Our next profile features veteran player, defensive specialist and captain of the women’s team, Gera Stancheva. A seasoned 5th year player with loads of experience and wisdom on her back, Gera brings some fiery European gusto to the team. Her handler shut-down defense is feared by some of North America’s best handlers and her strikes are flawlessly timed. Gera is a fantastic teammate that will always have your back, even if that means taking a teammate to the hospital at 3am in San Francisco when there are 8am games the next day. Her dedication to the TBirds is unparalleled.
Name: Gera Stancheva
Field of study: Life sciences
Position: D-line Cutter
How/when did you start playing ultimate?
I started playing for my high school, Kitsilano Secondary, back in grade 8. My friend invited me to go with her to see what Ultimate was all about. The senior team had just moved up from the grade 8-10 bracket and they wanted juniors to start a new team. I loved it from day 1 and never looked back!
Who is your most influential player & why?
Tasia Balding. I’ve learned more about juggling frisbee, life, and fun from Tas than I could possibly imagine. Her ultimate IQ is unparalleled and she’s devoted a lot of her time and effort to coaching the T-Bird Ladies. Also, her full-field hucks are to die for…
What is your favourite ultimate moment?
Coming back from an 8-6 deficit against Iowa State at 2013 USAU College Nationals Pre-Quarters to win 15-12. I have never seen our team play with as much heart and passion. Watching our then-captain Catherine Hui (Chewy) sidelined with an injury half-way through the game really pushed our team to the max. My personal favourite moment of the game was going deep for a huck and then hammering to BBJ (Laurel) for the break.
Favourite throw/ultimate play?
I ❤ Hammers.
Any hobbies outside of ultimate?
Soccer. Tennis. Beach-ing. Reading. Puzzle-ing. Eating. Movie watching. SLEEPING (yes that’s a hobby).
Have you played on any club/pro teams outside of TBirds?
Battlecats #MEOW Also headed to the World Ultimate Club Championship this summer in Italy with Team Fisher Price.
Any interesting facts about you?
I learned to drive stick when I was 13 in Bulgaria, taught by my grandfather. I’ve also recently become an aunt! I also go by Herb because when texting on T9 before the smartphone age, Gera would autocomplete to Herb.
Currently studying hard for her exams and finishing up her undergraduate degree strong, Gera is aspiring to be a doctor and working endlessly to juggle grades, MCAT studying, frisbee, school, family and friends. Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Gera and the team, and even get some Thunderbird gear.