Playing Ultimate on a Prosthetic

Features, highlight reel, Sheffield
Matthew “Jeb” Shepherd gives us a look into the challenges and unique experiences he faced playing ultimate after a life-changing surgical procedure…

On the weekend of the 29th and 30th of March 2014, I competed in my first Tour event: Mixed Tour 1 in Cardiff. Playing for Sheffield Steal 2, a promising weekend saw us finish 47th. For me though, playing the event was not about the result, it was the product of years of rehabilitation and hard work to be able to compete as an equal.

I started playing Ultimate in September 2009. After meeting a friend who played during the first year of my degree at University of Sheffield, I decided to take up the sport at the start of my second. Fondly christened ‘Jebend’, I played an indoor beginner tournament in Manchester. Unfortunately, this was the first and only tournament I played as an able-bodied player, and persistent pains in my knee throughout the weekend meant that my involvement in the tournament ended prematurely. However, I had caught the Ultimate bug.
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No Heroes

Brummie, Closing the Gap, GB, highlight reel, WUCC2014

Sion “Brummie” Scone discusses what it takes to be a team player.

Here’s a little experiment.  I want you to close your eyes (not yet, keep reading) and picture yourself playing ultimate in the future, playing at some event that you are going to be working hard for, playing in the “dream game” that defines your season, maybe your playing career.  It could be coaching your student team to the regional “Game to Go” match for the first time, maybe getting onto a big club or national team, maybe playing a big final. Allow yourself a good few minutes, play that over in your mind, allow the vision to develop.

Where are all the Women?

highlight reel, retention, training, UK Ultimate, University, Women's Tour, Womens
Charlie Blair and University Women’s Coordinator Elly White discuss the recruiting and retaining of Women at University level, and how it can improve GB ultimate.
Recruiting women to Ultimate: UNIVERSITY
The recent poor showing at Nationals has been a wake up call to the UK about the problems women’s ultimate is currently facing. A recent debate on The State of Women’s Ultimate in the US (highly recommended viewing) has sought to address the problems that they are facing regarding growth and development. This has inspired the tSG to devote some much needed attention to the situation at home, taking insight from the discussions of our US counterparts to think about what we should be doing to better women’s Ultimate here in the UK.

Much progress has been made since the establishment of Women’s Tour, but the fear remains that the gap between men’s and women’s is growing ever wider as the infrastructure and resources for Open continue to increase at a pace unparalleled in the women’s division. University plays a vital role in ameliorating that margin. This piece serves to make you and your committee both recognise the importance of recruiting and retaining women as well as suggesting the most effective means to do so.

Closing the gap

Canadian Ultimate, Clapham, GB, highlight reel, Japan, Kapow, Rhino., USA Ultimate

David Pichler questions how large the gap between the Big Three and the rest of the world actually is.

In the last 2 weeks, USA Ultimate teams went 36-0.  4 golds.  Dang.

GB teams were competing in all these divisions which Team USA won.  Our medal count wasn’t quite as prolific as our American counterparts, every returning player’s suitcase was a little lighter than hoped.  Most, although not all, medals went to the countries in ‘The Big Three’.

By The Big Three I am refering to USA, Canada and Japan.  These three nations seem to dominate when it comes to medals at the major international events.  In recent years GB have had the focus and talent to push these nations close but never seem able to make the leap from challengers to champions.  Why are these countries ever elusive to us?  That question can be best answered if we look first at what’s getting us in with a shout to begin with.