Ultimate: the new sport on the block

Click to watch the game in action
Click to watch the game in action

Canterbury uni students Keith Algar and Chris Carr are currently juggling studying and training for the Ultimate Frisbee world champs in London this July. They have both been selected for the NZ men’s u23 team, Kea. Keith is in his second year studying engineering and Chris, who is our Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr’s son, is in his fourth year studying engineering and biology.

Keith and Chris started playing Ultimate for similar reasons. Keith says “I joined the Ultimate club on campus (UCUC – University of Canterbury Ultimate Club) because I thought it would be fun and now I’m representing my country in it.” Chris started playing to meet new people during his first year at uni.

Officially known as Ultimate, the aim of the game is to catch the Frisbee in the other team’s end zone. For the championship tournament, the first team to reach 17 goals in 100 minutes wins. Ultimate is a high intensity sport that demands a lot of athleticism. Keith says that to meet these demands for the NZ team they are expected to train for 3+ hours a day!

According to Chris, the sport offers a great balance of social interaction and competitiveness, “It’s all self-refereed, which means that the players on the field are responsible for calling fouls. This means that players generally have more of a focus on playing fairly. The game has the benefit of attracting quite cool people and you make pretty good friends.”

Apart from the fun side of the sport, Keith says that the trip to London comes with a hefty price tag. “The cost of the trip is around $6500-$7000. I’m funding this through donations from generous business grants and working, as well as some family assistance.”

Chris and Keith say that getting into the top eight is their goal at the world champs, as the team finished 10th in 2013. If you want to see what the game looks like, click the image above to see the highlights reel from another championship in 2012.

Ultimate is a growing sport in NZ, and it sounds like heaps of fun! If you’re fit and looking for a new sport or a new way to meet people then you should consider Ultimate. Membership to the UCUC is free!

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