Player Spotlight | Stephanie Hicks

How did you start playing ultimate?

In high school I used to play barefoot pick-up with a bunch of my guy-friends and always had a great time. So my sophomore year at UCSD, after I stopped swimming competitively, I was looking for a new sport and I decide to give Ultimate a try and have been playing ever since.

 

What is your favorite ultimate memory?

After our Summer League win last summer, the Pink Team huddled up and veteran player Leland Waters thanked us and shared what the summer had meant to him.  He’d been playing in LAOUT’s Summer League for over 16 years and I think we all got teary eyed when he shared how special it was to him to have finally won. It had been a very difficult summer for me both personally and professionally and on top of that I was injured. But in that moment seeing the fun, spirited team we’d managed to create, surrounded by all these new friends, and hearing them all share what the summer had meant to them, made all of the pain worth it.  To me, much more than winning, that is what Ultimate is about and I felt really privileged to have been their Captain.

 

What do you do when you’re not playing ultimate?

I’m a television writer, specifically on one-hour dramas. Currently, I’m in between shows, so there’s the endless grind of writing your own material, pitching and networking for the next gig. When I’m not working (or playing ultimate) I love dancing like a fool, escaping to the beach with my pup or getting out of the country to scuba dive somewhere warm.

 

Cats or dogs?

Dogs.

 

You’ve been doing great work organizing the upcoming LAOUT prom to benefit Southern California Youth Ultimate (SCYU) and as part of LAOUT’s gender equity committee, to name a couple things. What made you want to get involved?

Before moving to LA, I was the communications director for an international non-profit based in Colorado Springs and spent ten years dealing with global issues of injustice, poverty and gender equity, so these things are very close to my heart. I was excited that we were discussing gender equity as an Ultimate community and I think a lot of us women were having these conversations and frustrations privately, and I want to be someone who doesn’t just talk about problems but actively works to make the situation better.

Right now in our mixed leagues we have about 70% male and 30% female participation and we’re working to see those numbers become more even, and also to see women valued and given equal opportunities on and off the field. But a lot of that work starts with educating the community on what equity means and opening people’s eyes to the fact that there is a problem. We have a lot of work to do, but we’ve had a very encouraging start. In the few months since we’ve started gender equity talks, we seen so many of the women in the community feel empowered to step up and get involved, running clinics, pick-up and starting new clubs and youth opportunities for women.

But realistically, we need money to be able to grow our programs, especially amongst the youth. Separately, both Grant Boyd [executive director of SCYU] and myself had both approached Andy Bandit about LA having a Prom as a fundraiser. The timing was such that Enway Melo had just come onto SCYU to spearhead more initiatives targeting girls and desperately needed money to run clinics, so she was super motivated to do this sooner than later. I love throwing parties, I love dancing, I love ultimate frisbee and I love raising money to help it grow, so I’m super excited to see it all come together.

 

Speaking of prom, what can we expect? What part are you most excited about? [This was written before prom. It ended up raising over $3000!]

What to expect: First off, fun dancing! But don’t worry, if you don’t dance, Andy Bandit will be running blackjack tables and we have fun games and a large area for people to just hang out and mingle. There will a photobooth and running slideshow with everyone’s old prom photos displayed so you can take a, “then and now” photo. You can look forward to all the classic Andy Bandit contests: Best make-out, best lap dance, as well as Prom Queen and King.  

The venue is BEAUTIFUL, and I’m most excited about kicking off Summer League with an epic party that hopefully will be a great way for people to meet their Summer League teams, hang out and get to know people who they might not normally, and also be a friendly place to bring their spouse, significant other or friends who don’t play frisbee to enjoy a night out.

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