The five-day Ultimate Frisbee Coach Training Camp, celebrating one year of introducing Ultimate Frisbee in Meghalaya through the Chief Minister’s Youth Centre (CMYC) Project, concluded today.
The closing ceremony featured a mini tournament among coaches-in-training from 22 villages across the state.
Collaboration between the state government, Sauramandala Foundation and the Ultimate Players Association of India (UPAI), aka India Ultimate, the governing body for flying disc sports in India, brought the sport to Meghalaya through the CMYC educational project.
The objective of this is to engage youth in the state’s communities through sport and create a platform for fun, growth and learning and also serves as a larger endeavour towards holistic education that the CMYCs are promoting in the rural communities.
The game was particularly chosen to be part of the CMYC project for its unique inclusivity factor, where players of all ages and genders can participate. Ultimate Frisbee is a fast-paced, non-contact, mixed-gender sport that was only just recently introduced to Meghalaya. The sport combines elements of football, basketball, etc and has been rapidly gaining popularity around the world, with players participating in recreational and competitive leagues. The game is played with a flying disc, or frisbee, on a field similar to a football ground.
The game has been introduced through the CMYCs for a year now and commendable improvements have been seen in the dexterity of the coaches in training this time around.
Speaking on this development, Michael Brenner, the coach and trainer during the five-day training camp said, “The level of interaction that I get with the players and coaches from Meghalaya is remarkable. The improvements from last time I saw them are very much evident.” Brenner was also involved in the first training camp for the coaches from Meghalaya last year.
Pundari Kumar, President of India Ultimate also shared the same observation. “Frisbee is as much a mental exercise as it is physical,” he said. “There is also a large social factor involved in the game as well. We at India Ultimate, see the game as a powerful tool towards personal development of an individual.”
One of the unique features of Ultimate Frisbee is that there are no referees; instead, players are expected to make their own calls and resolve any disputes. This concept, known as ‘Spirit of the Game,’ is one of the core principles of the sport and emphasises fair play, respect for opponents, and a genuine love of the game.
The Ultimate Frisbee commemoration event also hints at the possibility of Meghlaya having its own state team in the near future.