The sun will be shining bright this summer on a group of elite female athletes who take the beloved summer pastime of Frisbee to an entirely new level. This summer, an All-Star Team comprised of 15 of the best women’s college ultimate Frisbee players in the United States will be going on a national tour to play showcase games against other elite Ultimate Frisbee teams. Among this year’s Ultimate Frisbee All-Star Team roster is OPRF alumni Dori Franklin.
Franklin, 22, graduated from OPRF in 2011 and has just recently graduated from the University of Colorado this May. The Ecology major grew up in Oak Park, playing soccer for the OPRF Huskies and Oak Park River Forest Strikers.
Yet the summer after her graduation from OPRF sparked a new love and admiration in Franklin for a sport other than soccer.
“One of my family friends who was playing competitive ultimate Frisbee in Chicago asked if I wanted to play on a coed pickup team. I ended up loving the sport,” Franklin recalls. Ultimate Frisbee combines the “athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football,” according to USA Ultimate.
A new love for Ultimate didn’t just stop that summer for Franklin. She continued to play all four years of her college career at the University of Colorado on “Kali,” University of Colorado’s collegiate Ultimate team. She was Captain her junior and senior year and lead the team to D1 Nationals both years. Franklin also currently plays on the Denver-based elite ultimate team “Molly Brown.”
Franklin explains that the unique opportunity of this All-Star Team tour to promote and expose female athletes has been greatly supported by the Ultimate community.
“Though the popularity of ultimate is growing more slowly than other sports, it is still growing,” states Franklin. According to USA Ultimate, most recent statistics show that college Ultimate players have increased from 9,951 in 2004 to 16,058 in 2011.
The All-Star team tour will start July 27, stopping in a total of 10 cities across the country in three weeks: Portland, Denver, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York, Boston, just to name a few.
Franklin hopes this tour will help give young female athletes inspiration and motivation to continue to pursue sports into college or even elite levels like she has accomplished. Because as Franklin believes her experience playing Ultimate (and sports in general) has rewarded her with more than just a good arm.
“Being an athlete is the primary thing that I identify as. Being on a team is my favorite thing about being an athlete and if you work hard you will see results. Being an athlete has also taught me about spirit, sportsmanship, responsibility, time management, how to be a leader, and how to stay positive.”
For more information on the All-Star Ultimate Tour and this year’s roster and schedule of cities and games, visit www.allstarultimatetour.com.