The first round of fixtures are done and dusted, we got a taste of big pitch indoors for the first time and Iron Mandelas have announced themselves as the team to beat. Games were competitive, well spirited and full of big plays, even if it was a bit more tiring than regular indoors.

Video highlights:

Match reports:

 Pirates vs Farflung  

Farflung started brightly against Pirates, trading up then taking the first break to lead 4-2, their girls striking deep for the majority of their scores with spicy endzone grabs from newbie Nicole Wang and Briana Weisgerber. Pirates were able to counter by throwing a zone to slow down Flungs slick offense in a tight first half battle where the Pirate’s veterans struggled to find their sea legs and Farflung allowed their new stars to shine. The Glasgow uni freshers were particularly impressive, cutting like seasoned pros, relishing the opportunity to play with some of the first teamers. Eliza Paynel slotted seamlessly into the Farflung ranks taking on plenty of responsibility as a cutter and thrower, showing how much those early morning training sessions have paid off. Pirates Cap’n Nicky Shaw made an astute tactical change on defense to shut down Flungs potent female threat and the Pirates were able to go on a run to take half. Slick handling and sharp cuts kept Farflung in touch, but the game took a decisive turn when influential handler Iain Campbell glankled and the Flung men were forced to play savage.  The Pirates steadied the ship and sailed to a 13-7 victory.

Big Cats vs Iron Mandelas 

Meanwhile on pitch 2… The Big Cats were looking to start the season with a show of force. Three hucks in the first three points showed the Iron Mandela’s that the Big Cats were here to make big plays, it’s a shame all three fell incomplete. Mandelas started dominantly, knowing that the only way to kill a Cat is to catch it sleeping. They approached the match the way Tony Stark approaches a free bar: hard, and with purpose, their streamlined squad taking control, using their familiar connections to great effect and racking up a 6 point lead. A combination of hefty wall-tickling hucks, springy receivers and surprisingly good Ultimate (don’t lie, you were all surprised) had caught the Cats napping. Once the excitement of playing full pitch indoors had worn off the Cats extended their claws and started to put up a fight. Ali Brown and Christine Duncan imposed a more patient style of offense, waiting for the right opportunities to find Cammy Mackie and next-gen star Marta Casero striking long. Though the Cats were able to pull back a few breaks Iron Mandelas were always in control and took the game 8-11.

Pirates vs Iron Mandelas 

Without a hefty supply of rum to use as distraction the Mandelas resorted to just playing some Ultimate. Beautiful skies from Dan Mcbride and a sickeningly good save from Andres demonstrated the power of the Iron Man suit. The Mandela handlers sliced through the Pirates defense early on in game 2 and with less females on board the ship (playing 5-2 mixed) the Pirates struggled to maintain the balance to keep their boat afloat. They rallied valiantly to stay in touch and had several chances to bring the game to within a point, the disc crossing the endzone line 3 or 4 times in a point the Pirates ended up conceding. However, the relentless speed of Mandela’s attack and their ability to send it deep from anywhere on the field kept their noses in front throughout the match. Pirates never gave up and a late charge featuring plenty of layouts (Finlay Watsons bird like diving score was a particular highlight) gave them a glimmer of hope. The score didst tip and turn like a schooner in a hurricane but ultimately the Mandelas claimed the bounty, taking the win 7-8 as the clock ran out. This game had a slightly bizarre ending as the teams trialled the 2v2 tie break system, it was pretty exciting for the crowd but energy sapping for the players and the rules have been revised to 4v4 for any games still tied at the end of time.

 Big Cats vs Farflung 

Big Cats faced up against Farflung with both teams looking to get off the mark. Unfortunately for Flung, the Cats were on the prowl and their refined long game got them off to a flying start. Flung were able to compete in most areas but found themselves constantly undone by their oppositions aerial presence (aka Mackie) and all round disc skills. Fresher Henrik Young and relative veteran Lucas Ferreira-Correia cut hard and moved the disc well but Flung suffered with reduced numbers for this game and quickly tired. As the game wore on Big Cats took advantage of the space underneath as Farflung tried to limit deep options. Flung ran out of steam and Big Cats took the win 11-4.

Farflung captain Jae Sng:
“The whole team learnt a lot from the Big Cats and we developed better cohesion throughout the days play”.

Big Cats captain Matt T:
“Some new and old faces on Farflung was great to see and it was a very enjoyable game”.

Spirit of the game 

In honour of international spirit of the game day, each team awarded a prize to an individual opponent who displayed particularly high spirit on the day. Congratulations to Alice, Jae, Cammy, Lottie and Christine!

Table, Scores and Fixtures:

All the Indoor League info is available here.

Week 2 Preview:

The big showdown will be Pirates vs Big Cats with the victor taking prime position to challenge Mandelas for the title. Pirates will have a chance to exact revenge upon the league leaders in a must win second game for them. Farflung will once again field a mix of experienced and beginner players, success will depend on who turns up for them this week but we know they have a lot of talent in reserve. They’ll be the underdogs against Mandelas in a top vs bottom game and will look to improve on this weeks performance in their rematch against Big Cats. Mandelas look unstoppable just now but the post Cone hangover is a stormy environment and can weaken even the strongest iron. Can anyone take down the league leaders? Are Cats meaner than Pirates? Will Farflung turn their fortunes around? All these questions and more will be answered this Sunday!

 

There are some big changes to the Glasgow indoor league this year, a new venue, new format and a batch of new teams. In fact, I’m not even sure we should call it the Glasgow indoor league given that we are no longer in Glasgow and we’re now using outdoor rules, but it’s engraved on the trophy so let’s stick with it. Now in it’s 5th edition the league has been revamped to take advantage of the large indoor 3G field at Ravenscraig, allowing us to play big pitch 7v7 indoor games for the first time. It’ll be just like playing outdoors but with more scoobers and less rain. In another first, we are also officially changing the league to a mixed competition to reflect the increasing number of local female ultimate players and our developing women’s and mixed scenes. The format is simple, teams play each other 2 times across 3 weekends, the team with the most wins claims the trophy. Sadly we have lost our reigning double champions Dark Horses along with league stalwarts Glue Factory but we have 4 strong teams vying to take home the Crystal Fox.

FAR FLUNG

The boys and girls in black an gold know how to play a bit of mixed indoors and they have medals to prove it. Fresh from their triumph at university nationals they should be brimming with confidence and hard to beat. While the rest of us have been working on our off-season “gains” the uni teams have been in full swing, training several times a week and competing just about every weekend. It will be interesting to see how their indoor skills translate to the big pitch but their large squad and current form means that stamina shouldn’t be a problem for these young’uns. Flung will use the league to bleed some of their fresh talent alongside club legends such as Jae “finally I’m in charge” Sng and Iain “I throw lefty now” Campbell.

Can they win the league?

Success will depend on how they balance their experienced and beginner players but development will be the main aim for this team. With the university outdoor season now on the horizon the league should help their new players transition seamlessly from the indoor game.

PIRATES

We expected the Seamen of Discland to return to the league this year but a string of absentees has forced them to abandon ship. Instead, the leftover crew are joining forces with several Glasgow based pickups to form the Pirates. This is a team packed with veterans and loaded with experienced handlers. The likes of Nicola Shaw and Dirt Docherty will bring plenty of flair and athleticism while new kid on the block Finlay “Youtuber” Watson is ready to prove his worth on the club scene. Expect them to be dynamic, keep the disc well and know how to throw a decent zone.

Can they win the league?

With a handler heavy line up and beginners tournaments a distant memory the Pirates should be competent at moving the disc. However, their aerial game will be seriously tested and the lack of wind might negate their best strengths. Perhaps newcomer Robb Gould will provide the required outlet, his Facebook profile would suggest potential as a deep receiver. If they can develop an effective small ball game and stay relatively injury free then they’ve probably got a chance.

BIG CATS

The other GU pick up team is Big Cats, an amalgamation featuring several Stirling based players, led by the original Panther Matt Tomlinson. The team line-up features the daunting presence of receiver Cameron Mackie, the magiciary (not a word) of Ali “I only throw it upside down” Brown and the rapid speed of Australian beach star Alice Si. Backed up by the progressive youth of Stirling Blaze, including Rory “I’ve only played for 2 months and my flick is better than yours” Shannon, this will be an exciting team to watch. Expect them to launch it at every opportunity and take most of them down.

Can they win the league?

Yes. There are lethal combinations on this team that will at times appear unstoppable, however, their penchant for risky plays might tip the balance back in their opponents favour. The key to success will be integrating their younger players to create a cohesive 3 dimensional unit. Christine Duncan will provide level headed handling, positivity and the occasional “sugar mdugar” to keep morale high.

IRON MANDELAS

Iron Mandelas are a team of fwends that have recently sprung into existence with the aim of training and competing on their own terms. Talisman Colin Simpson has gathered a group of frisbee rogues from across Scotland, skilled in the way of the disc. They’ll play a hard but fun brand of Ultimate with a ruthless balance of intensity and carefree showboating. Alan “2nd best hair in FarFlung” Jeuken has ditched his university chums to lead the charge with his aggressive defense, Sergio Anderson will bring the spice on O and there should be plenty of honey points for power couple HarriEd Hopperkins.

Can they win the league?

There is plenty of know-how on this team with few beginners in sight and their team chemistry should get them off to a good start. Fitness may be key as rumours suggest they are staying true to their name and bringing a thread-bare squad. Mandelas faired well in a recent outing to Stirling Tune-Up, using the tournament to integrate their rookies and strengthen team bonds. They certainly have the talent to pull this off, it depends how many spicy meatballs they decide to throw.

So there we have it, our four teams competing for this years championship. Look forward to seeing you all on Sunday for international spirit of the game day! We’ll be asking each team to give out a spirit prize to someone who was particularly well spirited on the day. Fixtures, scores and table are all available here. We hope to bring you more coverage, highlights and interviews as the league progresses.

The nights are getting darker, the air a little chillier, there are whisperings of Christmas Cone and you’ve started to clean the mould off your 3G boots. Must be indoor season! The Glasgow Indoor League kicks off this weekend and it’s time to take a look at the teams vying for the Crystal Fox. The league is comprised of 8 teams this year, we have had to say goodbye to regulars Stirling Uni and Friends of Magdalen Green but welcome a new bunch of heroes, the Rainbow Warriors. We also have a new format and will start with seeding groups to decide who goes through to the elite and challenger pools. There will then be a crossover to give developing teams another chance at promotion, followed by playoffs and a grand final.

Dark Horses

Current champions Dark Horses have outgrown their underdog monicker in recent seasons. The boys from Strathclyde uni have developed into prize stallions and are well equipped to defend their title. Sure they may have lost some of their panache and spontaneity to graduation but they replace it with solid principles and ballsy swagger. I’m told this team is fast and youthful and although their style is more suited to the larger pitches at Ravenscraig they should still have enough to take on the old fogies! Their downfall could be clashes with exam timetables and they will likely be missing key players for the playoffs. Cameron Mackerel will continue to dominate aerial battles with his hefty presence, Jonny “Harambe” Shaw will provide the ammunition and Iain Lindsay will link up play with his ninja like agility.

Keys to success:

  • Horses have lost their overwhelming height advantage but can they make up for it with speed and energy?
  • Who has exams on a Sunday?

Prediction: 3rd

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Far Flung

The boys in black and gold surrendered their title last season on points difference and will be keen to reclaim the trophy this year. Far Flung will use the league to develop their squad and gain valuable game experience for university indoor nationals. They have lost some big names from last years “top 5 in the UK” squad but they are bolstered by the return of Norquay “Did you know I was in Boston” Webster and the acquisition of former Strathclyde powerhouse Sam Finlay. The rest of the squad have gained a full years experience of elite ultimate at university and club level so expect this team to be as potent as ever. Far Flung are officially under new management and virgin captain A.Llama intends to lead by example. Expect intense defense, intelligent offense and questionable fashion sense.

Keys to success:

  • Can Iain Campbell complete his transformation from ginger cutter to blonde handler?
  • Will Joel Terry learn to layout?

Prediction: 1st

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Seamen of Discland

The seamen run a tight ship. Though their decking is creaky and their mast rusting their vessel is seaworthy and set for an epic voyage. It’s easy to look at their average age of 48 and throw around terms like “experience” and “cool heads”, but in truth it will be their dogged determination and quick movement that sees them succeed. This team of veteran males are complemented by the cream of GU womens ultimate who provide a formidable female presence to the elite division. Expect plenty of layouts from Nicky “no relation to Jonny” Shaw, skys from Audrey Mellllanancfcurnei and mercurial handling from Lulu Boyd. The Disclanders will likely rock a few boats with their dynamic offense and grinding zone D.

Keys to success:

  • Will Brian Hudson re-discover his killer flick?
  • Will John Houston be allowed out to play?
  • Will more than 4 players show up?

Prediction: 2nd

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Glue Factory

This horses alumni team are indoor league regulars and return this year to have a shot at the top division. Having formerly plied their trade in the challenger league (and won) they are looking to make the step up and take on the elite teams. GF are renowned for their team ethic, good spirit and solid skills. Fitness may prove a hindrance as usual but they possess a squad full of experienced, cool headed players and will rely on former team bonds and old style Horse tactics to wear down their opposition. If that doesn’t work they’ll hammer to the tall guy in the endzone. Expect to work very hard to get turns on their handler heavy offense, this is a team that is happy to work the disc around all day long. Iain “Charming” Chalmers will be the beating heart of this squad supported by the likes of Ross Drummond and Kirsty Gillen racking up the points.

Keys to success:

  • Is Laurie Brown the endzone target-man this team needs to step up to the big time?
  • Has Captain Colin roped together enough players to make this team stick?

Prediction: 5th

 

Rainbow Warriors

The Rainbow Warriors are the new kids on the block. An amalgamation of veterans, newbs, vagrants and discarded team mates. They are an unknown quantity, untested, unproven and yet to compete on this stage. However, their roster contains superstars such as GU female MIP Katie Smith, GMacMcDowell and Tommy Linson. It might take them a while to get going but they will be capable of battling against the elite teams and should aim for the top half of the draw. However they play, whatever their results, we can be sure that this team will play with a smile and plenty of energy.

Keys to success:

  • Can Chris “Captain Rainbow” Dickie unite his squad into a coherent unit?
  • Will their neon multicoloured uniforms dazzle the opposition into submission?

Prediction: 4th

Dark Horses Challengers

After a strong showing from all 3 teams at Stirling Tune-Up and winners medals at last years Rookie Rumble it’s clear that Strathclydes focus on development is paying off. Indoor league will be a chance to further wean their babes and give their improving players a chance to knock on the first team door. Their promising freshers are already getting layout blocks and the team will be strengthened by experienced females such as Hayley “what rhymes with salmon” Dalmon. Horses have a deep squad of capable players and could realistically challenge for a top 5 spot; expect them to be well drilled, confidently led and full of energy.

Keys to success:

  • Beginners Gareth and Charles McDouglas have bright futures in maroon but are they competition ready?
  • Can the horses regularly field a consistent line up that gels as a team?

Prediction: 7th

darkhorses

Fling Flung and Far Fling

The FarFlung challenger teams will be comprised of a mish mash of beginners, 2nd teamers, womens firsts and social players from the university club. Talent will be spread across these teams to maximize development for the university season, but they have plenty to go around. Game experience is key for this group of players as they look to win games with sound tactics and solid fundamentals. Expect them to improve rapidly as developing players emerge to take on bigger roles.

Keys to success:

  • The Farflung challenger teams will need their rookies to step up to the big time. Expect big plays from beginners Lucas Correia and Charlie Cooper with sweet discs from Tabetha SorryIDon’tKnowYourLastName.

Prediction: 6th and 8th in no particular order

gu

Games to watch in week 1:

Rainbow Warriors vs Glue Factory: Likely to decide which team progresses to the elite pool.

DH challengers vs FarFling : Battle of the rookies as Strathclyde take on perennial foes Glasgow university.

Hope you’re looking forward to the games, we hope to bring you a few highlights, interviews and reviews following the first weeks action.

 

This was my 14th year as an ultimate player, my 11th at club level and the third since we formed the Glasgow open team. It’s been a lot of fun developing the club over the last few years and incredibly rewarding to have so many people involved . 2015 was a breakthrough season as our hard work has started to translate into on field results and we are at last competing with the UK’s elite. From a personal perspective it has been one of the most exciting seasons so far. I thought I’d write about it.

-Shaun Webb

Wet to the core, stripped to our under layers and hugging hot water pipes for warmth. An assortment of socks (including Chris and Lulus matching pairs) lie dripping from the radiator as the wind howls through the gaps in the bricks. Saturday had been tough and we had struggled in the wind against the top teams in our group but Sunday was a whole different challenge. We had lost our first game on the toss with zero upwind points scored, cutting was more like swimming, several teams had already gone home and the UKU were advising teams not to play on. “Right, let’s get out there and finish this!”. We had trained hard for 3 months through snowstorms and torrential rain; a little bit of wind wasn’t going to stop us now.

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We caught a break going in to our last game as two teams decided to abandon and draw their match. This meant a win would put us top of our group and inside the top 10 whereas a loss would have us finish 12th overall. The captains shook hands, two discs tumbled through the air and Neil emerged with a smile, we had won the flip, perhaps the most important flip of the season. The game went to plan with an endless barrage of hucks towards the downwind endzone and not a single upwind score. After we put in the final point, shook hands and the opposition retreated to the warmth of the showers I looked around to see there were only two teams left out on the fields. While other teams had abandoned to escape the weather and return home, it looked like it was only us (who probably had the longest return trip) and some blue team who had remained to the end. The blue team turned out to be our seconds…

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Due to some reshuffling of teams our 9th place finish at Mixed Tour 1 allowed us to sneak into a top 8 seed at Mixed Tour 2 and importantly gave us a chance to win the tournament. I was unable to attend this tournament and instead spent the weekend anxiously checking my phone as the updates from group games came in: Three nil down to Reading (MT1 champions)…sudden death win…four points down against Bristol…sudden death win…trading with GB under 23s…sudden death loss. What a day, nerve wrecking from my point of view but again the team had showed their fighting spirit to play to the end and earn a semi final berth. Sunday morning: “Glasgow 14-10 Thundering Herd”. By this point I was fairly sure I was on the receiving end of an elaborate practical joke but the UKU website confirmed Glasgow as victors to set up an all Scottish final against Black Eagles. Then the post came through, a picture of the squad with their index fingers raised to the sky and the text “Officially number 1 in the UK”.

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It turned out all we needed was a bit of confidence; those gritty displays on Saturday had enabled the transformation from contenders to champions. Suddenly we were a squad full of belief, our dedicated pre-season was paying off and our talent realised. Having entered the first event hoping to challenge for quarterfinals we were now sitting top of the rankings.

In the third and final event of the mixed season we confidently made semis but lost a group game in sudden death to Black Eagles. Unfortunately this game ultimately decided the Tour trophy as while we matched Great Britain for much of the semi final we couldn’t keep up with them late in the game. Black Eagles won their match and although they lost the final it was enough to secure Tour victory (international squads were ineligible). Second place may have seemed disappointing but the overall feel was one of energy and excitement to be part of a team competing for trophies and going up against international squads. Our runner up trophy was a victory for the whole club and reward for our entire squad. Across the 3 events 26 players, including several beginners, competed for our first team and contributed to our most successful mixed season ever.

By the time open and women’s season came around the hype had not subdued. In fact we were able to enter 3 teams in to Tour 1. Our second team proved their credentials in C Tour only losing 1 game all weekend and our women put in a strong showing against top teams in only their second competitive performance ever.

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The firsts were looking to maintain the momentum of the mixed season and qualify for quarterfinals by getting through their group on day 1. Starting with another sudden death win from behind against GB masters set the tone for the weekend. We had become a hard working, talented team and crucially we believed in ourselves. We followed this up with solid wins against GB U23s and Chevron, which saw us top the group with a game in hand. Facing Kapow on a Sunday morning in a Tour quarterfinal was where this team deserved to be.

The overwhelming feeling was one of pride and justification. It had been a year since we beat this team in sudden death and judging by their ferocious energy in the first point they hadn’t forgotten about it. It was clear this was going to be a step up in quality; pride would not be enough to carry us through. Trailing for most of the game we managed to scrap to stay in touch and eventually found consistency towards the tail end to force a sudden death point. Our defense was solid, a part of our game we developed and evolved this season to become a tireless unit working towards common goals. We managed to keep them contained around their goal line and eventually forced a floaty pass across the endzone. 3 men went up but only 1 man in green came down with the disc. Callahan, sudden death win, is there a better way to make semis? We met our match in the semi finals, falling victim to the GB open squad but finished the tournament as the second placed club team. Finally the world was starting to take notice of Glasgow Ultimate, even if The Show Game still didn’t fancy our chances at Tour 2.

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Tour 2 was my highlight of the season and I’m probably not alone in that. Dubbed “London’s Calling” it is the largest tournament in Europe with over 100 teams competing including several international squads and overseas club teams. The best thing about this tournament was that we went in to games expecting to win against the top teams. We were no longer hopeful underdogs, we were favourites and confident that we had a group of players that could match any other squad. We had featured in the semi finals of the last 3 UK tournaments and we intended to keep on rolling.

We made it through our group with hard fought wins against Emo and Ranelagh and a close loss to France. However, our best performances came in the quarters and semis as we comfortably beat Manchester and closed out a tight match against Ireland. At no point during these games did I feel we were capable of losing and at no point over the weekend did I feel like we were over achieving. Getting to play an open Tour final against GB was a reward this team had earned. It didn’t start well, perhaps it was nerves, tiredness or just bad luck but we managed to put up a fight in the second half eventually losing 15-11. I hope everyone playing that game enjoyed it and I also hope that they learned from it. Next time we will be more prepared.

For the second time this year we found ourselves top of the Tour rankings with one event to play, this time our lead was virtually unassailable. However, we never intended to play Tour 3 as we traditionally struggle to get numbers to Cardiff that late on in the season. Instead we opted for a weekend of Guinness and spike ball by sending our Mixed Team to Dublins Golden Cup. We had a great weekend in our limited edition shirts taking some international scalps and finishing 5th as the top placed club team. It was an odd feeling not making a semi final this time round, we came out on top in most of the matches we had a chance to win but a couple of the national sides were a step above us. We were not far off matching the Ireland and GB squads and I think these games gave us a goal to aim towards next season.

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In the future we will look back on this season and say “remember that time we nearly won Mixed and Open tour in the same year?”. The history books won’t reflect the true story of this season but then they rarely do. They don’t show the hard work and the camaraderie that goes in to a season. They won’t report the spine tingling cries of “What’s the score?…..Who’s it about?” as we clawed our way to back into matches. Perhaps we should say “Remember that time we made a bit of effort and believed in ourselves and played 4 out of 5 Tour semi finals and 2 out of 5 finals and beat a whole bunch of international teams? That was fun!”.

But we should also remember the role of chance. Remember that dedication to training and playing as a team gave us great opportunities but that luck also plays a part at tournaments. A sudden death point here or there and the season may have had a completely different complexion. My mind winds back to Mixed Tour 1 and wonders how different our year might have been had we lost the toss in that final game. Had we suffered a cruel defeat to the wind and ended bottom of our group in 12th position. We could not have won MT2 and we would not have been competing for the Tour title at MT3. Without that momentum and belief in the team would we still have gone on to succeed at Open Tour?

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Post tour season our success continued as we wrapped up the Scottish Tour title and won the Scottish qualifier for UK nationals. With club teams back to full strength this was going to be the real test of the season. Previously our highest place finish at Nationals was 13th but this year we had aims of finishing in the top 8 and hopefully qualifying for European championships. Given the toughest draw possible we came out firing and convincingly defeated Manchester showing just how much we had continued to improve. We lost our quarter to Fire of London as we struggled to live with the intensity that their large squad brought to a hot midday game. Round 3 put us up against Brighton with a chance to go within 1 win of European qualification. A slow start had us 10-5 down having also lost Rory and Ali to sickness and injury. The second half of this game was possibly our best of the season. Something kicked in to place and we went on a roll to eventually lead the game 13-12. It was fantastic to be part of a team with that fight, determination and belief to turn around any score line. In the end luck may have abandoned us (perhaps we’d already had our share), we lost 14-13.

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Brighton went on to finish 3rd and we lost to a very dangerous Emo side that had suffered a shock defeat earlier in the tournament and were making their way back up the rankings. We did manage to round off the tournament with huge wins against Birmingham and Manchester to finish 9th. It’s a shame we didn’t get to play the teams that finished 6th-8th but we’ll have to settle those scores another time. Nationals can be a heartbreaker; the pains of losses, mistakes and regrets are not easily healed by the prospect of the next tournament. It is the end of the season. It will take a year to put it right, another year of bitterly cold winter training sessions, pre-season vomit inducing hill sprints, hours spent lifting weights, running intervals and pushing yourself to do one more frog jump. Another year of wins and losses, of sudden death points and games decided by the flip of a disc. Another year spent learning tactics, mastering plays and building the team into a stronger unit. Another year developing new recruits in to A tour players. Another year of indoors and summer league. Another year of weekends away with team mates, friends and goal hack enthusiasts. Another year being part of this team.

I can’t wait.

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For me, it’s been quite easy to look at one sudden death point and a failure to make Nationals and think we regressed as a team this season. Having trained a lot but only played one competitive open outdoor match it’s been a bit of a disappointing year personally. But when I started writing this report and looking at the year as a whole, I began to realise that there have been a lot of positives. So let’s go back to the start…..

Indoors:

The 2013/2014 club season kicked off way back in October 2013 with the inaugural Glasgow Ultimate Elite League. The indoor portion of the league was a huge success and a great warm up for competitive tournaments for both university and club teams. The outdoor games suffered from fixture congestion and lack of numbers and the plan is to make this solely an indoor comp next season (more on that soon). Congratulations to Far Flung the eventual victors (going on to finish 2nd at university indoor UK nationals)!

Post-league training sessions allowed the open team to start planning their assault on the club indoor season and for the first time ever we were able to run a womens training session. By the time Scottish indoor championships came around both teams were ready to take on Scotlands best. The open team put on a convincing display to set up a rematch of the 2012 final against Panthers. GU went 2 points down early on but fought back to take victory, a much tougher game than the previous season. The 2nds also put on a brave display, taking some scalps, winning spirit and making the semi finals. Glasgow Vixens made their competitive debut in the women’s division, finishing 4th.

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Glasgow added further trophies to their cabinet with victories over Panthers at the Rabbie Burns indoor tournament and Black Eagles in the inaugural Scottish Mixed Indoor Championship.

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The open team headed to UK indoor nationals with high expectations and an undefeated record lasting more than a year. Day 1 was tough but some hard fought victories (and a draw that almost ended in a fight) earned them a place in the quarter finals. Glasgow dispatched Reading with relative ease but couldn’t claw back an early 2 point deficit in the semi vs Grand Hawks. We went on to take 3rd with victory over Fully Charged and finished the season with a single defeat. Vixens also put in an impressive display at Nationals, finishing in the top 8. A huge achievement for a group of girls playing their first season together.

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We also had the opportunity to play indoor ultimate with a whole new crowd. Several of us spent two weeks with the East Kilbride Disability Sports Club, teaching them to throw, catch, cut and score! It was tremendous fun and everyone was thrilled to be playing a new sport. We hope to get back there again soon and extend our coaching and outreach to local schools and other community groups. Thanks to everyone that helped out!

EK

Beach:

A group of hardy foxes, missing many first team regulars, travelled to the least tropical beach tournament in the world to battle against the wind and rain in the sand dunes off the Aberdeen coastline. Despite a difficult first day and an epic nights partying they went on to find some Sunday form and claim the CUBE championship. You can read more about that weekend in Markys report.

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Outdoor:

Winter training was fairly successful. We managed to run a training session on a synthetic pitch regardless of the weather nearly every week when there wasn’t a tournament. Admittedly we struggled for numbers occasionally, and we’d really like to hear from people about what we can do to boost attendance at the Club sessions.

Glasgow entered all three Mixed Tours this season for the first time as Glasgow Ultimate. This was a massive progression for the Glasgow scene, allowing many to get their first taste of Tour. In fact, we even had a second Weegie team representing at Tour 2 in the form of Glue Factory (Horses alumni team). GU finished 11th at Tour 1, including a final game victory over Scottish rivals Black Eagles; 42nd at T2 , giving many new players experience; and 18th at T3, ending in 17th position overall. We will be aiming to finish higher next season with a specific focus on mixed and hopefully a second team.

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We capped off the mixed season with a GU summer holiday to compete at Windmill Windup in Amsterdam thanks to the efforts of Marky and Asif in securing us a place. The combination of it being their 10th anniversary edition and many teams using it as a warm-up for World Clubs meant the field was jam-packed with quality opposition. The vagueries of the swiss-draw system, taking advantage of the party atmosphere and getting an untested line-up to gel were all taken in stride, finishing 11th out of 30. We were the highest finishing team that didn’t compete at worlds and came ahead of several that did.

Tour 1, as always, was a big focus for us and it went very well – 16th overall, 9th in the UK after adjusting for the visiting teams (various European champions preparing for worlds). We came very close to going even higher but lost out to a bit of experience from some established A tour teams. Unfortunately our more development-focused squad wasn’t able to replicate this success at Tour 2 but it did provide us with some lessons and highlighted that we need to find a way to maintain our momentum throughout the season. Overall we finished 19th out of 68 teams despite only playing 2 of the three tournaments and saw a good number of players make their tour debut.

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Tour 2 was very significant in that we were able to field the first ever Glasgow team in the Women’s tour. It’s hard to overstate just how difficult it is to go to tour with an inexperienced team and 1 or 2 subs but the team put in a heroic effort to be proud of and that’s exactly how these things start.

Summer League returned in style this year with a 12 week extravaganza of mixed ultimate. This year we extended the league to last the length of summer with 4 squads (Irn Cru, Fever, Ravenous Midges and Mayhem) and over 70 participants. Our 4 captains did a great job encouraging everyone to play and developing their teams. There have been vast improvements in many individuals given the opportunity to play regularly and the teams all gelled well to give us a highly competitive finals week. Irn Cru were consistently the best team throughout the league but couldn’t hold off Fever who were deserving winners on the day. Congrats to them, but also to everyone for making it a fun and well spirited event.

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Glasgow played hosts to the Scottish Ultimate Frisbee Championships again this year, hoping to complete the double double. Going in as top seeds we hoped to win and qualify for nationals but expected a tough final against new boys NEO. We started slowly, going a few points down, but showed our famous fighting qualities to drag ourselves back in to the lead at half time. We then pushed on, taking the crucial post half point and extending our lead with the finish line in sight. With 3 chances to win the game and plenty of vocal support we couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to make Nationals. Perhaps it was tired legs, nerves, poor preparation, lady luck or a combination of them all. What we do know, is that we learned a lesson about winning and losing and we’ll be back stronger in 2015. The real success of this tournament was getting 3 teams to enter and having 2 of them finish in the top 3.

1899824_634669579963308_890264844505429418_oAlthough the first team couldn’t quite get over the line we can be very proud of what we achieved overall and throughout the course of the season:

Multiple indoor championships, 3rd place at Open Nationals.
Won CUBE.
Competed at every Mixed Tour.
Formed a Women’s team that finished 8th at Indoor Nationals and competed at Womens Tour.
Best ever finish at an Open Tour, ranked in top 8 British clubs.
One of only 3 UK clubs to represent at Open, Mixed and Womens Tour.
Hosted two Scottish Championships.
Hosted summer and winter leagues.
Finished 2nd and 3rd in Scotland.

When we look back on this season we will see this as the year that Glasgow Ultimate transformed from a team in to a club. Bring on 2015!

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Written by Shaun , with contributions from Phil and Audrey.

amsterdam

The weekend saw 14 honorary Glaswegians descend upon Amsterdam to partake of what it’s most famous for – some damn fine ultimate. It all started with an early morning rendezvous at the airport with Jonny and sufficient slagging of his farmer tan. After our flight we picked up the stragglers (I spent 5 minutes learning how to pronounce ‘Knudsen’) and ventured into the city where our budding tourguide Marky led us to much needed food, drinks , and some sightseeing.

On arrival at the camp we were greeted by two volunteers, one kitted out in the finest windmill attire and equipped with enough beer tokens to satisfy the team (Jess), and another who looked very hard done by and lacking in any ‘freebees’ (Benji). Eventually the gang were all united and in the scorching heat the tents were erected, this was looking to be a promising weekend.

Feels like beer o’clock

Off to Lidl (pronounced Lee-dil or Lie-dil depending on your upbringing) we went, to stock up on beer and nibbles. The night began with drinks, plenty of craic and the tenth anniversary opening ceremony. Sampling some local baking had questionable effects. This was followed by late night karaoke in the bunker: Graeme and Phil’s opening number ‘Under the Bridge’, Mattloaf with ‘Bat Out of Hell’, and finally the power duet between Audrey and Chris – the classic ‘You’re the One that I Want’.
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To the fields

After a good nights partying and minimal hangovers, Glasgow were ready for their opening game of the weekend.

Game 1: Chilli – O. We travelled all the way to Amsterdam to play another team that live on our doorstep! The game started with both teams trading points for the first half, chilli – O using some quick handler passing and ‘give and gos’ to open up some successful deep options. In the 2nd half Glasgow started to gel better, playing much cleaner offense and converting vital D points to finish the game 13-11.

Game 2: Codfish Vineyard. This was essentially a game of runs, with codfish taking an early lead before Phil gave us a kick up the arse to go on a streak of our own and close the game to finish a tight 1st half. Both teams were working hard on zone and the 2nd half saw Glasgow coming out on top before Codfish could return the favour to tie it at 12-12. Glasgow had the disc on universe point, unfortunately miscommunication led to a turn with a short field to work with. After some great resilience from Glasgow, Codfish took the game with a glory hammer to finish 13-12.

Game 3: Element. From grass to the warmest 3G pitch imaginable! Glasgow made uncharacteristic errors that led to a poor start giving the Israeli team a 6-2 lead. A tactical timeout was called and the appropriate inspirational words delivered, followed by a show of on-pitch determination by a few players. This focused the team and we began to claw back the deficit. However the Israeli’s stepped up their game and went on to win a hard fought universe point, final score 14-13.

Game 4: Thundering Herd. Glasgow used the momentum from the Element game and came out fighting against the cows. We took an early 5-1 lead and maintained it throughout the game, with some excellent D on herd’s cutters and awesome hucks taken down by Audrey and Graeme. We finished with a comfortable win 15-11 and early beer showers.

Friday PARTY
The usual round of mixed showers was followed by strange delicious food and some weird sausage on a disc (or plate if you were lucky enough to possess one), with pre-drink games and a bit of mingle mingle the foundations were firmly set for another wild Glasgow night at Windmill. The ”Groundhog Day slumber party” was attended where basically everyone went to watch Groundhog Day and fell asleep on the beanbags in the bunker.

Day 2
Game 5: Vaasa Saints. Credit where credit is due, this Finnish team had some of the best girls of the tourney, with the hucking ability any Glasgow open player would be jealous of. We got played off the park by this team as we were quite unprepared. 15-9 in the end to the Saints.

Game 6: UFO (Utrecht). Probably one of Glasgow’s best performances, taking the scalp of a club worlds squad was fun. The girls really stepped up in this game with great handling from Jess and Lulu against UFO’s zone, coordinated perfectly with Benji, setting the precedent for how Glasgow would play zone offense throughout the rest of the tourney. Audrey made some great catches in this game alongside strong cuts from Andrea and Nicky, the girls showed how mixed should be played. As for the game all the highlights I can remember are Game started- tubby got sky’d by a small girl for the score- game end, 13-10 to Glasgow.

Game 7: Rusty Bikes. This game was similar to the previous, hard fought, well spirited but special credit to Marky who really took control of this game. Glasgow stormed ahead with a clinical win 15-9.

Never have I ever…
Time for the Saturday night party where chaos ensued! The night began with a choice of meals, I had the pizza and pasta salad and swear it was the greatest thing ever. Usual antics followed with fives, never have I ever (story of the night, Phil and the fridge urinal/ strip tease for his parents) (Also Benji you are such a lad) 21 with the hardest rule ever imposed whilst Matt and I were away, and even though Knudsen knew the rule he still couldn’t figure it out! The night was topped off by Karaoke mit ze Germans singing 99 Luftballons, then disco times in heaven. Shout out to Alison and Matt for successfully partying through the whole night!

Day 3

Final game: Outernationals: A musical warm up with stellar moves from both sides (especally our own Nicky Shaw). A physical game ensued with Glasgow able to shrug off their Saturday night hangover first. We absolutely demolished this team 14-7. boom. A very hungover (actually still drunk) Matt Scott entered the pitch at 12-7 and got an amazing D, was subsequently almost sick and declared his contribution to the game over – very efficient. A fitting game of German pornstars followed, with Matt and Benji dubbed the kinkiest players.

The remainder of Sunday was spent watching some top class Frisbee finals, packing up our stuff and saying toodle oo to Andrea who played amazing the whole weekend (Please don’t leave next year, do another PhD, GLASGOW NEEDS YOU). Sunday night, fairly knackered so an early night and good lie in for most, while a few ventured out to see what Amsterdam had to offer.

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Apres Tournament
Tubby had a great idea to rent bikes and go north of the city, so six of us ventured onwards in search of windmills, canals and a town in the arse-end of nowhere that didn’t even have a café open!! Highlights were the tandem bike, randomly bumping into Andrea post Van Gogh, Marky almost killing us on the bike, Jonny riding the tandem solo, Nicky’s catching skills during hacky sack, the ‘early leg’, Knudsen’s use of ‘the ready leg’ and Jess’ second pair of trousers ripping. That night saw more beers and a revival of 21, “Whoa look at Jonny’s forearms”, “Whoa look at Jonny’s ass”, “Jonny did you just calve?” the weary players were rewarded with an amazing night of live music, cheap Jaegermeister’s and intimate heart to hearts with PWebb.

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The need for food is a really strong motivation after a night like that – Marky and Knudsen attempted to strongly persuade the local subway that they really were open at 4am, Audrey needed emergency spaghetti carbonara just to walk straight the next day.

MIP (F) Lulu
MIP (M) Chris D
MVP (F) Audrey
MVP (M) Philip
Captain’s MVP Marky

Honorable mentions :
The early/ready/delayed leg goalhack variations
Georgie’s support on the pitch and in the parties!

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Report by Lulu.

CUBE is a wonderful time of year.  Where else do you get to play on sandy white(ish) dunes, in amazing(ish) weather, with all your best mates(…ish).  It is of course the Nation’s famous five-a-side beach tournament, where even some English teams make the long, uphill trip to sample some of the best nights out Aberdeen has to offer, as well as some Ultimate I guess.

This year lived up to every expectation with a 50/50 blend of weather, fantastic ceilidh with added play-park feature (anyone for a spin?!), an american school bus, and a night out where the people really do make it. Who knew you could have a good night in a garage? A particular night-long highlight was delivered by Gill Spy who outshone everyone’s antics and took home the well-deserved Party Prize.

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Gameplay on Saturday was tough.  The God’s of Sand were not happy and decided to howl some chilling wind to upset the games.  Glasgow One were in pool play and went two for one, losing out against a veteran Ro Sham Bo team who sliced up the wind taking the win. Sunday saw a return to form on both Glasgow’s front and the weather.  The sun came beating down strong and after some consultation of the ‘taps aff’ directory, it was… off.  Unfortunately for some this weather brought out some blindingly white torso’s which certainly affected the results of a few games.  However, Glasgow was on the hunt for the final.
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The first game of the day saw a tight sudden death win against a fiesty young Blaze team still feeling the energy from the previous nights stubby downage. Onwards to our semi-final, a re-match against Ro Sham Bo.  Glasgow weren’t going to let the final get away from them. They’d been sizing up many time CUBE finalists, The Brown, at the ceilidh and knew they had some moves. The weather was delightful, slight breeze, and full advantage was taken defeating RSB convincingly.  Obviously the party hadn’t taken anything from their game…
Regardless, Glasgow was in the final! We were finally here.  And what a final it was.  The Brown had some massive plays, throwing some mighty hammers, using every member of their team.  It was a performance testament to their success in reaching the final.  But Glasgow was consistent in delivering the turnovers to their endzone.
The final buzzer had blown, Marky received the disc on the sideline, a streaking Cammy across the endzone, the crowd stands up, a ‘Swebb-esque’ thumber down the line, the crowd screams, layout out for the final score, the crowd goes wild, AHHHHHH!! “Cammy, I love you!”, “You’re my hero”, “Sign my chest!”, are examples of nothing said.
A finish with flare to a fantastic tournament.
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Post by Mark Simpson.

Once again Glasgow Ultimate is taking up residence at Hillhead Sports Club and together we are bringing you a full programme of Ultimate over the next few months. These excellent facilities allow us to offer you twice-weekly training and a summer league competition open to all. We’ve put together a variety of summer membership options to suit everyone’s needs, and people new to the sport are always welcome to come along and try for free.

What you get

From the 4th of June through to the 9th of September* we’ll be offering:

  • Wednesday training, 18:30 – 20:30.
  • Sunday training, 14:00 – 15:30
  • Summer league, Sign up and you’ll become part of a team playing out a 9 week league. Games are played Sunday afternoon, 15:30 – 17:30 and are scheduled 4 weeks in advance according to team availability. Check out the summer league here.
  • Scottish Open Nationals, July 26th – TBC

Membership options

Membership Cost
Per session £5
4 Consecutive weeks £15
Summer League (games only) 25
Sunday Training & Summer league games £35
Unlimited Summer Ultimate (Sunday & Wednesday) £45

How do I get involved?

You can sign up for whichever membership category you are interested in:

Join Glasgow Ultimate this summer

If you’re intrigued but not quite sold yet, you can get in touch with us at glasgowultimate@gmail.com or come along to one of our trainings and check us out:

Hillhead Sports Club
32 Hughenden Rd
Glasgow G12 9XP

*There will be no Ultimate at Hillhead on the 22nd of June due to a venue Open Day.

 

 

Glasgow’s first competitive outing of the 2014 Outdoor season commenced with an epic pilgrimage in the GUSA flagship down to Cardiff. 13 heroes undertook the 10 hour journey which was punctuated by the usual service station delicacies, contact, and Yahtzee. Such is our love of the M6 at Glasgow Ultimate (any real member spends 48 hours a year ‘’somewhere near Preston’’) that driver Rory decided to boldly fake long past Birmingham, cut under North up the same stretch we’d just covered for a while before going for the true deep cut south again into Wales! After dumping 4 chumps at a Travelodge we settled down at the pitchside campsite (Harry had kindly been guarding our site for many hours) in our cosy tents in the rain at 3am. Bliss.

Captain Jonny was up first at the crack of dawn, presumably to do some bird watching, muck out his tent, and rouse the rest of the team. Unfortunately he didn’t fully arouse us as the first match against Bristol was a slow start and a 15-8 defeat, but it blew the cobwebs away if nothing else. The next game against Cambridge was also pretty tough but we improved to 15-9. The Glasgow motor was starting to splutter to life. Unfortunately it was cut from a V13 to a V12 engine as Tom went out with a ‘’bolloxed knee’’ (his own diagnosis) after attempting an unorthodox slalom cut through the endzone vertical stack. Finally with a bit of rage and a jump start from Phil we got into gear with a win against Shiny Happy Meeple, with Katie Voss linking up with the handler trio to slide through their tired zone defence. 14-8. A good way to finish the day’s play.

The evening’s entertainment involved a huge feed and many many bowls of salad. Banagrams and beers were had by a few back at the pitches, before another team got a bit too rowdy and started taking questionable nude selfies. This just isn’t Shaun’s kind of night. We left fairly early.

Day 2 saw many improvements on the pitch. Despite being exhausted the girls came through against the zone D’s proving it wasn’t just ‘’all the boys’’ as the opposing sideline chat seemed to think. There was some great wing play by Jess and cuts through the pain by Alison. Our newest experienced player Annie also unleashed a few cannon backhands into the endzone. We fought hard against RGS for a top 10 finish but didn’t go through the gears and suffered a 15-8 defeat. Injuries were starting to hit hard on the team and ibuprofen flowed, but the GU fitness schedule started to show in some of us, with Audrey running whoever marked her into the ground. We showed a lot of the classic GU grit to take our 5th match to 11-11 before missing our chances on Universe point, but morale was still high as the group of individuals had become a unit by now. The final game of MT1 was a grudge match against the old nemesis Black Eagles and it was a good one! Glasgow took a big lead with Sarah getting involved in our slick zone O, and Phil forcing a turnover in the eagle’s endzone. Brian brought down a few key grabs from Rory’s long shots to give us an edge. The Eagles tried to flap free from the fox’s jaws but despite a threatened comeback were put away in a 14-12 GU victory.

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All in all our first Mixed Tour of 2014 was a success and an exciting building point for the rest of the season. Onwards and upward for Glasgow Ultimate!

 Tom Calvert. 

I’ve been trying to write this blog post for far too long – mainly because over the course of the season i’ve had to rewrite it a fair number of times due to the subject matter i’ve wanted to talk about: The Identity of Glasgow Ultimate.

Personally, i’ve had plenty of times where i’ve been asked about my hobbies/interests/what happened over the weekend. Mention Ultimate and people either respond with either surprised interest or some form of one-liner. I’m sure we’ve all been there before. However when trying to describe what Glasgow Ultimate is I found that I actually didn’t know all that well; a mishmash of comparisons to other sports, tournaments, leagues and all manner of other explanations that simply didn’t do us justice.

So, with a simple reminder that this is nothing more than my opinion;

Lets talk about our approach to the game. The ‘Ultimate’ in Glasgow Ultimate.

Throughout the season i’ve seen all of our players turn up to trainings in pouring rain, grim fitness sessions and general physically abusing our bodies in the pursuit of progressing our team. Glasgow Ultimate is a team based on grit and force of will.

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That doesn’t mean that we don’t know when to let go and have a bit of fun.

But, it does mean that our training sessions have been well attended, professionally run and with a particular focus. It means that in the deep lows of a Sunday morning full of broken dreams we think of nothing more than achieving what we can at that moment. Grit and determination is the foundation of sport, a willingness to sacrifice time and comfort, and will give us the bedrock on which to build our team – and our winning attitude.

Lets not pretend that it’s been easy this season; it has, however, been one of the best I’ve ever played. We set aims, lofty and ambitious aims, to start up a team – stay in A Tour and get to Nationals.

We did it.

The best thing is, that as we enter this time of reflection on MVPs and highlights of the season, that its the depth of players who carried us all there. Our team is just exactly that, a team. Comprised of more than individuals and greater than the sum of our parts.

The ‘ultimate’ part of our name is about our approach to the game.

Simply put: We are a team who together play every point of every match with everything. Anything less would let my teammates down. We also like winning. A lot.

This however, doesn’t encapsulate everything that Glasgow Ultimate is about. The most important part about our team is the community that we’re in. Glasgow.

By choosing to be an outwards facing club through running a number of beginner/taster sessions, participating in glasgow life events and even the summer league, Glasgow Ultimate has shown a statement of intent for the future.

We are not only a club that plays an amazing sport well. We’re a club where you can play that amazing sport – and we’ll teach you how to play it well.

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This gives us two key advantages. Firstly: it raises our profile within the community and also helps us potentially gain new talent. This is an obvious advantage for any minority sport, as many people don’t actually know what ultimate is or even that they can come along and try it! We’re now able to do more coaching in schools, get TV coverage, news reports and generally spread the word.

This is a good thing – and a key pillar of our future success.

The second advantage is slightly more subtle, but none-the-less just as important. By being attached to Glasgow we have a “home base”. Our trainings, fitness, coaching, socials, meetings and activities are all within Glasgow. This has meant that people that live in Glasgow have a greater buy-in and less barriers when it comes to committing to the team. Something that has been reflected in the numbers to our trainings/social events. It also means that any player looking to play with us knows exactly whats expected of them – travelling through to Glasgow for everything – before coming along.

This central hub is the underpinning of our whole identity and indeed, success.

Without it we would end up either; relying on “super players” from across the country creating an ever smaller pool of available/willing talent or people with a lot of money to burn.

Our hub allows everyone, of all ability levels, to come along to the trainings and get better.

It allows a player like me, who has never played in a tournament of a higher standard than university div2, to become an A tour/national squad member of the best club team in Scotland.

The community of Glasgow has shown that, if given the chance, we will commit to working hard for our first team place. We will teach others the sport we love. And we’ll make sure that everyone in Glasgow is welcome. Improving the reputation, knowledge and standard of our sport as we go.

We are Glasgow Ultimate.

And personally – I’m proud to say that.

Written by Laurie Brown – Glasgow Ultimate Player.