By Anil Jhalli
Just three years into her ultimate frisbee career, Ottawa’s Emily Scott is already competing on the world stage. Scott wouldn’t be playing at the world junior championships for ultimate, let alone playing the sport if it weren’t for a devastating injury that derailed her soccer career.
Growing up, and prior to her injury, Scott was involved in sports including soccer, badminton, volleyball and hockey.
Looking for a change after hurting her knee, a nudge from her twin brother Ben Scott led her to leap into ultimate.
“I just wanted to try something new,” the 19-year-old human rights student at Carleton University said. “The ultimate community was no nice and welcoming so I decided to give it a try.”
After learning the basics from her brother, she joined Wicked Ultimate, an ultimate frisbee club in Ottawa. She’d later play on Carleton University’s Ultimate Team.
She now plays with Stella Ultimate, a competitive team for women in the nation’s capital.
“I’m so thankful they took me in because they really helped me grow as a player,” added Scott. “There is great leadership on the team that I look up to, and they gave me a lot of feedback over the summer and pushed me to be better.”
Like many others who transition to ultimate, Scott says her experience in other sports helped her pick up the newer game.
“I think being an athlete in general helped because I had a natural field instinct and I knew how to catch and run,” she added.
This summer she was chosen to represent Canada at the 2018 World Junior Ultimate Championships in Waterloo.
Team Canada, which also featured Ottawa’s Wynne Gee, picked up victories against teams from Germany, Great Britain, France and Australia in divisional games before their gold medal hopes were cut short by Colombia in the tournament’s semifinals.
Canada’s women beat Germany again to win 3rd place at the September tournament.
“The team’s performance was amazing,” said Scott. “Everyone really stepped up and played their best and there was so much trust out on the field. Coming back from a loss against Columbia, and then being down against Germany in the bronze game, but then coming back to win really speaks to how strong we were as a team mentally and physically. The great thing about this team was we bonded so fast and became sisters and that allowed us to be successful on the field.”
In 10 games, Scott collected six goals and three assists, good for nine points at the conclusion of the tournament.
“I think I played well, “ said Scott. “It’s really easy to go out there and give 100 per cent because I always knew my teammates were training hard and playing at 100 per cent. I think we all had mistakes just like every other team or sport would. But overall I think I went out there and did what my team expected me to do.”
While the results were encouraging, Scott said there is no higher honour than playing for your country.
She was “speechless” when she found out that she had made the team.
“I was so excited because it had always been a goal of mine and I knew it would be one of the best experiences of my life,” she added. “It’s a feeling like no other to have that many people stand behind you and support you. So many people want you to succeed.
On the men’s side of the world juniors, Canada won a silver medal. Ottawa’s own Aidan Hayter, Scott Graham and Benjamin Cheer played on that team.