On Saturday the 21st of May, members of Gauteng Ultimate road tripped to the Vaal campus of North West University to assist them in launching ultimate as a sport offered by the university.
Sean McCallaghan, Head of Sport, shared that for a number of years sport had been neglected at the university and he had done research as to the ideal sport – one which would have low barriers to entry, would be affordable and inclusive to all students. Ultimate was his first choice !
The Gauteng team was led by Jarrod (Ghost), and included Mike, JP and Lionel L (Ultitude), Justus and Nika (Tuks), Fergus and Ellie (Skyveld), Sam, Jugens, Eric, Johan, and Marrine (NWU Potch) and Lionel S (Zone Rangers).
Once finished with their morning exam, the students trickled down to the field – over 70 attending this inaugural event. JB led the students in a throwing drill to ensure they were comfortable with the disc – raw talent was already apparent. A short demo followed a brief explanation of the rules, and then everyone was ready to play ! The students were divided up into groups of 8 to 10 to play mini matches on smaller fields, with one or two experienced player per group to guide them. The students immediately loved Ultimate and there were many amazing catches and silly end-zone dances.
Ellie, secretary of the GFDA was particularly impressed with the ladies who attended, “there were a large number of women present who were very enthusiastic and athletic – at one point I had a full match of 7 v 7 females going !”
This was also an opportunity for NWU Potch to make a step towards being acknowledged by their university as an official sport. As Ultimate grows in universities in South Africa, we are closer to having an all-uni tournament.
Sean shared the his next step was to have intramural competitions between the residences, before competing in GFDA tournaments and hosting tournaments of their own.
Thank you so much to Sean for spearheading this initiative and to NWU Vaal for hosting us.