by Ernè van Coller
It was beginning 2018 when I had my first Ultimate frisbee game, at that time I was busy with training in Muizenberg. Family of mine invited me to play a game of ultimate with them at UCT (thanks Wian van Zyl), I quickly learned that one of my housemates also knew Ultimate and had a disc!!! Moving to Pretoria in 2019 I found myself most Friday nights on the field learning the game of ultimate. I joined Disc of Hazards and played for the Women’s team, Wicked, at Nationals. When Ultimate was allowed to be played again in 2020, my sister and I joined the Nelspruit Ultimate Frisbee Team (NUF) and had a wonderful time getting to know them as well.
Ultimate is so much more than a sport! My friends and family are probably tired of me talking about Ultimate, it’s just such an amazing game! I have seen children grow in confidence, as we played disc, it gave me opportunities to teach children moral values of treating people with dignity and respect on the field, and to follow rules. A while back I spoke to Youth at a church gathering, teaching them about integrity with playing the game of Ultimate. It is a sport that cultivates a Spirit of responsibility. Learning the rules of the game and signals by yourself helps with cognitive development. Not only does Ultimate help with cognitive development it also advance emotional intelligence. We have the opportunity to discuss different viewpoints, to be honest about mistakes made and learn to handle when corrected. This kind of skills are important in everyday life. And what better way developing this kind of skills?
In 2020 during the Lockdown I was in so much need of playing Ultimate, so I rounded all the children in our street to play Ultimate with us on an open field. It became a regular thing- playing every Monday and Wednesday. It was here where children was encouraged and was given the courage to play and mingle with each other. The relationships build in this time has benefited the children in many ways.
Even though I am a bit of a newbie, I personally have benefited from the game- I enjoy the spirit of friendship, there is a deep care for one another in the Ultimate world. I had opponents come to me literally giving me advise while playing. The fact that there is no referee is a major point for me, I enjoy that rules doesn’t necessarily effect the play of the game and I love the cheerfulness.
Ultimate is more than a sport game- it is a family, it becomes a coach of life and it is might as well be my Friday night date.