Spotlight: Catherine Menzies
Vancouver is one of Canada’s greatest ultimate hubs. It is home to a very strong ecosystem of teams, from youth teams through the club level, and is perfect for anyone who wants to improve their game. Catherine Menzies started playing ultimate much earlier than most players when she was introduced to the sport in elementary school.
“A group of my friends got super addicted to it, and we would play during every recess and every lunch hour,” Hui recalled.
Menzies's early experience was reflective of the vibrant and diverse coaching community in Vancouver. Hui is now working to build a successful program at the University of British Columbia. The UBC Thunderbirds are a top women’s program in the northwest region, having played against excellent U.S. teams like Oregon.
For longtime veteran athlete and coach Candice Chan, Hui’s driving spirit is invaluable for transmitting knowledge to younger players.
“She always has that smile, and having that reassurance that you have a buddy to support you means the world to me," Chan said. "Being a player that is still playing, sometimes it’s best to lead by example, and the kids respect her a lot. I tell her, ‘You’re the role model for the future.’”
The Thunderbirds have always been a competitive program in the region, with a slate of strong nationals performances over the years. The mantra that Hui pushed to UBC in 2018 was a reflection of her own drive to get better: “Be happy but never satisfied. You’re content, but you’re always looking for more.”
It is a mantra that is completely in line with how Hui approaches her training and growth.
“That drive to look for more is what pushes me to train, to work harder on the field, to go throw,” she said.
The stories we tell ourselves as athletes often get projected to other players through our coaching. The stories that Hui tells herself—that there are always opportunities to get better and to grow—are partly attributed to the vibrant coaching community she encountered in Vancouver.
“Having such a solid pool of women and men coaches and friends and players who are so passionate about the sport and so like-minded has pushed me to be where I am at right now.”