World Championships coming to London Colney
The world championships of Ultimate Frisbee are coming to London Colney this summer with 40 teams battling it out across three divisions to be crowned champions.
Running from July 12-18 at University College London sports ground, thousands of competitors and spectators are expected to descend on London Colney. There are three teams for Great Britain, one in each of the open, mixed and women’s divisions, vying to take down the traditionally strong teams sent by USA, Canada and Japan.
Si Hill, chief executive of UK Ultimate, said: “Ultimate is an incredibly exciting game to watch. Even if you don’t know the rules, the athleticism and speed involved is breathtaking and we hope the spectacle brings in some new fans as well as old.
“It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the country both in schools and in the wider community and this tournament is going to be an amazing showcase. The bid to bring the championships to London was a long process, but we can’t wait to welcome the international ultimate community to our capital and to watch some world class athletes compete for the crown.”
Ultimate is a fast-moving team sport that has experienced huge growth in the past decade. Although frequently compared to sports like football or American Football, Ultimate has some unique features that set it apart. For example, there are no referees and players must self-referee by a code of conduct known as ‘Spirit of the Game’.
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Whilst not yet in the Olympics, Ultimate is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and is a prominent sport in the World Games, where the US team was last time voted the team of the tournament for claiming the gold medal in California.
It is played in over 50 countries world wide.
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Hill added: “Whilst the UK community is already excited to come down and watch, we’re also encouraging teachers and parents to come down to see what ultimate has to offer for children. It’s fast-paced, played in mixed teams, and being self-refereed, forces players to think about the value of fair but competitive play; something we have seen embraced by Youth Sport Trust and Sport England in the development project Sporting Promise.
Sir Steve Redgrave, the project’s ambassador, describes the sport as inclusive and exciting.
The tournament’s opening ceremony will take place from 3pm on July 12 at University College London Sports Ground, Bell Lane, London Colney, Herts, AL2 1BZ. The finals will be played at 11.30am (mixed), 1.45pm (women’s) and 4pm (open) on July 18.