Published: 23rd June 2018
How Ultimate Frisbee is becoming the go-to game for people in South India's metros
Hyderabad Ultimate Frisbee Association recently organised an Ultimate Frisbee competition from May 18 to 20
After Sunil Chhetri's impassioned plea asking for support for Indian football, here is another sport that can do with our support — Ultimate Frisbee. Yes, we're talking about the fun, recreational game groups play on the beach or at the park. Professionally, this game is a non-contact sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee. It requires two teams with seven members each (age and gender no bar) and embodies the spirit of fair play as there is no referee involved. The players are expected to sort their differences themselves.
The sport is known to have rehabilitated those who would have otherwise devoted their time to unsocial activities
In the spirit of promoting the game, the Hyderabad Ultimate Frisbee Association along with Ultimate Players Association of India, Usha International (title sponsors) and Apollo Hospitals (medical sponsors) organised the second edition of Usha Udaan at Saraswathi Cricket Ground in Gundlapochampalli, Hyderabad from May 18 to 20. Among the eight teams that participated, Stall7 NxG from Chennai emerged as the winners.
This sport promotes fitness among all age groups and welcomes everyone to play
Kartik Singhvi, Tournament director
"Though it's not a mainstream sport, it’s a community-driven one which promotes gender diversity," says Kartik Singhvi, one of the tournament directors who tells us that what works for the sport is its increasing popularity and how it welcomes one and all with open arms. Also, there is more scope for recognition in this sport as opposed to other sports like cricket, which already has its star players. Singhvi hopes that the sport will receive a boost and will be included in the Olympics one day, which will increase the awareness.
Other teams that participated are Discotech, Malakpet Hill Challengers and Goosebumps from Hyderabad; Disc Maniacs from Chennai; TIKS - Discturbia and SlipDiisc from Bengaluru and West Coast Rascals from Mumbai
Akhil Khatri (23) and Shruthi Nathella (24), who lead Stall7 NxG and saw the team through the finals, are passionate about the game. They try to cut down on other commitments to make it for their practice sessions at either Corporation Ground, Nungambakkam or Besant Nagar beach four times a week. "And that's what keeps us motivated. Despite our commitments, we try to find the time to play for three hours, four times a week," informs Khatri, who was introduced to the sport last April by Nathella.
Both Khatri and Nathella feel that apart from the fact that people don't know about the sport, they underestimate how physically demanding it can be. "Many people don't consider this a serious sport, but there is so much action involved. It ought to be taken seriously," feels Nathella, adding that, "some of our folks even ask us if we get paid for it." Overall, the players love the competitive spirit of the sport that demands fitness and tact amongst several other skills. For them, like most other sportspersons, this is their ultimate game.
For more on the association, click on facebook.com/hydultimate/