The idea of playing with a large plastic disk or frisbee often is associated with childhood and recreation. However playing with a frisbee can be taken to extreme levels and become a sport.
In the late 1970s it was a big deal globally with international tournaments and a fair amount of media coverage. A group of residents in the Cayman Islands are looking for frisbee, in particular the sporting version called ultimate frisbee, to spark a following here.
Badir Awe, Josh Lavelle, Scott Murray and Steve Weitzman are the four main organizers of the sport in Cayman. The quartet has ensured ultimate frisbee has had a presence the last two years in the form of pick-up games. Every Friday evening at 5.30pm dozens of residents storm the Cayman International School pitch at Camana Bay. There they play matches that last roughly an hour and a half which display a surprising amount of athleticism and strategy.
Weitzman, like the other co-founders, is an avid player in ultimate frisbee. He states the competitiveness and sportsmanship seen in the sport are its lasting impressions.
“Not only is ultimate frisbee a fun game, but it’s also an amazing cardio workout,” Weitzman said. “It involves a lot of running, and people are always amazed at what a good workout they get from it. It’s way more fun than running on a treadmill or an elliptical machine and it’s a better workout too.
“Ultimate frisbee is a great co-ed sport. Women are on the field at the same time as men and can fit in, participate and excel. The only thing attendees really need is to bring a dark and a white T-shirt so we can divide into teams and bring plenty of drinking water.
“The great thing about ultimate frisbee is the welcoming attitude of the players. Everyone is welcome and it doesn’t matter whether you can throw a frisbee or not. You don’t have to be a great athlete to play and you don’t have to be able to throw a frisbee well. All you need is the ability to run around a little and the desire to have a lot of fun. The people at our games are not judgmental and they are very inclusive, so newbies can always fit right in and play. Especially with the Friday pickup game, we typically don’t even keep score, it’s just about having fun so there is no pressure for new players to be great and no one is upset if you drop the frisbee or make a bad throw. It’s just a great bunch of people with great attitudes.”
Weitzman readily admits that the sport is looking to raise its profile. The plan is that in the future there can be a formal league complete with teams. In the near future there is even plans to host a tournament to benefit charity.
“In addition to the Friday pick-up game, our goal is to expand and keep developing the sport of ultimate frisbee here in Cayman. We plan to host a competitive tournament in the near future and our goal is to then expand into a full league soon thereafter.”