St. Paul’s Staff Wins Gold at Canadian Ultimate Championship

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Brendan with trophyBrendan Wylie-Toal, who is the Program Manager and Startup Coach for St. Paul’s social entrepreneurship incubator GreenHouse, is calm and strategic at work, but watch him on the field, playing Ultimate, and it’s a different story.

“Ultimate is an outlet for my competitive side,” says Wylie-Toal.

This summer, Wylie-Toal had the opportunity to compete at a higher level where his team—“Still”— won gold in the Masters’ division of the Canadian Ultimate Championships held in Edmonton, AB.

Wylie-Toal first saw the game – which can be described as team frisbee, incorporating rules from football, basketball and soccer – as a young child visiting his uncle who was a coach for the Canadian junior team, but it wasn’t until he started university that he took up the sport for himself. When he moved to Kitchener-Waterloo after university, he joined a touring team, captaining and coaching the KW team for three years.

Team jumpWhile he took a break after the birth of his first son, Wylie-Toal says he missed the sport.

“There’s something about being part of a group and having clear, common goals that really appeals to me,” he says. “I also like my kids being able to see the hard work and discipline I put into Ultimate.”

While admitting it is challenging balancing his work at the College and his young family with his Ultimate career, Wylie-Toal is making it work. In the lead-up to the national competition, the preparation involved several workouts and practices a week and tournaments with the team, which is made up of players over the age of 33 across the province.

Wylie-Toal and his Ultimate team were prepared for fierce competition but “Still” ended up dominating the tournament. Now the players on the team will make up the majority of the players going to the 2020 World Masters Ultimate Championships, held in the Gold Coast in Australia.

Just as Wylie-Toal reminds students of the value of self-care, his own discipline and work ethic means that, “This is the best I’ve ever felt playing.” But, he adds with a laugh, “People who know me as even-keeled at work might be surprised to see me being a bit of an irritant on the field.”

Team pic

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