UK Ultimate - Our First Year in the School Games

Just 12 months ago, UK Ultimate was eagerly anticipating the sport's launch into the School Games (a Sport England-funded initiative responsible for over 3.5 million sports participation opportunities for young people every year). Now that the school year has ended and the summer holidays are well underway, we want to update the community on our very successful first year!

 

The interest we have seen from Active Partnerships and School Games Organisers (those responsible for organising events and encouraging participation from schools) in running Ultimate events has been huge. Those familiar with the sport won't be surprised to hear that our Spirit of the Game concept has been a major factor in this success, providing the young people taking part the opportunity to develop (and be rewarded for) their communication skills and emotional management, whilst also having fun playing our exciting sport!

 

In order to support teachers and organisers to get the most out of their events, UK Ultimate have directly provided training to over 200 teachers via events connected to the School Games, whilst also dispatching hundreds of discs to schools across the country. Thanks to support from our partners Discraft, and generous donations from our playing community, we were able to part-subsidise the cost of these discs, making the sport more accessible than ever to young people.

 

The summer months saw numerous inter-school competitions being run, with several members of the Ultimate-playing community generously giving their time to support their delivery. The feedback we have had from organisers, teachers and participants has been excellent, with many commenting on how successful the sport was in engaging those young people who normally don't get the chance to represent their school.

 

In Greater Manchester, the Active Partnership added Ultimate as an event at their County Finals and invited each region to send a representative team. In order to select their team, the Tameside region ran an event where no game scores were recorded or collected, only Spirit of the Game scores. At the end of the event, medals were awarded to the teams with the highest Spirit scores, with the highest scoring team progressing to the County Final.

 

At the County Final, all participants received further coaching in the sport before competing in a tournament. The Tameside region’s emphasis on Spirit of the Game was evidenced by their school winning the county-wide Spirit of the Game prize too. Many of these pupils had never represented their school before this summer, but now wore their medals with pride.

 

UK Ultimate are very proud to see the impact that Ultimate is already starting to have on the young people taking part in events, and to see this translating into increased confidence in sport for the participants. Our thanks go out to all those involved in the School Games who have embraced the sport and its values, and also to those from our community who have given their time to support events.

 

If you would like to make a donation to support our work with schools and young people, you can do so quickly and securely via our membership website here.

 

If you are interested in supporting local School Games events/schools and finding out more about how you can help out with Youth Ultimate, please email admin@ukultimate.com.

 

“The children have thoroughly enjoyed their experiences playing Ultimate Frisbee. This is an exciting sport that really encourages team work and respect. The Spirit of the Game element means that children who might normally be intimidated by competitive sport can represent their school and enjoy it. The children thrived in such a positive sporting atmosphere and it was lovely to see them grow in confidence. They were genuinely delighted to be awarded with gold medals after others scored them highly. They didn’t stop smiling all week!” – Rachel Burke, Russel Scott Primary School, Tameside.

 

Russel Scott 2019