GFDA reaches out

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get” … Michael Phelps

I fell in love with Ultimate Frisbee little over a year ago. It started with an invitation to a casual pickup game at a local park. I go back to that day now. Standing there watching some of my now teammates and friends chasing around a ‘flat ball’ thinking to myself “This is crazy. I could never do this”. Never in a hundred years would I have thought or realised that I was about to embark on an epic adventure. Playing Ultimate literally changed my life forever.

I went from nearly throwing up after playing only one point, to being fit enough to play almost every point in a game. I have felt ecstatic elation and giddy happiness after scoring my first point in the end zone. I have learned the value of sportsmanship and Spirit of the Game. I have gone home with broken nails, bruised shins and black eyes. And I have made friends that are now like family to me. These are only some of the reasons I cherish the game of Ultimate.  It has turned me from a couch potato to an advocate for sport and physical exercise.

Almost exactly a year after that game (several road trips, a few awesome tournaments, two black eyes and many new friends later) I saw the formation of the Gauteng Flying Disc Association (GFDA). We had our first meeting on the grass behind the bleachers on the Bozz fields at Wits after the Binnelanders Tournament earlier this year. And I am proud to say that with only a short few months behind us, our committee is going from strength to strength with many new plans for growing and improving our Ultimate community. Which brings me to the thrilling news I have to share. There has been much talk and focus within the South African Ultimate community on developing Ultimate and disc sports at school level. It is with great excitement and pride that the GFDA Outreach would like to announce this incredible opportunity to partner with a local organisation called Move-it, Moving Matters.

We will be collaborating with Move-it, Moving Matters on an initiative that we hope will not only help grow Ultimate and Women’s Ultimate at school level, but also help empower young people in our region. Hopefully we can instil the same sense of pride and hunger to play and push themselves to greater heights through Ultimate and disc sport.

The Move-it, Moving Matters organisation is responsible for coaching and teaching various sports and physical exercise programs at 50 plus schools in Soweto and the Gauteng region. One of the training initiatives used is called GASP (Get Ahead Sports Programme).  An element contained within the GASP kit bag each Grade 6 learner receives is called Flip-it. A disc activity developed with the help of our own Josh Murphy. It engages the learners in several challenges and prepares them for playing ultimate. The GFDA has decided to set up a separate Outreach committee focused on working with Move-it Moving Matters on this partnering initiative.

Our committee objectives will be as follows:

  • Provide training the to the Move-it, Moving Matters interns to teach Ultimate to the learners
  • Provide 50 schools with the necessary equipment by fundraising and finding corporate sponsorship
  • Teach the interns how to play Ultimate in time for them to enter their own team into the Roctober Tournament :D!!
  • Host an Inter- Schools Ultimate tournament on the 17th & 18th of October at the Molestane Recreation Centre in Soweto
  • Introduce Ultimate at St Stithian’s Girls Primary School

As you can imagine, this opportunity is very exciting but also a little bit daunting for us. The Outreach committee will need all the help and man power we can get and I’d like to invite anyone and everyone who would be interested in getting involved with this initiative to contact myself (charlotte.g.jordaan@gmail.com) as soon as possible. We look forward to working with Move-it, Moving Matters and hopefully infecting a whole new generation of kids the Ultimate bug.

Three cheers for Ultimate!!

Run. Jump. Fly.

– Charlotte Jordaan
GDFA Outreach & Development

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