In April’s “5 Questions With” you’ve had a chance to get to know a bit about Hildo Bijl, his coaching experience and thoughts about team building. If you’ve missed out on that one better catch up!
This month I’d like to introduce you to Delphine Wartelle, who is one of those players with extraordinary determination. She’s behind the mystery team HUK Lublin. Delphine’s also into helping out via Ultimate Peace and sharing all that’s good about Ultimate Frisbee. Sort of UNICEF kind of thing, but with Frisbee, right? I hope you get inspired! 🙂
Name: Delphine “Guac” Wartelle
Height: 169 cm
Plays Ultimate Since: 2010
Team: HUK Lublin Ultimate, Pickup
Cutter/Handler: 65% handler; 35% cutter; 30% dancing on the line
Favourite throw: backhand break
Favourite type of the tournament: any tourney where my team is awesome
Favourite division: Women’s
Favourite thing outside of Ultimate: books about old ladies baking cakes, my ukuleles, hammocks, learning languages, baking cookies, word games, accidental adventures, Ultimate Peace.
I am starting an Ultimate team in Lublin, Poland — HUK will be our name! You haven’t seen us on the Ulti scene because we’re still getting ready to play!
1. How did you first get into Ultimate Frisbee?
I had never been athletic but was taught how to throw in high school by some excellent local players. My first year of college, I walked straight to the Women’s Frisbee team and told them “I’m Delphine and I love Frisbee” even though I had never played a real game. But something in me just knew that I would love it!
In truth, I was so terrible that no one knew why I kept coming but I was determined to improve.
I remember the moment the game clicked for me. It took 2 years but I remember looking at the field and knowing exactly what I was supposed to do, where I should be throwing and where to cut. I beat my defender up line and broke her with an inside forehand. It was magical.
2. What does this sport mean to you?
First, it was a challenge; get good at ultimate. Despite my lack of athleticism, I just knew I could do it. Sometimes, I still can’t believe I did! When I feel down, I remind myself of my growth in Ultimate and remember there’s always a way.
Then, Ultimate became everything. In college, I would stay home during classes when I was sick so that I could feel better to go to practice. I ran extra sprints in my spare time because I wanted to give my team 100%.
Ultimate is a sport that relies on communication and trust. As I write this, I see the faces of all the amazing people whom I’ve played with or have learned from. They supported me no matter what was happening in my life, both on and off the field because they were my team, they were my Frisbee family. That’s what it is now: trust and family.
3. You’re very active with supporting Ultimate Peace. How did you find out about it and why did you decide to join?
I heard about UP in college and thought it was the coolest concept—using Ultimate to promote peace efforts in the Middle East. Everyone I know who’s been can only say wonderful things about it.
I’m joining because UP brings all of my interests together: cross-cultural communication, Frisbee, politics, children, education, and summer camps! Every child deserves a real childhood and it’s my turn to give back to make sure this can happen.
4. What is the biggest advantage of organisations such as Ultimate Peace and how can someone get involved?
Can you imagine what would happen if an entire generation of kids, guided by the principles of Ultimate, were to lead their country to peace? I genuinely believe this could happen thanks to Ultimate Peace.
Ultimate Peace uses Ultimate Frisbee to connect two splintered communities: the children of Arab Israeli, Jewish Israeli, and Palestinian descent are getting to know each other at two 8-day summer camps and a year-round program, where they talk to each other, meet for the first time and create lasting friendships.
Over 200 children attend camp and over 350 participate in the year round program.
If you’re interested in helping, we accept donations at http://www.ultimatepeace.org/bio/delphine-wartelle/.
What does your money do?
It will help 300+ children play ultimate every year in high schools and middle schools. It will fund a great leadership program, where 30 teens meet once a month to create and develop community projects, built around tolerance, friendship and respect.
Any amount helps (but $20 is a great start if you’re unsure where to start).
Donations are tax-deductible in the US and come with a free gift of my eternal gratitude (and maybe cookies 😊)
You can learn more at Ultimate Peace but make sure to write my name in your donation if you use the general “Donate” button.
5. You’ve got some coaching experience. What do you find the most challenging?
I have so much to learn but the toughest is being succinct.
Starting a new team is a lot of responsibility and a lot of teaching, so we have a lot of work. But, in reality, it’s not my team: it’s our team and, to me, coaching also means making sure everyone feels they are part of the team, the way people welcomed me into Ultimate.
In addition, I’m coaching across languages: we don’t have a single common language on HUK so everything takes more time to explain as things get translated into Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian.
I hope you enjoyed the interview. It’s so amazing that Ultimate Frisbee can affect lives in a positive way. It’s the kind of sport that easily brings people together. Changing the world one frisbee at a time!
What’s your Ultimate Frisbee story? Would you like to share it? Feel free to message me on Introverted Ultimate or via email. I’ll get back to you with 5 Questions. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!