Student Athlete Profile- Monambi Wiya

What is your sport?

Ultimate Frisbee

How many hours per week do you spend training/playing?

10 or more hours a week

What study are you undertaking at ANU? What year of study are you in? 

I am in my second year of a PPE/Law degree at ANU.

How do you juggle the commitments of playing sport and studying?

I find playing ultimate is a nice break from studying. Sometimes the perfect balance is tough to find but I’m definitely better off for the sport I play.

Does sport assist you in your academic pursuits?

I definitely think it does. If I couldn’t play some sort of sport or do some sort of physical activity, I think I would definitely find it harder to concentrate on studying.

Greatest sporting achievement.

Winning a bronze medal at my first unigames this year with the ANU Disc team was great. I also enjoyed winning a bronze medal with the ACT side at the 2016 U-22 Championships.

What is your long term sporting goal?

I want to become the best ultimate player I can.

Who has had the greatest influence on your sporting career thus far?

I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of supportive and encouraging figures over my sporting career. In terms of ultimate, the coach of the ACT u22 side Anson Chun has given me a lot of opportunities and insight into the game. A lot of the veteran players at Fyshwick United have also taught me a lot about ultimate.

Who is your sporting idol & why?

Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. He is a team player who puts in a lot of hard work and remains humble despite winning numerous accolades and being a dominant force on the court.

Any superstitions or unusual game day preparations?

I like to wear a specific set of socks at tournaments.

Tell us something interesting or fascinating about yourself

I once played the part of Bottom (the character whose head gets turned into that of a donkey) in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Favourite Music Artist:

Dave Brubeck

If you found yourself on Masterchef and had to cook one dish to win it all, what would your specialty dish be:

I’d blow them away with my homemade pizza.

 

Post Competition Report

 

Athlete: Monambi Wiya
Event: Asia-Oceania Ultimate and Guts Club Championships
Post Competition Report:

I along with three other ANU students (Maya Suzuki, Clare Barcham and Caitlin Grange) were able to represent their country at the Asia-Oceania Ultimate and Guts Club Championships this past August. After arriving in Manilla on the 16th, we played against an Indian team on the 17th as a warm-up game. This game was a fantastic way to get acclimatised to the weather and conditions we would be playing in for the next three days. The first day of tournament games began on the Friday 18th. We beat two teams from Taiwan and Malaysia respectively before our final game was called off due to thunderstorms. The following day we finished our postponed game and managed to get the win in an exciting game that saw our opponents almost pull off a come from behind win. This left us at 3-0 at the conclusion of pool play. 
Team photo with Rojaks (Malaysia)

Unfortunately, we were unable to win our first elimination game, going down in a close battle to the local Filipino team. This pushed us out of the top 8. Our next game we won, against another Taiwanese team. With injuries and a bout of illness, we were starting to run short on players for our last two games and we did not manage to win them. Playing against a Japanese team was a great experience for our team as the Japanese play with an amazingly unique style. To our credit, our game plan and execution of it actually forced them to change their usual strategies. Our final match was a close loss against a fellow Australian team with a multitude of Australian reps and veterans. Overall we ended up finishing 12th out of 28 teams.
Our team performed exceptionally well considering it was our first time playing together as a team. Most, if not all, our opponents were established club teams who had many more years experienced than our team. The fact we managed to finish twelve and finish with a record of 4-3 was a testament to our ability to adapt to the differing playing styles of our opponents

I had mixed feelings about my own personal performance. Looking back, I recall many moments I am proud of – but also moments I wished I had done something differently. I felt like a valuable contributor at times but then struggled to inject myself into the game at others. Playing against the generally smaller but quicker Asian teams was also a fantastic challenge defensively. Even though I was scored on a number of times, I can revisit those moments and articulate to myself what I need to change to make sure that next time the outcome is different. It was definitely a great learning experience for me.
A fundamental part of ultimate frisbee is its large emphasis on playing with great sportsmanship. There are no referees in ultimate and it is up to the players to call their own fouls and resolve conflicts on the field. There were some games where the scores were close and calls were made by our opponents which we saw as questionable but this forced our team to uphold our strong commitment to spirit of the game, discussing the rules calmly and resolving disputes fairly. Those games were valuable experiences that helped build integrity and trust within our own team.  It was wonderful to experience firsthand a more international flavour and understanding of spirit of the game, an experience that will be invaluable for the world championships in January.
I learnt so much over the trip. Tournaments are so helpful in developing a better understanding of the game itself and the chance to repeatedly play with the team and tinker our structures and strategies was priceless. Apart from ultimate, staying in the Manila for a week made me realise how much I take for granted living in Australia. To give just one example, I realised how much a rely on clean tap water. In Manila bottled water was the only safe drinking option– there were no clean drinking fountains or taps. 
 

The most memorable aspect of the trip was probably the gameplay itself – playing ultimate in another country was an amazing experience. The opportunity to play against different playing styles from other countries was invaluable for myself and the team. It was fantastic seeing how the game of ultimate could transcend language and cultural barriers, bringing people from all over the Asia-Oceania region together for four days of intense but spirited gameplay. I can’t wait to represent Australia come the world championships in January!