By Baden Dowie (Zone Rangers)
Reddam House College Bedfordview hosted the first ever Gauteng Ultimate Schools Tournament on the 17th September. The 40 participants included three schools and volunteers from various Gauteng Ultimate clubs.
Teams fielded, were Reddam House with two teams, Elsie Ngidi Primary School (Soweto) with two teams & Thamasanqa Secondary School (Orange Farm) with one team & a Gauteng Ultimate volunteers mentor team.
Because Ultimate is a self officiated game, we deliberately included a mentors team in the pool with to help facilitate possible learning during the game and to let the students game strategy from playing against experienced players. And to our surprise the schools teams scored loads of points against the mentor team. We all very impressed with the skill level of these students. The tournament followed a “round robin” structure giving all teams an opportunity to play each other. The top two finalists where selected based on the sum of points scored over every game the teams played.
Reddam 1 and Thamasanqa Secondary School made it to the finals. Both teams brought their A-game and as the first ever high school Ultimate tournament in Gauteng -the mentors and myself where over-joyed at the level of ultimate these students where playing. Over the 40min final, Reddam and Thamasanqa were neck-and-neck, trading points all the way to the final minute. It was 6:6, Thamasanqa had the disc and looking for the win, they were only meters from the end-zone, when a Reddam player intercepted the disc with a layout-D! Turn-over. Reddam moved the disc swiftly down the field. And with seconds to go Reddam made the catch in the end-zone for the win. 7:6 was the final score.
It was such a great day and so exciting to see youth playing the game of Ultimate at such a high level. After the game the finalists huddled up for a Spirit Circle to give thanks for the great game and the great day of Ultimate. The Spirit Circle at the end of every game reminds us that high competitiveness, high respect, playing the disc and not the man can be played without a referee. The game is run, played and self officiated by the players alone – this, in the ultimate community is known as Spirit of The Game.
Big Thanks to our sponsors: Lipton Ice tea for the delicious ice tea and sun-glasses prizes. Freshbristle.com for fruit, sandwiches and toothbrush prizes. Avios & Kulua for donating discs to each school and thank you to Gauteng Flying Disc Association & South African Flying Disc Association for volunteers and monetary support.
And we look forward to 2017 for more Ultimate tournaments being offered to High Schools across Gauteng and the country.
See you on the field!