Chennai Ultimate Frisbee club that has enthused many young adults to take up the sport now reaches out to schools
Sugand, a class VII student, used to see frisbee enthusiasts from the Chennai Ultimate Frisbee club play on the beach. He joined the club a year-and-a-half ago, learnt the techniques of the game and participated in two national tournaments with his friends, some of whom are a decade older than him. Like Sugand many young children will soon have an opportunity to swing the disc.
Manu Karan, president and co-founder of the club says, “In order to have a widespread, sustainable sporting culture for Ultimate Frisbee we are starting an outreach programme for schools. Other cities like Ahmedabad and Bengaluru are also putting similar programmes in place.”
Club members, in teams of three and four, will go to schools during the summer holidays and train children. Abhinav Shankar, secretary of the club and one of the coaches says, “We will demonstrate the game to the children. Based on the number of signups, we plan to work on the schedule of the summer training camp. The camp will be for a month. They will be trained in the sport, following which a tournament will be held during the holidays.”
The children will not only be taught the rules and various techniques of the sport but also be made to undergo a healthy fitness regimen.
The club has approached four schools to introduce Ultimate Frisbee for their middle school students. However, it was challenging to convince the schools. Arun Pandiyan, a member of the club and one of the coaches says, “They initially thought that Ultimate Frisbee is a casual game and not a sport, until we told them it is very popular in the U.S. and is a part of the school sport curriculum there. We also mentioned that the game does not have an official referee and the children will have to sort out any conflict during the match by themselves in a cordial way. This helps in the overall development of their personality.” Arun adds, “In one of the schools we had a demonstration and the students picked up the game and showed a lot of enthusiasm.” The club has a plan to make the school outreach programme a long-term initiative. “This summer our focus is on schools and, next year we plan to conduct a similar programme in colleges,” says Manu.
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