TNSPOTY Runner-up: Dianne Marquez Lopez

Disc jockey: Dianne Marquez Lopez only learnt to play ultimate at the start of uni, now she's representing GB. Image: Elgan Jones

Sports Editor, James Sproston, interviewed Newcastle Ultimate women’s captain, Dianne Marquez Lopez, to get her view on her 3rd place finish in our Team Newcastle Sports Personality of the Year.

Why do you think you think you did so well in our sports personality competition?

I’m not sure- I hate bragging! I didn’t even know I was entered until yesterday when you told me I had finished in third place! I guess because I put so much time into this club….I sure hope I don’t fail my master’s degree because of it!

How do you feel about the club’s success?

I’m over the moon that the club is doing so well. We recruited so many people over the last 2 years, which is great for the club in the long run. I think it’s partly because of people in the club itself. I enjoy seeing people pick up a Frisbee and fall in love with the game. I’m passionate about it (as you can probably tell). It’s a weird and wonderful game.

 

“It’s time consuming and really hard at times, especially if you’re doing a science degree, and trying to individually develop and compete at loads of weekend tournaments, but it’s worth it”

 

What did/do you do on committee?

Last year I was the tournament director, and this year I am the women’s captain and co-club captain. Unlike other universities and other clubs in Newcastle, we are an underfunded club and we can’t really afford to hire a coach. For years, the club has thrived, with the club captains doing all the teaching/training sessions. It’s time consuming and really hard at times, especially if you’re doing a science degree, and trying to individually develop and compete at loads of weekend tournaments, but it’s worth it. Of course, it’s a group effort. If it weren’t for the help of current, experienced members in the club then we wouldn’t have had the same success as we had the last two years.

What do you like about the ultimate club?

Ultimate Frisbee is a unique sport: It gives you a solid group of friends, gives you the best memories and experiences, and means you get to travel all over (to different parts of the country and other countries), all while getting super fit. It’s a whole new world- It’s a community. I think people realise that, and so keep coming back. Also, there are different ranges in which you can play Frisbee at: you can play causally or competitively; it varies.

I love the people in the club; we’re like a little family. I’ve made lifelong friends in this club. If that’s not enough reason, I don’t know what is.

 

“Ultimate Frisbee is a unique sport: It gives you a solid group of friends, gives you the best memories and experiences, and means you get to travel all over”

 

What is your background in ultimate?

I had never even picked up a Frisbee before I came to uni; I was a total newbie. But I picked it up straight away on my first year and even got chosen to play the mixed first team that year. They must have seen something in me, I suppose. In second and third year I was an integral player for the women’s and mixed team in indoor and outdoor tournaments. I also, played with local clubs.

What are your plans for the future (academic and ultimate)?

Recently, I got picked for the Under 24 GB developmental squad, which is a pretty big thing! Hopefully, I pass my masters degree despite all this frisbeeing! My ultimate goal is to make it to the World championship, which is being held in Perth 2018!

What has been your highlight of playing ultimate at uni?

We won the women’s indoor regional championship, and came third in the BUCS women’s outdoor regionals, which meant we won a lot of BUCS points. (I just wish it was enough to get the uni to recognise our efforts and give us better training facilities/times!)

What has been your proudest moment/personal highlight of playing with the pies?

Besides all the tournaments that we’ve won? Probably winning most “welcoming player” in the club for two years running! And, of course, recruiting loads of women to the team!

 

Sophie Matthews, AU Officer “Dianne is not only a high spirited individual who keeps the clubs moral high, but is so talented and is a key member pushing the teams towards multiple successes.”

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