City warms to ‘Ultimate’

Ahmedabad Ultimate, News, Programs

Times Of India Ahmedabad
Date: May 15, 2009;
Section: Times Sport;  Page: 19

City warms to ‘Ultimate’
Lionel Rodricks

Ahmedabad: The sprawling playgrounds of St Xavier’s High School Loyola Hall are bustling with activity. The annual summer holiday sports camp is on in full swing with record number of schoolchildren from across the city showing their skills in eight traditional disciplines — and one unconventional sport called ‘Ultimate’.

Played with a frisbee, this seven-a-side game is unique in the sense that it has no referees or linesmen. The rival teams swing the frisbee to their team mates and advance towards the rival goal. Says Dharmesh Mistry, who returned to India after spending most of his life in the United Kingdom and who is aiming to spread the joys of the game in Ahmedabad: “The aim is not winning or losing but nurturing the spirit of sport. Players have to resolve fouls on their own; the values of good sportsmanship and camaraderie and encouraged.” Ultimate is also a speedy and strenuous game, played over an hour of almost non-stop action with five substitutions per game.

Loyola principal Father Fernand Durai said, “We have 1,029 campers drawn from various schools. I am grateful to the 61 coaches, assistants and helpers for their voluntary work.” Assistant camp co-ordinator Elaijah Samuel said, “Parents are still approaching me for enrollment. They want their children to be busy on the field.”

The children have taken to almost all sports, whether, it is swimming, basketball or skating. In fact, football has seen more enthusiasts — 178 — than cricket. Cricket has 116 players getting trained by Pankaj Jhaveri, captain of the Gujarat Ranji Trophy team that inflicted an ignominious defeat upon mighty Mumbai at Valsad in 1977.

FREE-BEES: Kids playing ‘Ultimate’ frisbee as part of the summer camp at St Xavier’s Loyola

FREE-BEES: Kids playing ‘Ultimate’ frisbee as part of the summer camp at St Xavier’s Loyola

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