Ultimate seamlessly combines the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of American football.
A game of ultimate is played between two teams using a flying disc on a field with end zones, similar to American football. Teams score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone.
Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense. Ultimate traverses economic and social barriers, and breaks down gender stereotypes.
What makes Ultimate special to most people who play it though is the Spirit of the Game™(SOTG), a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees.
The primary guidelines for SOTG being Rules knowledge and use, awareness of fouls and contact, fair mindedness, positive attitude and communication.
Ultimate is played in more than 80 countries by an estimated 7 million men and women.
In a time where marketing, and commerce take over a large part of the growth of most sports we get to partake in, Ultimate emphasises on athleticism and SOTG equally.
Sumedha is a 29 year old from Nainital. She was first introduced to ultimate as a team building exercise while she was part of the Gandhi fellowship program in Ahmedabad.
While occasionally tossing a disc around, she didn't start actively playing till after more than an year of knowing the sport.
Her engagement with the sport only became more active after a dear friend, who was trying to put together a team, had an unexpected injury. It was then that she and some of the co-fellows took up the task of running sessions for the team that he was working towards building.
Almost 9 years ago, there was almost always a need for women athletes on most teams. This allowed her to participate in many national events as a pick-up player with different clubs.
It was this connect that changed her course of life..
What amazed her, even then, was the community.
Having never played a sport before, she took to ultimate like she never had imagined.
After a year or two of showing up only for tournaments with different clubs from all over the country, she moved to Chennai to be able to train better.
8 years down, she has played at most of the major tournaments in the country and has had podium finishes with different clubs over the years.
She has had multiple opportunities to be mentored by coaches from India and abroad and has taken up projects to support ultimate in local communities wherever she has been.
An active member of the ultimate community, she truly believes in the potential of Ultimate to bring about positive changes in community spaces and she loves to work towards promoting the sport in her own capacity.
Having worked in the field of education, she also feels that ultimate is an amazingly effective tool to initiate dialogue and understand gender and group dynamics with groups of children and adults alike.
Now, she has earned a chance to represent the country at the Asia Oceanic Beach Ultimate Championship to be held in Japan from the 13th - 16th of June.
It is her first chance at representing the country. Before Ultimate, this wasn't something she ever imagined herself doing.
And to be able to do it for a sport that had changed so much about her life, a sport she loves- the feeling is an overwhelming mix of excitement, gratitude and pride.
As an emerging sport in the geographies of India, Ultimate still does not have the level of outreach that some mainstream sports do.
Sumedha is partially short of putting together the funds for this campaign.
To help make this championship a reality for Sumedha and the Indian team, it is YOU who can make the dream come true.