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The Extra-Curricular: Ultimate Frisbee

The following blog post was written by Abby Brook, a senior in the Elliott School studying international affairs and international development.

One of the best choices I made within my first couple weeks at George Washington was going to an Ultimate Frisbee practice. I knew that I wanted to play a sport in college, but hardly knew that Ultimate even existed. After I was cut from the club sport I wanted to play, I was pretty bummed so I tried a couple different teams, including Women’s Ultimate. Once I arrived, I automatically knew that Ultimate was exactly the sport–and team–I was looking for.

You see, Ultimate isn’t like any other sport. Most sports involve physical activity and development of skills–as does ultimate–but it is not just about the game. Ultimate frisbee was created with an important component called Spirit of the Game. USA Ultimate, the main organizational body, describes Spirit of the Game as “The integrity of Ultimate depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game, and this responsibility should remain paramount.” This means that not only must all players respect each other on the field as we work out calls together–no referees–, but it also translates into relationships of respect off the field.

Ultimate is one of the most impressive communities that I have come across. At GW every year, it helps create a home and community for anyone who wants to join. We not only play hard together, but I have found some of my most valuable relationships through the sport. As a community we hold each other accountable to creating an inclusive community and addressing topics like sexual assault and gender inequity.

But this community extends beyond GW. I have been in cities across the US and even the world, where I have been able to find communities through ultimate frisbee. When I was in Chile, I played with a team and was able to make real friends with Chileans in the short period of time I was there. Ultimate is involved in peace and development initiatives globally and is  tackling gender inequity within its own institutions.

If you are interested in playing a sport in college or even need to find a new community, come check out Ultimate Frisbee! You just might find it is the right place for you, and fall in love with a community and a sport along the way.

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