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As president of the Philadelphia Phoenix final frisbee group, Christina Chung is one in all few girls of coloration who personal knowledgeable U.S. sports activities franchise.
It’s not one thing the training medical physician anticipated so as to add to her resume, however she’s been a pioneer all through her profession. As director of the Drexel Dermatology Heart for Transplant Sufferers, Chung and her group have been the primary to describe skin cancers in non-white transplant recipients and analysis particular remedies for these sufferers of coloration.
Chung’s work was extensively cited, however in 2017 she got here to a head with Drexel administration, and led a sequence of rallies towards what she and colleagues felt have been “immoral directors.” She resigned in protest the next 12 months, together with most of her division. The college enforced a non-compete clause for everybody who left, she mentioned, efficiently blocking them from making use of for brand spanking new tutorial jobs. As a substitute, Chung opened a non-public dermatology follow and appeared for different alternatives.
What got here knocking: the possibility to become majority owner of the Phoenix, one in all 22 skilled groups within the American Final Disc League.
A Philly native and Temple Med grad who’s now 45, Chung didn’t develop up enjoying frisbee. When she began relationship now-husband Jeff George, a lifelong aficionado, she took to it virtually instantly. In 2004, she started enjoying with George within the Philadelphia Space Disc Alliance, the place they co-captained a group to a number of top-place finishes.
“It’s like a cross between soccer and soccer,” Chung mentioned. She’d at all times performed area hockey, softball, and different “ball sports activities,” and he or she loves that disc-throwing is totally different. “[Ultimate] provides a complete new dimension to the sphere of sports activities.”
Chung and George, 48, additionally a medical physician, had tossed across the thought of shopping for into a professional final group earlier than, however in the end determined it wasn’t the correct time. When the possibility got here up once more, they jumped in.
The Phoenix’s earlier homeowners, who stay in Dallas and personal an AUDL group there, felt it will be good for Philly’s crew to have native possession. Phoenix participant and GM Mike Arcata made the connection, and the deal closed in early 2019.
Translating her dermatology expertise to a professional sports activities franchise wasn’t computerized. “In medical faculty, they don’t give attention to enterprise lessons,” Chung famous.
The Phoenix has a roster of 35 complete gamers, two full time workers, and a finances of round $150,000. To run the corporate, she leaned into the self-discipline picked up in her tutorial analysis background — and solicited recommendation from her many relations in enterprise and finance.
One among Chung and George’s instant objectives was to contain the group extra locally and widen the viewers for the straightforward, inexpensive sport. The couple started organizing group clinics the place Phoenix gamers helped native youngsters study the sport.
Within the fall of 2019, Chung took the push for range league-wide.
She helped launch the AUDL Inclusion Initiative, and have become co-chair of the committee, which “strives to extend racial and cultural range and inclusion … by partaking communities of coloration and partnering with individuals who share the identical mission.”
When the pandemic led the AUDL to cancel its 2020 season, Chung stepped as much as chair the league’s COVID job drive. She helped develop well being protocols and monitor developments all through the disaster.
In October of final 12 months, Chung grew to become the league’s chief medical officer, serving to set security pointers for this 12 months’s AUDL season, which runs through September.
Since 2013, the Phoenix had been enjoying at Garthwaite Stadium in Conshohocken, and the pressured break supplied an opportunity to hunt out a brand new residence area.
“You’ll be able to’t have a Philadelphia sports activities group and play outdoors of town, within the suburbs,” Chung mentioned.
After a bunch of looking and negotiating, she and George inked a deal to play on what’s often known as the South Philly Tremendous Web site. Owned by the college district and used for numerous highschool video games, the sphere sits proper throughout Packer Avenue from town’s most important sports activities advanced. The brand new homeowners knew that enjoying within the shadow of Lincoln Monetary Subject and Residents Financial institution Park was the correct place to be in the event that they needed the Phoenix to turn out to be a basic Philly sports activities group.
Now to fill these 4000 basic bleacher seats. That’s the place new co-owner Johnny “Goodtimes” Nottingham is available in.
Maybe greatest often known as a Quizzo grasp, Goodtimes, 46, has been a staple of the Philadelphia leisure scene for 20 years. In March, he reached out through Twitter to counsel a Phoenix branded t-shirt for his attire firm, Shibe Classic Sports activities
The Phoenix head of social media introduced this message to Chung, who was thrilled. One among her and George’s first dates was at a Johnny Goodtimes Quizzo occasion, it seems, so she instantly arrange a Zoom assembly. Nottingham is a longtime frisbee participant and fan, and the meet-cute blossomed right into a full-on partnership, the place he assumed the official title of group “enjoyable czar.”
“Generally you simply should throw warning to the wind,” mentioned Nottingham, true to his “Goodtimes” moniker, “What’s the worst case state of affairs? We’ve a hell of an excellent time on gameday!”
These gamedays in South Philly have begun, with native foods and drinks on web site, plus numerous youngsters actions and leisure throughout halftime. Try pics from the house opener right here.
Tickets, available online, are $12, or $10 for teenagers, with youngsters below 6 admitted free.