Ultimate recognised by UK Sport

UK's Newest Sport

UK Ultimate is delighted to announce that on 10th November 2008 confirmation was received that Ultimate has been officially “recognised” by UK Sport and the home country Sports Councils: Sport England, sportscotland, Sports Council Wales and Sport Northern Ireland.


This is an exciting step in the development of ultimate in this country because it acknowledges the sport has reached a new level of maturity.

At a high level, the Sports Councils look at two main areas when considering recognition of a sporting activity: “is it sport?” and “is it sustainable?”  Of course, for those of us that play or have played ultimate, it will be no surprise that the game clearly meets the “is it sport?” criteria.  The “sustainability” area looks at questions around player numbers, the structure of competitions, the international situation, and so on.  We estimate the number of players in the UK to be approaching 10000 – especially given the big jump in schools participation in the last 2 years.  More and more we are hearing about schools that have an ultimate club, or even have ultimate on the PE curriculum.  Sports council recognition demonstrates that the UK’s official bodies can see and agree with us that ultimate is here for the long term.

So will we get external funding now?  It is important that players and clubs do not receive the false impression that ultimate will soon be awash with government funding!  In the first instance, recognition is just what it says it is.  Recognition: external and official confirmation that ultimate should be viewed as a sport – and in particular a sporting activity that is played in the UK.  It is possible that some players and clubs may find this un-blocks access to certain types of fund raising opportunities, but it is by no means a guarantee of funding for UK Ultimate or individuals.

Perhaps most of all it is worth stopping to consider that this milestone also means official acceptance of, and support for, self-refereeing and the Spirit of the Game.

Added to other recent achievements such as qualifying for the World Games 2009, it looks like ultimate in the UK is set for an exciting few years!