’s ultimate in Atlanta. We’d like to invite anyone interested in sharing ideas or curious about the movement out for the first AWU town hall discussion tentatively scheduled for April 24th. More details to be announced soon.
The Atlanta Women’s Combine, an opening day to club tryouts, will be Saturday May 3rd from 3 to 6 pm at the Georgia Soccer Park. All women are invited to come play, and if interested, continue on to open tryouts for Ozone and Oxygen on May 4th. If you are interested in being on emails for these events or trying out for Ozone or Oxygen, please sign up here: ATLWomen2014
Why did you decide to get involved?
When I started playing ultimate in my first summer league with DiscoNaked in 2006, I was lucky enough to have the support and encouragement from some great friends, namely Chris Voellinger, Mark Poole, and Doug Oetter. They kept throwing it to me, and kept encouraging me to become the ultimate player that I am today. I hope that I can be that person for someone else and pay it forward.
What is your craziest AFDC story?
I’ve had a ton of fun memories, but the craziest moment takes me back to my first mid-season tournament for summer league. I was cutting in for a disc, and it was overthrown and took me out along the sidelines trying to chase it. I ran into a sideline tent with some lounging dogs, spooked them, and literally got bit on the ass by one of the dogs owned by a Lucky player. I guess I was the lucky one, because I was fine, and the nickname “dogbite” didn’t stick. I went on to win the 2010 summer league EOS tourney with Lucky, so that kind of brings the story full circle.
What type of shenanigans do you get into outside of ultimate?
I’m in a bike gang. It’s pretty serious.
There’s a kitten stuck up in a tree. Only you can help it and all you have is the contents in your frisbee bag. Assuming you can’t easily climb up the tree, what do you do?
I’d probably post up in the shade of said tree, turn on some tunes on my jammy pack, and open a beer (yes, I would conveniently have a cold bud light lime in my bag that day). I would send out a groupme text to my Cat Smasher teammates to come take care of business. SMASH!
And finally, what do you love most about the AFDC?
I love being able to play fun ultimate and then come off the field and enjoy a beer with friends. I’m grateful for the fun and community that the AFDC brings to my life.
Also be sure to check out our previous 7on7 interviews: