Monday, March 29, 2010

Annual Ultimate Frisbee competition

Kodaikanal International School (KIS) this past weekend hosted 10 teams to compete in the annual Fly Baba Ultimate Frisbee Tournament held at the hill station of Kodaikanal. The two day competition has quickly become the highlight of the increasingly popular Ultimate Frisbee sport in India, with participating players from around the world and teams representing Ahmedabad, Auroville, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Kodaikanal taking the field for a fierce, but always friendly, contest. This year’s tourney was swept by home team ‘Sholakhadoos’ who went undefeated 5-0 after defeating in the finals Chennai based “Chakraa”. KIS teacher and victorious team captain Bryan Plymale said of the event, “the Fly Baba tournament -and really Ultimate Frisbee as a game - is more about the spirit of sportsmanship and having fun than it is about winning. You need look no further than how far these teams have traveled - for nothing more than love of the game, love of the outdoors and the bond of camaraderie this game is known for around the world. Ultimate Frisbee is a unifier of people regardless of gender, race, creed, nationality or age.”

Beyond the contest was an underlying ‘green’ theme. Kodaikanal’s team name- “Sholakhadoo” was derived from Tamil meaning ‘deep forest.’ Local sponsoring organizations such as trekking and camping outfitter Kodaikanal Wilderness Club and environmental consultant group Peerless Green Initiatives (PGI) used the event to highlight and educate teams and spectators about the unique and at-risk ecosystem of the Western Ghats and Palni Hills where Kodaikanal is located. Said PGI director Frank Costanzo about the event, “Ultimate by its nature is an outdoor sport and the people who play and watch typically have an affinity for nature. This tournament has been a great way to raise awareness regarding threats caused by man’s violation of the local ecosystem through devastating pollution of the Kodia Lake and the permanent contamination of the shola forest by Hindustan Unilever during their operation of the Kodai mercury thermometer plant. The response at this event was uplifting, and the message of our grassroot public awareness campaign will be carried back - by these amazing athletes - to nearly every major city in India.” The public awareness campaign launched at the event raised over Rs 13,000 for the Palni Hills Conservation Counsel and collected hundreds of signatures in support of the mercury clean up mission.

In addition, Auroville “Spinergy” was presented the Spirit of Game Award, given to the team that best embodied the principles of fair play and positive attitude. Two unique aspects of Ultimate Frisbee are player self-governance without referees, and all games end with the winning and losing team gathering mid-field for a huddle to celebrate and commend their respective performance on the field.

For more information contact:

Frank Costanzo
Peerless Green Initiatives
St Marys Road
tel: 9626936431