It’s time to come back to team sport

Team sport is a fun way to get fit this summer

For many, team sports are a fundamental part of growing up and school life. So how come so many decide to leave team sport in the playground? Sure, it’s harder to find the time as we gain other priorities or perhaps we’ve let ourselves get out of shape?

Sport is such a great way to stay in shape, have fun and meet new people. It can be a cost-effective way to get in shape and provides us with a healthier way to unwind.

Perhaps the kids have had the right idea all along?

With the weather warming up, many of us are reconnecting with our health goals. Local clubs around Australia can connect you with teams across a variety of sports and suit most fitness levels.

Remember: If it’s been a while since your last run on the paddock, we recommend getting a quick health check from your local GP and of course, starting slowly!

For a little inspiration, we checked in with 3 frisbee fanatics from our WFR family to find out how they got into the sport and what they love about it.

Jade O’Callaghan (JO), Tamsin Hearne (TH), Sam Francoise (SF) are 3 of our Exercise Physiologists who have caught the frisbee bug, big time!

1. How long have you been involved in frisbee?

JO: 2 years

TH: I started playing Frisbee in 2011, my first year of University. I played the UWA social league with some friends and was shocking. Frustrated at being so bad, I kept playing and 6 months later I found myself on the Junior Australian Team. This is how I met Sam! After the U19 World Champs in Ireland, I was hooked. I played at National and International levels for several years.

SF: I started playing Ultimate Frisbee in 2010, making this year my eighth year. My Ultimate Journey began in 2010 with Primal. They advertised a social league during the summer school holidays. I was intrigued and went to check it out. The coach was great, she slowly started registering our team into bigger tournaments and before I knew it, I was hooked; competing at Nationals and World Championships (something I never thought possible).

2. What are some of the more recent tournaments you have been involved in?

JO: Asia-Oceanic Club Championships 2017 in Manila & World Ultimate Club Championships 2018 in Cincinnati. Australian Ultimate Championships annually.

TH: Unfortunately, I am a semi-retired! I stopped playing and training competitively in 2016 due to chronic injuries and a chronic sad bank account. Since then, I have only played a couple tournaments; Asia Oceanic Championships in Manila, Philippines and Australian Mixed National Championships in Tasmania.

SF: Australian Ultimate Championships in April 2018. Perth All-Stars in Singapore in July 2018 – designed for pushing the elite players of WA to compete at a high level internationally outside the Nationals Season. Phoenix Has Risen in Perth September 2018 – this is the official seeding event for WA Clubs to qualify for the Australian Mixed Ultimate Championship (AMUC). Due to placing first, our team to qualified to compete in AMUC at Ballarat in October. Perth Men’s Ultimate League 1 in September 2018. This tournament is the highest single gender league in Perth and our team placed first in the Grand Final.

3. What do you love about the sport?

JO: The community, the fact that ultimate does not have referees, even at the highest level and that spirit (sportsmanship) is also judged in games. I have never come across a sport where there is so much respect for the team you are playing!

TH: I love everything about Frisbee! It was the highlight of my University years. I made new friends, travelled the world, and had several opportunities to represent my country. The biggest element of the game that keeps people around is the frisbee community. All around Australia, and even the world, people who play Frisbee are one big family! We all know each other, we all support each other, and we all motivate each other.

SF: I love its competitiveness. More importantly, the sport has allowed me to learn the true meaning of ‘Mateship’. I’ve now made lifelong friends with teammates. For me, there is no greater feeling than my friends and I giving our all for each other and working towards a common goal; chasing a piece of plastic 😉

4. Any funny Frisbee moments?

JO: Context: There is a goal called a “Callahan” which is when a defensive player intercepts the disc in the opponent’s end zone for a point. It is a rare occurrence because it requires a defender to intercept, rather than simply block, a pass in the offense’s own end zone. I actually got one of these in my first nationals, and it was live streamed, so the commentary was pretty funny, see the link. Plus, my coach had said at the start of the tournament that if someone was to get a Callahan, I would have to give up my shirt as it has my last name on it.

TH: So many funny frisbee moments. To remain professional, I better just say that I’ve never had so much fun or felt so much joy playing any other sport 😉

5. How do you get started? Do you need to be fit?

JO: My club, Kaos, are currently running a social tournament for beginners and advanced players. Anyone can play, regardless of fitness!

TH: Most people start off at University as I did. If you want to play at a high-level, fitness is definitely essential. Games go for 90mins. Over the game, people would run anywhere from 3-7km. Not to mention jumping vertically, horizontally and lots of sprints over the game.

SF: Ultimate Frisbee has a large throwing component making torsion/rotational control and shoulder conditioning a necessity. It is also an intense intermittent sport with high cardiovascular loading, resembling many team sports, such as Football, Basketball, Field Hockey and Australian Football in its athletic requirements. Athletes are required to perform a high number of intense accelerations, de-celebrations, change of direction and jumps. To stay in peak physical condition our team participates in various strength and conditioning sessions on Track and at Ludus Sport Performance.