Friday, October 19th 2012: The inaugural championship game was held in August, 2012 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Auburn Hills, Michigan (Home of the Detroit Mechanix) between the Indianapolis Alley Cats and Philadelphia Spinners. Cosmos Sports' Business Development Coordinator, Greg Long attended the game and said "I've never played ultimate before, so I was surprised with the speed and intensity of the game. I had no idea ultimate had this much action. The fans were engaged the entire game, it was a great experience." How does this all relate to Toronto? The story of the Rush dates back to well before the creation of the newly formed AUDL. The team's founder, Mark Lloyd, has been playing the game of Ultimate for more than a decade as a passionate touring player. Mark has played on the 2011 Canadian Collegiate Championship team, the Manitoba Combines and the 2010 Men's Under 23 Team who won the world championship in Florence Italy. His club team, GOAT Ultimate, has taken him to tournaments all over North America, including the annual Club Championship in Sarasota, Florida.
As a member of Team Canada, Mark has had the opportunity to represent his country in multiple international tournaments including playing on the Canadian championship mixed team at this summer's worlds in Osaka, Japan.At first glance, it would appear that the story of Toronto Rush Ultimate is a very short one. After all, the team is barely 6 months old and was born out of the first ever expansion class of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). Having only started in 2012, the AUDL is the first professional Ultimate league in North America. Not unlike football, the object of the game is to pass a flying disc down the field to a teammate in the end zone. However, in Ultimate players may not run while in possession of the disc and must maintain a continuous series of throws. A turnover occurs when the disc is intercepted or hits the ground at any point. Ultimate mixes talented and highly athletic players with breathtaking plays as every game provides fans with 5-10 highlight plays worthy of any SportsCentre Top 10. Players can be frequently seen making diving grabs, unbelievable throws, and posting tough defence. (Check it out for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBaB1SI_Lk4.).
As Mark reached his early twenties, he began to hunger for something more. While visiting his father in Santa Cruz, California, the two became entrenched in a discussion about the newly formed AUDL, Mark's desire to bring his devotion to a new level, and their mutual desire to start a new business venture. The conversation resulted in the AUDL's first Canadian team, the Toronto Rush.
Soon after founding the team, the Rush partnered with Cosmos Sports; the partnership immediately hit the ground running. Drawing from its past experience with over 400 professional teams, including having been charged with the day to day business operations for the Toronto Nationals (MLL), Cosmos has been able to bring a very unique perspective to the team. Cosmos quickly began searching for a home venue, developing a ticket, sponsorship and overall marketing strategy, and preparing for the first official Combine. Within a few weeks, the official Toronto Rush Facebook page was buzzing with more than 800 excited fans. Being the first Canadian team in the AUDL means a lot for the Rush. Every game will have national pride on the line as the Rush travel throughout the United States, playing against elite level American competition..
In preparation for its inaugural season, the Rush will be hosting its first official open combine and professional tryout. Open to all male ultimate players of any skill level, the Rush expect to host an exciting event full of world class Ultimate. The combine will be held at Monarch Park Stadium on November 24, 2012 (Interested in trying out for the Rush? Register for the first Open Combine here: https://www.gosportnet.com/search/event/event-info.php?event_id=17). As part of the Combine, players will undergo a series of professional fitness assessments to gauge the overall condition of each player. .
Cosmos is excited to be part of the first professional ultimate franchise in Canadian history. With the anticipated launch of the official website, along with the arrival of gear and merchandise, the Rush looks to bring a fresh new look to the Toronto sports market..
For more information, please contact Evan Colborne at 1-905-564-4660 Ext. 237