Recipients 2009


Bloom: Development of Youth Ultimate in Columbus, OH

Paul Kosmerl, Columbus, OH
Awarded: $700

Project Bloom hopes to build a thriving youth program.  Our goal is to create a single organizing body to administer, promote, and sustain HS ultimate in Columbus, Ohio. Beginning in the spring of 2009, the scholastic teams in existence will be organized into a league to play the other teams in the Columbus area. Before school is dismissed for the summer break of 2009, CUDA will host an ultimate camp for youth players. High school and middle school students will be strongly targeted as the desired youth market. At the end of the camp, teams will be formed for a youth summer league. We hope to have four schools participating in the OH High School State Championships in the spring of 2010 and eight in 2011. Correspondingly, our youth summer league should grow to exceed 100 players by the summer of 2011. From there, Project Bloom looks to expand our youth ultimate leagues to the fall and winter, leaving the spring season to scholastic competition. 

The Huddle

Andy Lovseth and Ben Wiggins, Seattle, WA
Awarded: $750 is an online Ultimate magazine focusing on developing-players and high level strategy and tactics. Launched in May 2008, The Huddle published every other week, focusing on Issues (about Strategy, such as catching, hucking, zone defense, etc) or Feature (about important off-field topics such as the UPA Board of Directors Election, written expert video commentary, the Youth division, etc).

We have an experienced, successful, and dynamic panel of volunteer writers that include representatives from the Youth, College, and Club scenes. In less than seven months, The Huddle has served over 600,000 page views and been read by over 40,000 unique visitors. We strive to grow our site with ambitious projects that aim to help everyone who hopes to learn more about Ultimate. We are in the early stages of development on a number of projects for 2009 including video explanations, audio commentaries on full-length games, and in-depth interviews with Ultimate leaders and pioneers. We are looking to expand our ability to produce media that can be readily consumed by our readership at many levels of the game.

Leadership Series

Frank Nam, Seattle, WA
Awarded: $300

We seek to host six seminars, beginning in late March and concluding in May, to discuss leadership on and off of the Ultimate field.  Seminars will include presentations, Q&A, and panel discussions which will focus on some or all of the following topics: on-field strategy, team building, coaching, communicaiton techniques, analysis of different types of leadership, discussion of gender issues, self-officiating and conflict resolution, event management, and more.          
The series will improve the leadership skills of our target audience of players, team captains, coaches, board members, and organizers which will better prepare them to fill their chosen roles in the Ultimate community. By creating better leaders we will have more growth, better representation within the community, better relationships with school administrators and the media, more legitimacy, and better on-field leaders.
By doing this we hope to enable team captains to improve the quality of play and to promote Spirit of the Game™.  We hope to create new ambassadors for the sport who will transfer their knowledge to other players, parents, and administrators.  We hope to empower and identify new volunteers and possibly staff members to work with DiscNW.

Middle School Ultimate Team for Children with Learning Disabilities

Justine Smith, Seattle, WA
Awarded: $500

Our goal is to start a middle school Ultimate team for children with learning disabilities at the Hamlin Robinson School in Seattle, Washington.  Playing Ultimate will allow children who struggle in the classroom to be a part of the larger community as well as build self-esteem, and be a part of an environment where their challenges aren't noticed by peers.  Teaching Spirit of the Game™ and self officiating will also provide these students with the skills necessary to negotiate the many challenges they will face over their life time.

Read the Disc!

Callie Lowenstein, New Haven, CT
Awarded: $200

This project will bring Ultimate to economically disadvantaged middle school students in New Haven, CT. Each week, volunteers from Yale's Ultimate program will offer an after-school program combining one hour of intensive tutoring with one hour of Ultimate. The project pairs Ultimate Frisbee with tutoring because we feel that the guidance college students provide on the field would translate well into an academic setting. The relationships developed with students through Frisbee would also help them to succeed in school, where these students are struggling, as evidenced by low scores on achievement tests and shocking high school drop-out rates.

We believe that the lessons and the teamwork inherent to Ultimate Frisbee will be invaluable for these New Haven youth, who have few opportunities to participate in organized sports and extracurricular activities. This co-ed program will help participants to build confidence, leadership skills, and a love of the game that will stay with them throughout their lives. We will be working at John S. Martinez School in Fair Haven, the predominantly Latino neighborhood of New Haven, where Ultimate Frisbee is all but unheard of. We believe that this project will bring Frisbee to youth who might otherwise never encounter the game, and we hope to inspire a new generation of New Haven Ultimate players to participate. 

We plan to have the program on the ground by the beginning of the Spring semester, and if it succeeds in the spring term, would like to expand it to another New Haven middle school in the upcoming Fall semester (September 2009) so that the groups developed by Read the Disc! can play one another, sparking a new community of young Ultimate players in the Elm City.

Rules Application Video

Colin McIntyre, Ann Arbor, MI
Awarded: $1500

The project involves creating a video containing plays and the correct application of rules to them, using simultaneous video footage of the play from multiple angles.  We anticipate using three or four cameras for each play.  The plays will include several of the most common areas of dispute: marking fouls, fast count, stalls, travels, in/out-of-bounds, in/out of the end zone, and receiving fouls.  We will then edit the footage to create clips of each play with synchronized views of relevant events (foot dragging and release, etc.) in regular and slow motion, and appropriate accompanying text explaining how the rules apply.  The video will include examples of each play with different outcomes.

Seattle Coaching Corp

Wynne Scherf, Seattle, WA
Awarded: $450

The Seattle Coaching Corps will consist of six sessions in the late summer/early fall, each one to three weeks apart.  It will largely target new coaches who have not played the sport, but it will also be applicable to current coaches and players who do not currently coach.  The program will delve deeper into topics addressed in the one-day UPA course, for the following purposes: 1) to provide continued support and further training to coaches who are unfamiliar with the sport, its rules, and its culture, and 2) to reach coaches who were not able to attend the UPA course.  All student coaches will be encouraged to first attend the UPA Level I Course.  Coaches who are UPA-Certified will be permitted to attend the Seattle Coaching Corps classes for free.  Coaches who are not UPA-Certified will be charged $40 for the full Seattle Coaching Corps program, or $10 per session. 

Ultimate Frisbee Organization for Students of Broome Co.

Ben Swerdlow, Endicott, NY
Awarded $850

Oasis is an after school program which provides activities and programming for at-risk high school students.  Students are at-risk because they have nothing to do in the critical time between 3 and 6 pm.  For teens which don’t fit in the after school programs offered by the high school and whose families do not have the financial resources to enroll them in other special interest activities, there are no other options in our community. 

Oasis has been successful at attracting and retaining these young people.  Our program focuses on personal excellence, academics, athletic programs, a broad variety of special interest workshops, and community service opportunities.

Our participants have recently formed an Ultimate Frisbee team with the assistance of the Binghamton Bearcats, the Ultimate Frisbee team from Binghamton University.  This team provides the opportunity for our students to develop the critical skills of group problem solving, conflict resolution, and developing as part of a team. 

This project proposes to create an Ultimate Frisbee league to include the other programs for at-risk teens with in the greater Broome County.  By developing a league, we can bring the sport to other high school groups, provide a forum for building community between these independent programs, and provide teams for ours to compete with.

Ultimate Mozambique Style

Wendy Prosser/Daniel Lee, South Burlington, VT
Awarded: $750

The purpose of this project is to embed the Spirit of the Game and the love of Ultimate in underprivileged young people in Mozambique by teaching the game in schools and community centers. This is an ideal game in an ideal place. Mozambique is a very poor country in southern Africa (with the world's 6th lowest Human Development Index in 2007). It has plenty of soccer fields, space to play, and young people with an incredible interest in new things. Young people have very few outlets for activities here and very few resources. The simplicity of Ultimate makes it ideal to grow in Mozambique. Project activities will start with capacity building for a Mozambican national to spend two weeks in Soweto, South Africa, with the group of young people there who benefited from an Innovation Grant last year and have continued with Ultimate and life skills activities. This Soweto group is an inspiration for these activities in Mozambique and will be advisors on this initiative. This experience sharing will be continued with a one-day Ultimate clinic for young men and women to launch this project and will place Ultimate on the radar screen in Mozambique. On-going trainer-led weekly after-school sessions for three months will give young people the opportunity to learn the game and improve their skills. An invitation will be extended to the group of young people from Soweto, South Africa, for a final workshop at the end of the school year. This final invitational will bring the two countries and new players together. With this project, we will create interest and talent in Ultimate Frisbee in a new generation of Mozambicans.