Photo Courtesy of Maggie Fan
23 October, 2019
“I’m really surprised, actually, because ultimate frisbee isn’t a popular sport or anything,” said junior Angela Voo, sitting on a picnic bench across from me. “Some people play in middle school and it’s kind of a ‘nerdy sport’ considered by most people, and so I didn’t expect a lot of people to come this year.” About fifteen minutes ago, the field next to us was occupied by people throwing frisbees at one another, and you couldn’t go a few seconds without hearing, “Dude, the wind.” Now it’s quiet, apart from a few people sitting with us and listening in as Voo tells me about her second year running the ultimate frisbee club.
It’s taken a while for the club to get where it is. When Voo came into freshman year with the idea for an ultimate frisbee club, she couldn’t find a teacher who took enough interest in ultimate frisbee to be her sponsor. In sophomore year, she found out that her English teacher Mr. Vennard liked the sport as well. They tried to spread the word in the morning announcements and word-of-mouth, but the club received little
attention and there were less than ten people who came regularly.
“What we mostly had was three-on-three [scrimmages], and they would really want to play games, so I just gave in and played three-on-three,” said Voo when I asked what last year’s club looked like. “It wasn’t really fun, exactly, because there were turnovers every second.”
Now Voo is a junior, and she said that knowing more people, as well as collaborating with her sister, freshman Eulalia Voo, to bring in members from different grades, aided the club’s growth. In this year’s first meeting, there were twenty-eight people in attendance, nearly tripling the team’s size compared to last year. With the numbers came new ideas; the team’s goals include playing against the ultimate frisbee teams of Centennial and River Hill and eventually against Mount Hebron’s team. Freshman Iain Snoddy considered these matches “like a milestone” for the club.
Apart from wanting to play in tournaments and other schools, the team has other, more local ambitions as well. These include organizing a game against the school staff and securing a volunteer coach to help the members run drills and improve their skills. The latter has proven to be more difficult; “If we tried to pay for an actual coach, we’d have to have funding for that, and currently we don’t have any money coming in,” said Voo.
However, the club’s roots remain tied to being more relaxed and recreational. “I’m not really into going into a real sport where you have to practice like five days a week or however many times, and I’m also too busy otherwise to do that,” said junior Yasmine Daoud, who was in the club last year as well. “So ultimate frisbee has got that really good balance of being lax and also having fun and making friends. But if I think that the team’s really getting good, I would definitely want to go to competitions.”