Frisbee throwing Gnomes create strong team bond with hard work


Courtesy of Women's Frisbee club

The team took a group photo.

by Danika Schmitz, Contributor

Gnomes can normally be found as lawn ornaments or garden protectors, but there is a group of gnomes on campus who are mixing it up. 

The Gnomes, San Diego State’s Women’s Frisbee club, is a club of about 20 women who come from different backgrounds and majors, but share a camaraderie similar to that of a fraternity or sorority. 

There is a variety of leadership opportunities available to the women involved with the team as an opportunity to develop professional skills.

The club’s president, social work major and senior Isabel Medina said the club was an essential step in her college career.

“The welcoming environment and friendships I gained through this club is what encouraged me to become a leader,” Medina said.

With about seven members in each grade level, the girls on the team are extremely close. Accounting freshman Jamie Kalaau-Sunia initially joined as a way to stay active and fight off the “freshman 15,” but she gained more than she anticipated. 

Kalaau-Sunia said her favorite part of being a member of the club is the social aspect. 

“Having older mentors to fall back on, and having a family feel is probably the most valuable thing I have gained,” she said. 

As long time members, Medina and vice-president, kinesiology senior Samantha Gonzalez have acted as a support system to younger members for four years. Having a tight knit environment taught them social and leadership skills, ultimately encouraging them to pursue roles as leaders of the club. 

 “The welcoming environment and friendships I gained through this club kept me involved and led to me gaining a leadership position,” Medina said. 

 Medina and Gonzales agreed holding leadership positions helped their communication, networking and professional abilities immensely.

“Being president has taught me leadership skills and how to confidently public speak,” Medina said. 

Even though the Frisbee club has various aspects, the girls agree their favorite and most impactful is the relationships they have made with those on the team.

The girls agree that while the club has a social side, it entails a lot of hard work. Ultimate Frisbee may not be the best-known club on campus, but it can be fun and challenging. The sport is also a difficult sport to play. Medina has a background playing other sports such as field hockey, and believes many are not aware of how difficult the sport really is. 

“Out of all the sports I have ever played in the past,  Frisbee is definitely the hardest,” Medina said. 

The sport is similar to soccer or basketball because ultimate frisbee is played on a large field which requires lots of running and stamina. There are also passing, scoring and formation similarities. Tournaments usually last two days and have six to eight games per day. The new season started this semester, and the girls scored third place in their most recent tournament.

The Frisbee club stands out from others on campus because, as the Gnomes, it is the only sports club that has a different mascot than SDSU’s Aztec. With a low membership fee of around $180 a semester, it has the cheapest dues out of any club on campus. The club’s finances give the members another professional experience.

“As vice president I have learned organizational skills and how to efficiently manage finances,” Gonzales said.

It’s not too late to be a gnome. Friendships and leadership opportunities are available to team members. There are no cuts, and interested potential members have the ability to join at any point in the year.