THE SHOWCASE: THE PANTHERS ULTIMATE FRISBEE TEAM
Each week (or so) we’re showcasing an awesome youth group that we are collaborating with on behalf of our clients. Recently, we spoke to Vivek Patel who is the up and coming President of the Brighton University Panthers Ultimate Frisbee team, to see what the American sport is all about!
The idea behind Ultimate Frisbee
Our club is quite new, being founded within the last 10 years. Ultimate Frisbee is based on the American Sport, which is now a globally recognised, to even being recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
The sport is particularly big in Brighton, with both local university teams being well established in the community, and the Sussex Uni team setting the precedent for the UK with about 5 division one nationals titles in the last decade. We are looking to follow on their success with our team – The Brighton University Panthers!
Why are you different?
We’re different because we play a sport which most people haven’t yet heard of, but once they play it, they often tell us how much they enjoy it! Ultimate is built upon a strong foundation of fair mindedness, called “Spirit of the Game”– this means it’s great at bringing people together. This is the idea of self-refereeing the matches even at tournament level, so teams have to talk if there are fouls in order to decide a resolution. This is a sport where teams are encouraged to be honest and admit a foul rather than try to cover it up or lie to a ref.
The sport is also used to promote equality, with support for Pride, gender equality and racial equality shown in various levels of the game. Newcomers really like this aspect of the club which we are very proud of, especially when they compare it with other sports teams which are often associated with lad culture or winning at all costs such as fouling or diving in football. Not to say we don’t also party and have socials, our other nickname *is* the ‘party panthers’. we feel we have a very warm and welcoming environment especially for new Freshers.
What’s your best achievement to date?
In our short run as a club, we have already reached university nationals in our men’s outdoor division for the past 3 years since I’ve been with the club.
Last year, we were placed a record 4th in our division nationally. We are now also intending to do the same in our women’s division and mixed divisions, both indoor and outdoor.
What would you do with £1,000?
As we’re not a big sports team as of yet, our university unfortunately denied our request for funding, but this won’t get us down!
Previously we have had to largely subsided any funding we have received to allow more people to play at our tournaments, and enable our members to afford kit, which is currently all designed and paid for by any club members.
With £1,000 we would continue to invest further into more merchandise to help generate our own revenue and help spread our name across Brighton and the country! So far we’ve launched a line of hoodies (designed by our women’s captain) and we’re planning on launching a line of hats.
What’s your student demographic?
I would say we have a very wide demographic. Mostly young men, but we are a very open club; we have a few older members, as well as a third of the club now being female. We are aiming to grow the number of women so our women’s captain can take a team to nationals. We also have a diverse range of ethnicities with international students joining us every year, as well as different sexualities. Last year we had 3 or 4 American students with us for half the year, and this year we had some from Luxembourg who came with us to many tournaments. Both sets of students went back to their respective countries and the Luxembourgish students loved the club so much that they are now training with their national team.
Panthers Ultimate Frisbee Team in 3 words…