The first Victorian U22 team coach we are featuring is Steph Chong who is making her debut as assistant coach with the Blue Devils.
Chong joined Ellipsis Ultimate in 2019 and is one of three sisters who have become heavily involved with Ultimate over the past few years. Chong most recently competed at the U24 World Ultimate Championships 2019 with the Stingrays (womens) in Germany and currently plays with Deakin University Ultimate.
Her involvement with the Blue Devils began in 2017 as a player along with fellow Blue Devil’s assistant coach Charlie Medic. “We had such an awesome time playing that we thought there was no better way to stay involved and give back to the U22 program than to become coaches.”
This year Chong has learned more than she had in the years prior which she puts down to her experiences with Ellipsis Ultimate during the 2019 Australian Ultimate Championships and the Stingrays. “This year Ellipsis taught me what it is like to play at a high level, what it takes to be the best and what drive people to want to continue getting better.” Chong also noted that despite a disappointing finish with the Stingrays, it taught her resilience and ignited a desire to improve not only her game but the game of others around her.
Chong wants to make her coaching debut count because of her past experience with great coaches at the youth level. “If it wasn’t for the experiences I had playing U22s, I don’t think I would have taken that next step and played for Ellipsis or represented Australia. I recognise how much of an impact the under 22s program can have on someone’s path through ultimate and I would like to assist and inspire the next generation of Blue Devils in deciding the path they wish to take and help lead them along the path they choose.”
The 2019 Blue Devils promise to be an exciting outfit, according to Chong. “We have had one training session so far and it was super exciting to get our campaign underway. Coaching and the responsibilities that come with it is not something I have much experience in, but I am looking forward to the challenge and what we can achieve.”
The Australian U22 Ultimate Championships will take place in Canberra from Friday 30 November 2019 to Sunday 2 December 2019.