February 6: Tucson
After a long drive from Austin to Tucson, we sat down for dinner with Lisa Shipek, who plays for Tucson Venom. Lisa described the most recent experience with gender equity in the community when the league scene transitioned from a 5-2 men to women split to a 4-3 coed league 3 years ago with the goal to create more opportunities for women to play. Lisa, who spearheaded the change, talked about how many women felt more included, while many men still had pushback to the switch, concerned about the opportunities for them to play. This came to a head most recently when a post on the local Tucson ultimate group questioned the switch.
Given this experience, and the fact that Tucson has hosted a couple San Francisco Fury women's clinics, we decided to do a co-ed clinic that combined playing mixed ultimate and discussing gender equity in ultimate. After a safe space introduction, and a warmup led by Lisa, we broke into four breakout drills with different focuses:
- Arrow Drill: how can we push ourselves out of our comfort zone to break the mark and the status quo?
- Dump Swing Drill: how can we practice looking for support and allies in this work?
- Keep Away Drill: how can we use everyone to be successful (everyone had to touch the disc to get a point)?
- Abs and Definitions: it takes courage and strength to have these discussions, so how can we get strong and focus on ourselves? Also, what are the definitions of gender equity and intersectionality and how can we use gender pronouns to create space for all players to feel welcome?
Afterwards, we headed to a local bar that had Taco Tuesday deals to do a Q&A session and talk through some specific steps moving forward for the community. There was a call to action for everyone to step up and support the work, and be active voices at pick-up and at league. Good luck Tucson!