June 16, 2017, by Kate Rothery
Blog: Get to know our Tri Campus Games Ultimate team
In the latest blog from Ningbo, the UK Ultimate team tell us more about their sport and their Tri Campus Games experience.
Tell us a little a bit about your sport…
Ultimate Frisbee is probably the least well-known sport at the Tri Campus Games, so it’s great to have been given the opportunity to represent the university here in China. It’s a fast-paced sport which is uniquely self-refereed. This means that the players make their own calls and discuss them to agree the outcome and that a friendly atmosphere is encouraged. Every individual is responsible for upholding the rules of the game. It’s a great spectator sport which makes it ideal for tri-campus; even if you can’t quite follow the rules, you can still witness the massive hucks and diving blocks.
How have you found the Games so far?
As the UK team, we are used to playing in the cold, wind, and rain. Although we were expecting the heat and humidity, the weather was something that probably put us at a disadvantage against the locals and Malaysians who revelled in these conditions. Especially in our first two games – which were held on the same day – we came out strong in the first half but got tired in the second and were eventually beaten. We adapted to this through the week and had some better results but were unable to avoid a third place finish at the hands of the well-trained Chinese and Malaysian teams. The standard was really high over the whole week with 4 athletes competing who have represented their respective countries.
Tri- Campus Games is all about Friendship through Sport – how has Ultimate Frisbee embodied this?
The nature of Ultimate makes it a very sociable sport and this was something that continued during the Tri-Campus Games. The Chinese team were incredibly welcoming, taking us out to dinner almost every night, showing us their culture, giving us gifts, and helping us order the best (and weirdest) foods. The Malaysians are all fluent in English and are super easy to get along with, always inviting us for food and to play cards or basketball. All three Ultimate teams hit it off really well, which is really good considering that many of the students will be exchanging to one of the other campuses over the course of their degree. Having played in the Games, it is easy to see why the motto is ‘Friendship through Sport’, even though it might sound cheesy at first; playing competitively against new friends is a great way to quickly become close. I’m sure all 18 players from the three teams will stay in touch, although we’ll have to work around the Facebook ban in China!
What has been your highlight of the Games?
From learning different Chinese phrases (ranging from rude to semi-useful) to playing some high-level matches, and from watching some other really competitive sports to eating pig brain from a hotpot, there have been a ridiculous number of highlights this week. The best thing about the trip for me was when we traded shirts with our Malaysian and Chinese counterparts at the end of the week; not only did we all pick up some sweet new stash, but it really showed how close we had all become over the week that everyone was eager to have the chance to take home their new friends’ shirts as a real piece of memorabilia.