Local ultimate flying high after IOC recognition
17 August, 2015
At the Singapore Ultimate Open 2015 on Sunday, defending champions Shiok! held off Chinese Taipei in a nerve-wrecking final to retain the title.
Shiok! celebrates with their gold medals. Photo: Sport Singapore
While Shiok! dominated early on, Chinese Taipei fought back to tie the match in the later half leaving everyone on tenterhooks before the title holders came through for a 15-14 win.
"We won by very little last year and it's the same. Anyone can win," Clive Myint Soe, coach of Shiok said!
"In fact if you look at the teams at the top, they keep rotating. We've got some teams who last year weren't in the top eight and then now you got two of them in the top eight. It's anyone's game,” he said.
Competitors from Shiok! (in red( and Chinese Taipei in action. Photo: Sport Singapore
"So we are very relieved to have come through. We are just glad that our time on the field has paid off."
Ultimate frisbee, which has experienced soaring popularity in Singapore, recently received full recognition as an Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
This means the sport is now eligible for IOC funding and can be considered for future Olympic games, although it will still face intense competition from the many other sports vying for inclusion.
President of Ultimate Players Association (Singapore) Enrique Lee said this recognition can only bode well for the sport locally.
"It could finally bring frisbee into a mainstream sport. Right now, schools are not having that as CCAs (Co-curricular Activities) because it's not a SEA Games sport, it's not a NSA (National Sports Associations) sport. We are trying hard to work towards that and with this IOC recognition it will probably help towards that,” he said.
Singaporean ultimate frisbee teams have performed well in international competitions so far and Lee and his team are toiling away to further grow the sport in the hopes that it be included in the SEA Games one day.
Competitors from Shiok! in action. Photo: Sport Singapore
"Right now, we have actually been sending a lot of Singapore teams to international tournaments. And they have come back with pretty good results being in the top 10 for the world last year. And next year, we are actually sending them to the world nationals," said Lee.
"Hopefully, if there is going to be frisbee in SEA Games, we are actually going to aim for a medal so that could actually work in our favour.
"Apart from that, we are actually doing a lot of clinics for school, for corporates, bringing frisbee to the community, so hopefully that spreads the awareness much more."