Jack Christoffel works a forehand pass. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times
Jack Christoffel works a forehand pass. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times Keagan Elder

Ultimate Olympic fever

NEWS of ultimate disc being recognised by the International Olympic Committee has a small group of Kingaroy players excited.

As a possible future Summer Games sport, this attention has caught Samuel Larkin, who has played for more than five years.

Ultimate disc is a sport best described as a crossover between netball and American gridiron, which makes sense due to its American heritage.

Played in more than 50 countries, the sport founded in the 1960s has grown dramatically.

As part of a Christian youth group, Larkin was introduced into the sport by his pastor and has not looked back since.

But for Larkin, the game is more than throwing a disc in the park.

"I live by the philosophy of if you're competitive, you will be good for disc," he said.

As a man of his word, in the social game of ultimate disc in Memorial Park, Kingaroy, Larkin marked his opponent as if there was no tomorrow.

Up close and personal, Larkin did his best to stop his opponents from releasing the disc to another of their team mates.

When the disc was in Larkin's team possession, he made long attacking runs and did anything to ensure the disc did not touch the ground and result in a disc turnover.

This meant a lunging dive onto the hard ground was not out of the question, even if it tore at skin and drew blood.

Bloodied, the result far outweighed the pain for Larkin.

But it was not only Larkin who was engulfed by the competitive nature of this sport.

Rosh-Hannah Christoffel put her relationship with her father on the line in a bid to win the disc.

In a heated game, she barged over her father who had unknowingly broken his arm when he went in for a catch.

As one of the women who play in the mixed sport, Christoffel makes the most of her natural-given advantage.

"Being a girl, the boys are less likely to run into us," she said.

"My dad is the only one to run into me."

Despite ultimate disc being a non-contact sport, there are the inevitable run-ins with other players as attentions locks onto the disc.

Intimidation is also a huge part of the defensive game as markers make themselves large in front of opponents in an attempt to block off a pass.

But in spite of her size, Christoffel is not put off by larger opponents.

"I don't think I'm scared of anybody on the field anymore," she said.

On the opposite end of the player spectrum are the ones who play for the fun of it - perhaps reminiscent of the past playing disc with friends and family.

With its simple set of rules, ultimate disc is easy to pick up and play, be it inside or outside.

Before Tim De Caluwe picked up the sport, he had not even thrown a disc before.

Ever since he made his way onto the field, he has managed to pick up multiple throwing styles to help get the disc away from his opponent.

Although some of these styles worked better than others.

"I was one of those people who learned power before technique," he said.

Budding ultimate disc player Jayden Cross said after a while the trajectory of the disc became predictable, so new throwing styles could help.

"Half of them (throwing styles) are just made up on the spot," he said.

"I find this a game with a lot of skill development."

South Burnett

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