Move over cricket and hockey. India is now participating in the World Under 24 Ultimate Frisbee Championships to be held in Perth, Australia from 7th to 13th January, 2018. 41 countries will be participating in this prestigious event.
The Team India U24 Mixed squad, supported by BookASmile, the charity initiative of BookMyShow, comprises of 23 athletes (11 women and 12 men) of varied socio-economic backgrounds hailing from 6 different cities across India. These athletes were selected based on merit from a pool of 270 players from across the country by the Ultimate Players Association of India (UPAI) in two rigorous rounds of tryouts.
Preparing for these World Championships in the last five months, Team India has undergone four training camps and competed in a national tournament. This team will also be the first Indian Ultimate team to feature in the opening game of a World Championship: They will play against the hosts Australia on Sunday 7th January 2018 at 12:30 IST.
Farzana Cama Balpande, Head of BookASmile, says, “India is a land of abundant talent and we are happy to be partnering with organisations such as UPAI that are relentlessly working in unconventional spaces towards unearthing and nurturing such talent and their dreams and aspirations.”
Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport played by over 5 million players worldwide. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has granted its global governing body, the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) full recognition in 2015, and since, paved the way for introduction of the sport in the summer Olympics.
The sport has been played in India since 2008, attracting more than 9500 participants from over 15 states across the country. National tournaments are hosted almost every other moths through cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Surat and Ahmedabad. Indian players have also competed in international competitions, and most recently performed spectacularly at the World Championships of Beach Ultimate (WCBU) in France, in July 2017 by finishing 5th, the highest our country has ever finished in this sport.
Played with a flying disc, Ultimate is a sport where men and women play on the same team. Additionally, it is self-refereed even at the highest level. This requires players to know and adhere to the rules of the game and to be accountable for their actions and decisions on the field. At tournaments the team with best sportsmanship is awarded the “Spirit of the Game” award, a respected accolade on par with winning the tournament.\
Team India has won this award numerous times at World Championships. The values of integrity, respect, equality and inclusion emphasised by the Spirit of the Game have made Ultimate an excellent sport to use as a tool for community building and character development. Over 20 organisations have channelled Ultimate to uplift marginalised youth in India.
Thank you for reading the story until the very end. We appreciate the time you have given us. In addition, your thoughts and inputs will genuinely make a difference to us. Please do drop in a line and help us do better.
The CSR Journal Team