We sat down to discuss the Asia-Oceania Women’s Development Program and especially the program’s upcoming All Stars Tour. The answers below reflect the combined insights of tour organizer Lisi Moore, tour player Veera Sethuraman and assistant coach Ciaran Hudson. Thank you three so much for your time!
Please consider supporting the Tour financially by donating to their GoFundMe. Their crowdfunder will run until the 21st of July.
What led to this Tour? Who initiated setting up the Tour and how did it develop from there?
Lisi Moore was inspired after the Euro Stars Tour in 2017, which came off the back of the All-Star Ultimate Frisbee tour in the US. She felt it was a great idea to showcase incredible female athletes and give them the opportunity to play against the best teams and to get experience and exposure, which they may not normally get in their region.
In addition, from her experiences on the Australia national team, Lisi knew that a lot of players in our region don’t have big game experience or chances to push their limits in competition. Her belief that growing the sport requires a strong platform from which to enhance women’s competition (skills, leadership, coaching expertise), the creation of more opportunities for women to play women’s ultimate, and a focus on supporting and empowering women through a combined effort led her to start the Asia Oceania All Star Women’s program.
Check out the happy faces of some of the fabulous people that have helped (and are helping) with the organizational aspects of the Tour.
Please tell us a bit about the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Program.
The Asia-Oceanic All Stars program has been developed to build the profile of female athletes in the Asia Oceania region and to connect our best and most promising athletes. We aim to give them the opportunity to learn from and share with each other and other top athletes and coaches in our sport.
We want women to gain experiences that will help them grow as athletes and leaders. We want them to take this knowledge and experience back to their local regions to help develop players and programs there.
Our vision is to inspire a generation of young women and develop connections and knowledge to take us forward in our mission to assist the growth of women in ultimate in our region and around the world.
Part of this program is the tour which will take place later this summer, what was the application process like for the Tour?
A selection committee sought a team that encompasses a variety of players to ensure the team has both athleticism and skill and will showcase a diversity of players from across the region. Fair-mindedness (spirit of the game) was considered an essential attribute for all players. Athlete’s on-field roles and demonstrated ability to contribute to the growth and development of our sport was also considered when selecting athletes. The application period was for a month late 2017 early 2018. The selection committee reviewed applications and shortlisted candidates mid February, before sharing the final list at the end of that month.
The selected 2018 team is expected to be available to assist with clinics in the AO region later in 2018 or 2019, and all players were required to develop their own athlete page.
So… Who was selected to represent the Asia Oceania region on the Tour this summer?!
Check out the 2018 Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour roster below! All player pictures link to their athlete page (where available), so be sure to follow your favorites (aka all of them). Also be sure to check out the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour Facebook Page for more in-depth biographies for each player.
2018 Asia-Oceanic All Stars Roster
Getting into practical details, what is the tour schedule?
The 2018 All Stars team will tour the east coast of the United States and Canada in July and compete against New York Bent, Philadelphia Green Means Go, Washington Scandal, Boston BruteSquad and Toronto 6ixers.
On tour the players will also engage in leadership workshops and youth clinics. They will partner with teams and organisations who believe in the mission of the program and are helping us achieve our vision.
What are the goals of the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour? Do you feel like any of these goals have already been achieved?
A large part of the program is the sharing of experiences by the players when they return to their communities. While on the tour the team will connect with each other, coaches, mentors, and staff; and the American and Canadian athletes we meet. We believe in the power of these connections and the potential they will have when shared back in our player’s countries.
The team is expected to take what they learn back home and the program will support them to share an implement ideas from their experiences and to further develop the women’s game. In doing so, we hope they will contribute to achieving gender equality in ultimate.
The players have also all made athlete pages on Facebook and are encouraged to view themselves as mentors for girls and women in their region and fill the gap we see for female mentors and leaders themselves.
What have been the biggest challenges and successes of the Tour so far?
- Communication across languages – We’ve done a great job of communication across a team from 9 different countries. While most of us speak English we do have a few players that aren’t as strong in English and we have made our sheets bilingual and translated asks across the team to various languages in order to ensure everyone understands
- Support – As word does spread about the Tour, the reception of our ideas and visions have been incredibly supportive. So many people are loving what we stand for and are proud of the progress ahead.
- Minor – time zones.
- Not being able to train together – we will have pockets of chemistry but it may be an issue we face when we play teams with constant rosters and many training hours logged.
- Fundraising – Many communities are also fundraising for their respective WUCC teams, and fundraise year on year for various world ultimate events. In our sport it is always an issue but particularly in some AO countries where ultimate has grown across socio-economic backgrounds and where currency conversions are not favorable to them.
Cue another link to that fundraiser: link.
What are you most looking forward to about the Tour?
Personally I (Veera) am looking forward to meeting my teammates and road tripping around the states together. Over the last few months from conversations and video calls and messages the team seems so much fun and I am really excited to get to know everyone.
Also we hardly play any single gender ultimate (in India) and so I am very excited to play women’s, and compete against teams whose game we usually only get to see on youtube 🙂
Very interested in becoming close with athletes from many cultures, learning about Ultimate in country to country and overcoming barriers through a common vision.
Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour Support Staff
In addition to the excellent people mentioned previously, check out some of the other dedicated and experienced support staff that are working hard to help realize the Tour and will be assisting the team on Tour this summer.
Best of luck with the Tour this summer and the Asia-Oceania Women’s Development Program.
Don’t forget to follow the Tour this summer, and that you can still support the Tour financially on their GoFundMe until the 21st of July.