Recipients 2010


Analysis of Parent and Youth Perspectives on the Effects of Ultimate Participation on Symptoms of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

Amelie Mabbutt, Seattle, WA
Award Amount: $250

This project fulfills scholarly research requirements for Amelie to earn her masters degree in community health/public health nursing from Seattle University. Through survey and interview methods, she hopes to quantitatively and qualitatively examine the sport of Ultimate as a non-drug intervention for managing ADHD in youth. While research has been conducted examining sports participation and behavioral disorders and misconduct, focus tends toward more traditional sports, with no research in self-officiated team sports such as Ultimate. Additionally, results are inconclusive in regard to whether team sports mediate misconduct and aggression in youth, or worsen it (Hastad et al., 1984; Begg, et al., 1996). More recently, research points to the benefits of "green spaces" for mediating ADHD symptoms (Kuo & Taylor, 2004). These and other research stepping-stones point toward a need for further analysis of the interaction between sports and ADHD. Amelie hopes to introduce the sport of Ultimate to the health care and public health community in a way that is academically valid and innovative.

CUNY Ultimate Club and Team

2010 Grant CUNY Ultimate Club Logo

Ernest Pysher, New York, NY
Award Amount: $500

The CUNY Ultimate Club and Team is a coalition of five separate first-year programs within CUNY (Hunter College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, Queens College, and City College).  Through extraordinary feats of administration, organizers have been able to combine these individual programs into one club--The CUNY Ultimate Club and Team.  The Club will welcome any members from these five colleges (as well as Lehman College and College of Staten Island) and will form a CUNY Ultimate League in the spring that will have a competitive season with the 5-7 schools that will have programs.

The season will lead to a playoff/championship that will be called the CUNY Ultimate Tournament!  This tournament will be ideally played in a venue that can support fans from all of the colleges coming and rooting for their home team in an environment of school spirit and competitive fun.  Ultimate is the vehicle to those ends. 

Following the tournament at the end of this year, a team of the league's All-Stars will combine to make the CUNY Ultimate Team.  Through the combined efforts of all the schools involved, this team will be afforded the opportunity to compete regionally and nationally to represent CUNY and its ultimate program to the rest of the country.  Through these actions we hope to accomplish a growth of school spirit, an opportunity for players of all skill levels to have a good time, and a fonder appreciation for the sport as a whole.

Girls Throw the Gauntlet

2010 Grant Girls Throw the Gauntlet

Susie Mercer, Atlanta, GA
Award Amount: $850

Susie hopes to start the first girls Ultimate team in Atlanta Public Schools at Grady High School in 2010.  The Grady Gauntlet, the boys team, coached by Susie Mercer and Dylan Tunnell, has grown in size and success for the last four years. They play in the open division, but with girls mixed in.  There's been interest in starting a girls team, but not the resources to do so.

Now, the time is ripe for several reasons. Ms. Paddi White is an enthusiastic, experienced coach whose 8th grade girls' team won their final local competition last year. As these girls come to Grady High School this and next year, she'd like to contribute to starting a girls high school team. More girls have joined the open team at Grady every year, so there is leadership built among them. This would be the first female Ultimate team in Atlanta Public Schools, and one of the few high school female teams in the metro area.  

Guam Military League

Michael Thornton, Commander, U.S. Navy, Merizo, Guam
Award Amount: $1000

This project will establish and sustain a coed intra-service league to promote the growth of Ultimate on the U.S. territory of Guam, among the Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy and Army units stationed there (expanding to the Marine Corps with their arrival in 2012).

Ultimate is especially conducive to the military lifestyle, it is fast-paced, requires minimal equipment and is, therefore, especially suitable for deployable forces.

The territory of Guam has a population of approximately 155,000; over 15000 of those are military members and their dependents, expected to increase to over 38,000 by 2014.

Overarching goals are to:

  • Establish an organized league, to include an all-volunteer governing body, rostered & organized teams, and Player-Coaches
  • Develop a website to attract Ultimate enthusiasts and inform league members
  • Develop a GUPA Flyer to distribute to local Commands, activities and establishments
  • Promote and support competitive tournaments
  • Conduct Ultimate clinics at local DODEA schools and Morale, Welfare & Recreational activities
  • Provide a collection of Ultimate resources for the Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base Libraries, for the use of all military, DOD civilians and contract employees with access

Due to the consistent movement of military members, by educating and developing Ultimate among military members - the sport will naturally grow as members move to future duty stations in the continental U.S. and around the world.

Installation of Ultimate Lines on Synthetic Fields at Delridge Playfield

Loren Hill, Seattle, WA
Award Amount: $500

Through this project, Loren and other Seattle organizers hope to have permanent lines for two Ultimate fields installed at Delridge Playfield.  Renovations are scheduled for Delridge that include replacement of the lights and conversion of the playing surface from all-weather sand to synthetic infill.  Last year, Seattle residents passed Proposition 2 which allocated money for the acquisition and development of Parks and Playfields in Seattle. Money from that levy is earmarked for the renovations at Delridge Playfield.  More information about the Parks and Green Spaces Levy can be found online at  DiscNW is working to change the model for new and renovated multi-purpose fields to include Ultimate as well as established sports like soccer and football.  We hope that this project will help expand the use of public resources for a wider variety of sport and activities.

Learn to Play Ultimate at Blue Hill Consolidated School

2010 Grant Blue Hill Logo

Beth Jackson, Blue Hill, ME
Award Amount: $200

As part of the school's 2009-2010 "Be Well" theme, students will take part in elements of the FUEL UP TO PLAY 60 program launched by the NFL and the National Dairy Council (NDC).  This new program is aimed at tackling childhood obesity.  The program is designed to help students take charge of their health - making better choices about the food they eat and creating more opportunities to take part in 60 minutes of daily physical activity.  We see this as an opportunity to introduce Ultimate to students (ages 5 to 13) who would not otherwise be exposed to the game. 

Our project has three steps and is designed to work as follows: 

  • STEP ONE: We will work with a small group of older students introducing them to Ultimate and preparing them to be ambassadors of the sport in the springtime.  
  • STEP TWO: In the spring we will invite peninsula students ages 5 to 13 to play Ultimate at the BHCS twice a week. 
  • STEP THREE: We will host an Ultimate camp during T.V. Turn-Off Week (normally held towards the end of the school year).  

With this project we hope to teach students the importance of the Spirit of the Game™, introduce them to a new sport that can be played anywhere for a lifetime, and give students a chance to shape their own after school activity program. 

Midwest Throwdown Roundup Skills Clinic

Michelle Ng, Austin, TX
Award Amount: $1500

Michelle believes that one of the primary obstacles to the growth of women's Ultimate is a lack of resources- both financial and knowledge-based.  Her approach to changing this has been multi-faceted.  In addition to running nearly a dozen college women's tournaments she, along with the support of South Region Women's College Regional Coordinator Sheena Connell, developed a website called College Women's Ultimate Resources that has brought together some of the best women's Ultimate players in North America to share their college Ultimate experiences and tips on training, developing a program, and other Ultimate-related issues. 

Michelle is also involved with running five college tournaments this season, all of which are benefiting college teams in need.  One of these tournaments includes a new project, the Midwest Throwdown Roundup Skills Clinic.  Over the past few years, she has observed that there are a number of small, inexperienced college teams in the Midwest who do not have access to a coach or to the knowledge necessary for them to develop a sustainable Ultimate program. 

Along with the assistance of Anna Nazarov (ex-UCLA, Zeitgeist) and Holly Greunke (ex-Wisconsin), Michelle organized a plan to bring eight of the best women's players in the world to Midwest Throwdown to guest coach and mentor eight local college teams for the weekend.  Coaches representing San Francisco Fury, Bay Area Zeitgeist, Seattle Riot, Texas Showdown, and Boston Brute Squad will be in attendance. Michelle is working with the coaches to put together a binder of advice, information, drills, and resources, as well as build a base curriculum for the coaches to use over the course of the weekend. 

The goal is to use the Roundup Division Skills Clinic as a pilot project that can be replicated around the country.  We have already set the wheels in motion to start a second clinic in Philadelphia, and as the project grows, we hope to expand it to include more cities.  The binder of resources is something that we hope to continue to develop and distribute at future tournaments that we run.

March 8-9, 2010 Midwest Throwdown
We brought in eight of the best women's Ultimate players in the world to Midwest Throwdon to guest coach / mentor eight local college teams for the weekend.  The team-coach pairs were as follows:
Grinnell College  - Cara Crouch
Mississippi State - Chelsea Putnam
John Brown University - Jody Dozono
Oberlin College - Anne Pogoriler
Oklahoma State University - VY Chow
Tulane University - Jamie Nuwer
University of North Texas - Dominique Fontenette
Western Michigan University - Gwen Ambler

The Roundup Division allowed these coaches to give the college teams skills and drills to take back to their practices at home, coach them on strategy, and generally give them a positive role model that they can go to with Ultimate-related questions.  Prior to the weekend, we provided coaches with some basic information about the team (team bios and history, knowledge of offensive and defensive sets, goals, etc.) and encouraged the coaches and teams to correspond in order to develop a relationship before the weekend.  We also required the coaches to develop a lesson outline for the weekend, and used these lesson plans to encourage collaboration during certain drills sessions (if teams were learning the same concept and/or learning concepts that complemented each other) as well as to develop a unique game schedule for each team. 

In addition to the Roundup Division, these coaches along with four others, led skills clinic stations for approximately 250 Midwest Throwdown attendees Saturday afternoon of the tournament.  The station descriptions can be found here  Footage from the skills clinic will be distributed online.  Also, the College Women’s Ultimate Resources Manual was completed, printed, and distributed at the tournament. 

Based on the informal feedback we have received, we think that our project has had a very positive impact on these eight teams and has also opened the eyes of eight elite level club players to a demographic in Ultimate that is often overlooked.  We hope that these coaches will share this experience with their friends and teammates, which will generate more interest in bringing knowledge and resources to these teams.  The Saturday afternoon skills clinic was also filmed and will be published on the internet, hopefully raising more awareness.  This project has further expanded the belief that by creating more opportunities for joint development and interaction, we can increase networking, encourage sharing of resources, and build more social capital for the development of Ultimate everywhere.

Ultimate Bronx

Jonathon Warchol, Bronx, NY
Award Amount: $450

The goal of this project is to implement Ultimate into the Sports Enrichment Program at C.A.R.E.  Currently they provide 6th grade students with a Boys and Girls Basketball team, Cheerleading, Step, and Boys and Girls Running. The program has been going on four the past four school years.   Each year these teams have grown and progressed.  Implementing an Ultimate team would be a great way to enrich the program and bring exposure to Ultimate in the Bronx. 

First, they will develop an intramural team that the students would participate in during lunch and/or physical education.  As the students have little to no exposure to Ultimate, this will be used to ground all of the students in the rules of the game and the techniques in throwing. 

From there, a school team will be chosen of approximately 28-30 students.  These students will then attend our Saturday Sports Program where we will work together as a team and develop our game.  Then they will work with other physical education teachers in the Bronx to put together a small league to provide opportunities to compete against other schools.  

Ultimate Video Modules for Physical Education Teachers

Valerio Iani, South Orange, NJ
Award Amount: $750

Valerio plans to develop a series of eight modules for Physical Education teachers that will enable them to teach a beginners course of Ultimate.  The modules will provide a comprehensive, structured lesson for beginners that is fun and challenging.

Valerio will synthesize and draw upon existing resources such as Ultimate books, websites, UPA references and manuals, and team playbooks as well as use his extensive experiences working with schools and P.E. teachers.  Each module will have two elements:

  • video showing basic skills and drills
  • written, ready-to-print explanations featuring diagrams of drills

The simple-to-use modules can be adapted to meet various needs and will allow P.E. teachers who are not Ultimate players to easily add the sport to their courses. Through this project we hope to make Ultimate a widely popular gym class activity.