This past May, I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State. My freshman year, I signed up for the club Ultimate team and haven’t looked back since. Before college, the only organized Ultimate I had played was pick up at the playground with my cross country teammates. I was unaware of how the game was actually played and what the sport would do to my life, but my competitive nature drove me to look for every opportunity to improve.
Over the next four years, I probably spent more time playing and training for Ultimate than I did studying and reading for class. Practices under the lights, workouts in the morning before classes, and weekends traveling to play in tournaments became part of my routine as I tried to learn the game and become a better player. I was lucky enough to play with countless captains, coaches, and teammates that taught me everything I know about the game.
This past winter, I was selected from hundreds of athletes to be invited to tryout for Team USA in the U24 World Championships in January, 2018. In June, I participated in a weekend tryout along with 100 of the top young Ultimate players in the nation. Two full length days of drills, running, and conditioning in the summer heat was challenging, but exciting to be able to compete with the players and friends I hoped to represent the United States with at the coming World Championships
A few weeks later I received an email from the coaches, and I knew it would tell me whether or not I made the team. At first, I couldn’t bring myself to open the email, afraid that my dream of playing for Team USA would be crushed. Once I had summoned the strength to open the email, my jaw dropped. I had been selected to represent Team USA in the U24 World Championships!! I paced around the room with thousands of thoughts running through my head and couldn’t calm my excitement. I had been given the opportunity to represent the United States at the highest level of international competition, an opportunity I was beyond honored to accept.
Our team will compete in the 2018 World U24 Ultimate Championships in Perth, Australia from January 7th – 13th. Before we compete, our team will be gathering for a training weekend in Atlanta, GA and for a training week in Perth the week before the tournament. Since the team is made up of players across the country, these training opportunities are essential for us to learn strategy and develop team chemistry.
This opportunity to represent the United States in Ultimate on one of the greatest international stages will be one of the greatest experiences of my life; I have always dreamt of wearing “USA” across my chest. However, there are significant expenses that are incurred with accepting this opportunity:
Transportation to and from Atlanta Training Weekend: $400
Room and Board for Atlanta Training Weekend: $100
Transportation to and from Perth: $1500-$2000
Room and Board for Perth (training week and tournament): $1000
Player Fees and other Miscellaneous Expenses: $500
These expenses fall to the players, while other expenses are covered by the team. The young players on this team are mostly students, so finding the money to fund this opportunity can be troublesome. I recently started a graduate program at the University of Minnesota last month, and know that putting together the money will be difficult.
But I don’t want to persuade you to give me money for this adventure. I knew before I was invited to tryouts that there would be significant costs involved, and I decided to pursue it anyway. I understand that representing this United States is a privilege that few have, and I am proud and honored to be given this opportunity.
Nevertheless there are few things in life that you can do by yourself; I wouldn’t be where I am without the help I received from all my family, friends and teammates. I’ll be accepting any donations that you are willing to make toward my goal of $3000 until December 15th. If you feel so inclined to make a donation, you will forever have my love and appreciation for helping me achieve my dream of representing the United States. In addition, I will have other, more substantial, ways to express my gratitude to you.
If you have any questions about the World Championships, this team, or anything else about Ultimate, feel free to contact me by messaging me on GoFundMe or any other form of contact.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey that started in the small town of Pottsville and will conclude on the biggest stage at Perth this winter. I’m glad I could share my story with you and hope you can follow me on my journey this January.
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