Great Britain wins historic silver medal at World UItimate Championships

The Great Britain Men’s Ultimate team won its first ever medal at global level last week, taking World Championship silver in Osaka: a historic achievement during the UK’s ‘summer of sport'.

The WFDF World Ultimate Championships (WUGC), like the Olympics, runs on a four year cycle, with the GB men’s team bettering its fourth place finish from 2008, this time losing in the final to the USA. GB defeated Australia and Sweden in tight games in the quarter- and semi-finals respectively.

WUGC 2012, held during July in Osaka, Japan, saw 22 nations and over 65 teams compete for international supremacy across five playing divisions – men’s, women’s, mixed, men’s masters and women’s masters – with GB Ultimate entering squads into all competitions.

UKU chief executive Si Hill commented: “The UK has been a dominant Ultimate-playing country in Europe for some time, but has previously struggled to break into the medals at World Championships in the major divisions”

“This win is the culmination of two years of extremely hard work since the team was formed following national trials in 2010. That hard work has paid off spectacularly, and the whole Open squad should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Reflecting on the team’s achievement, GB Men’s coach, Sion Scone, said:  “I have to say just how much the support of the UK’s Ultimate playing community meant to us during the week at WUGC. All of the supportive messages really made us aware of what our results meant, not just to us, but to the UK’s Ultimate scene as a whole.

“We’ll put the loss in the final down to nerves and, next time, we will be better prepared. The only way is up for GB Ultimate from here. We’ll keep pushing and we will get there.”

GB Ultimate’s combined performance across it’s men’s, women’s and mixed teams at WUGC has also brought with it the bonus of qualification to compete at the next World Games, being held in 2013 in Cali, Colombia, which is often used to showcase sports hoping to gain future Olympic status.

In the immediate future, GB Ultimate is shifting its focus from its senior squads towards the impending World Junior Ultimate Championships, being held in Dublin in August, with its U20 men’s and U17 women’s teams tipped to perform particularly highly.

UKU is also soon to launch a long-term programme to put ‘Ultimate in every school’, to drive forward youth participation in the sport and build on the Matalan Sporting Promise, run in partnership with the Youth Sports Trust and championed by Sir Steve Redgrave.

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Tom Howard, UKU media manager, pr@ukultimate.com, 07834 457886
Si Hill, UKU chief executive, si.hill@ukultimate.com, 0844 8045949
 
NOTES FOR EDITORS:

1.    About Ultimate: Invented in 1968, organised competition now takes place on six continents. To compete at the highest level, Ultimate players require speed, agility and endurance.

2.    Ultimate has one unique feature that sets it apart in world sport; there are no referees, even at international level. Players self-referee games, honestly adhering to the highest levels of sportsmanship, defined in the sport as Spirit of the Game (SOTG), admitting their own fouls and rule violations. Outstanding SOTG is as highly regarded in Ultimate as winning, and is the sport’s foundation.

3.    Enjoyed by millions of players the world over, Ultimate is a highly athletic, fast-moving, non-contact, seven-a-side team sport played with a flying disc.

4.    In 2008, Ultimate was officially recognised by UK Sport and the home country Sports Councils: Sport England, sportscotland, Sports Council Wales and Sport Northern Ireland. Ultimate is also a sport showcased at the World Games.

5.    UK Ultimate (UKU) is the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UKU is here to support, assist and encourage players and teams at all levels of the exciting sport of Ultimate. We phrase this commitment as follows: 

UK Ultimate works towards the goal that everyone should have an excellent experience of Ultimate in the UK. We intend to lead and support the UK's development into the World's leading ultimate community. We will maintain and protect the Spirit of the Game as the underlying principle in everything we do.

Ultimate has been growing steadily in the UK for many years, and players can be found across the whole country, with a player base estimated to be in excess of 15,000. Internationally, the number of people playing Ultimate regularly is estimated at 2.2 million, and those playing casually at 7 million. Visit the UKU website for more information. The UKU is a member of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF).

6.    The World Ultimate and Championships (WUGC) is the pinnacle of international Ultimate competition for national sides. WUGC 2012 was organised by Ultimate’s world governing body, WFDF, and run by the Japan Flying Disc Association (JFDA).

 

Division / Winner / GB placing
Open (Men’s) / USA / 2nd – world silver medalists
Women’s / Japan / 7th
Mixed / Canada / 5th
Masters-Open / Canada / 5th
Masters-Women / USA / 5th

Photos available:

www.nzsnaps.com/Ultimate/WUGC2012        

www.ultimatephotos.org/Ultimate/WUGC-2012

7.    World Games 2013

8.    World Junior Ultimate Championships     

9.    Matalan Sporting Promise