Australian frisbee fanatics put city in a spin

Don’t let the equipment fool you… they may be playing with Frisbees, but the sport of ultimate is serious stuff.

This weekend around 600 people from across the country and New Zealand have descended on Bendigo for the 35th National Ultimate Championship. And it was the Huntly Recreation Reserve that brought them here.

“We came because of the fact that there’s 16 fields here and we have the ability to play 16 games at once,” said tournament director John Hempel.

Over four days 16 simultaneous games lasting 90-minutes each occur three or four times a day.

“It’s really good, the weather has been perfect, we couldn’t have asked for any better,” Mr Hempel said.

He said the tournament was great for Bendigo – both financially and for introducing locals to a little-known national sport.

“There are some players who came early on Thursday who went to the dawn service and had a look around and there are definitely people staying on after the tournament as well,” Mr Hempel said.

Even though Bendigo is the base this year, only three of the 560 players are from the region.

But that could all change after this weekend.

As part of the fun there will be free come and try sessions today at 10am and 12pm and tomorrow at 10am for anyone wanting to learn about ultimate.

“We’ve done quite a bit of promotional stuff to get some interest in the local community,” Mr Hempel said.

“People can come and look at how we play and try to learn how to play ultimate for themselves.”

He said anyone interested in witnessing some gruelling competition should call in for the women’s final at 10am on Sunday and the men’s final at 12pm.

To find out more about ultimate, and the three local players, turn to page 4 and 5 of today’s Weekender.

Ultimate players warming up.

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