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!

Download the new UC Finder app

Click to watch the UC Finder app in action

Click to watch the UC Finder app in action

UC has developed a new app, UC Finder, to help new students and visitors find their way around our campus. The app is available to download free on Android and iPhone.

The app has a really simple interface, allowing you to easily locate your destination on campus such as lecture theatres, cafés, car parks, bike stands, libraries, computer workrooms, departments and other facilities.

Each location is shown on an interactive map and if your GPS is enabled the map will indicate where you are and highlight the path to your destination.

It’s really handy to have, so make sure you download it to your device today!

Have a look at the video linked above to see the app in action and to find out other ways of finding your way around in case your phone dies!

UC take out University Challenge!

Click to see my interview with team captain Gerald Pfeifer

Click to see my interview with team captain Gerald Pfeifer

You may have seen on Prime last Saturday the final episode of the 2015 University Challenge series…which we won!

The show had not run in New Zealand since 1989, so after a 25-year hiatus it’s pretty awesome to have UC take out the win.

Our team featured Gerald Pfeifer as the captain as well as Daniel Redmond, Rachael Harris, Stewart Alexander and Liam Boardman.

Together they travelled to Invercargill last winter break to film the series over a week. They were sworn to secrecy about the result of the show for nine months until screening!

The UC team faced a real challenge against Victoria University in the semi-final, but used their speed on the buzzers to knock them out. When it came to the final against Auckland University we were on a roll, and in the final minutes secured the crucial points to win the series.

I caught up with Gerald to see what it was like being on TV, and what was involved behind the scenes. Make sure you click on the video above to hear what it felt like to win the series!

If you didn’t catch the series on TV, you can watch online here with your Sky Go login.

Click here to read more about the win and Canterbury’s history on the show.