Friday, 8 May 2009

MT2 and the international profile of UK Ultimate

Only a few hours to go before I catch my train up to East Didsbury for MT2. The full seedings are now out and the first day will see some pretty great games including a rematch of MT1 semi final between GB World Games Squad and Jeremy Codhand. For both teams it will be their first game of the competition so thats where I'll be having my lunch! It's great to see that the organisation of UK Ultimate tournements is steadily improving, there are always new initiatives aimed at providing a more professional atmosphere to the whole thing, which is what we should expect from our National Governing Body! This works because of the great number of people we have in the UK who are passionate about the wellbeing of our sport, especially its development. Asides from the UKU run tournements there are also plenty of other competitions that take place all over the UK. Many of them are run by students for students whereas club players around the UK tend to run 1 day invitationals aimed at forging mutual gain situations by which captains can fine tune their teams by playing against teams of similar standards. What the UK is missing however is the massive annual tournement that attracts international squads from all over the world and has a reputation for quality ultimate. I'm talking about the likes of Paganello, Wonderful Copenhagen and Windmill Windup.

The UK needs to put itself on the map as a place to visit to play against other top teams beyond those competitions that are part of European qualifiers and the like. Like the other huge, fun, competitive comps in Europe it would work to raise the profile of ultimate here in the UK and provide those in the UK not yet ready to travel and play at the elite level the chance to meet international players on their own turf.

I would love to have a go at running one of these tournements, they all started off as pretty low key affairs with small numbers of team but a secret ingredient was added somewhere along the line that made them into the gargantuan frisbee festivals that they are today. They improve year on year and create an excitement in the international ultimate community that comeptitions in the US and the Far East manage on an even more regular basis. The UK seems to be missing a great opportunity here as we have some of the top teams in Europe in one of the best cities in Europe. Any ideas what's missing?

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