Any sport that can get so many people to sacrifice their weekend sleep must be something worth talking about. Ultimate Frisbee originated in the 1970’s at the whim of a college student and since has evolved manifold to become a fiercely competitive sport played across the world.
Ultimate Frisbee, a disc sport, is the latest trend in recreational sports in India. It is a mixed gender sport that provides men and women an equal platform to express their skills, love for physical activity and the sport itself. Ultimate is a self refereed sport and gives the importance to sportsmanship and morality aka the ‘Spirit of the Game’ more than winning.
The objective of the game is to pass the disc to a player of your team in the opposing end zone (this can be viewed as your goal). You cannot run with the disc, it is essential that you bypass the opposition and throw it to your team member. Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact sport and any contact will be viewed as a foul. There are no referees and the sport is self-regulated.
I caught up with Amit Gore, the team captain of Pune Ultimate Frisbee and Parth Jain, the first member of the team who gave me inputs about the game and shared their thoughts. Flying Spirits, the Pune Ultimate Frisbee Team was an initiative started by Parth Jain, who had just moved from Ahmedabad to Pune in 2010. Parth said that Jaidip Patel, his coach in Ahmedabad, was the one who actually inspired, motivated and mentored him to take up the sport more seriously. So when he moved to Pune to study, he thought why not use this opportunity to give others in Pune an insight as to what this sport has to offer!
When I asked both Amit and Parth why they chose to play Ultimate over any other regular sport like Cricket, Football, Basketball, their answer was simple, “it is the spirit of the game!” The love for the game is seen in the eyes of each and everyone who plays Ultimate and the spirit of the game is what drives the players to play. The Pune team members play every weekend from 7 am on the Shinde School Ground in Sahakar Nagar. Players from different backgrounds and socio-economic conditions are never limited in their participation as there is no costly equipment to be purchased or expensive membership fees to be paid as a precondition to play.The values learnt in this environment will carry the athlete through the sport and out the other side into life. All the members in the team are very accepting and always welcome new members instead of pushing them away.
Amit said, “One cannot limit Ultimate to be just a pick up game. Ultimate is intensely physical and includes a mix of measured teamwork and bursts of individual athleticism. Ultimate is a fun way to trick yourself into getting a lot of exercise. During the game, you will run and jump without realizing that you’re getting an awesome workout. Within several weeks of regular playing, you will notice that you have improved muscular endurance and possess excellent cardio-respiratory health.”
The sport is also getting promoted in schools around the city to teach the children the importance of team spirit and team bonding.
Give this sport a chance and you’ll find your reasons to love it. Also do stop by at the Sahakar Nagar ground on any of the weekends, if you’re ready to run around and throw a bit.
For a fun filled session of ultimate, contact:.
Amit Gore 986483678
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/puneultimatefrisbee/