Six University of Cape Town (UCT) athletes are flying the South African flag high at the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) U24 ultimate frisbee tournament, currently under way in Nottingham in the United Kingdom until 8 July.
Aidan Klein, James Granelli, Alice Gwynne-Evans, Eliza Stewart, Sam Bovim and Tim Schlesinger are competing in the mixed division in Pool C with Singapore, Finland and Australia.
Not only is Gwynne-Evans captain of UCT Ultimate, she’s also been appointed the national team’s captain at the tournament.
“It’s impressive that there are six of us from UCT. It is testament to the coaching and programme that UCT sport [Sports & Recreation] is running. We put in a lot of work and invest in good coaches,” Gwynne-Evans remarked.
The team competes against universities and clubs in regional and provincial competitions at various stages throughout the year. This way, they can showcase their talents in the hope of being selected for national honours.
The most recent feather in their cap was their fourth-place finish at a national competition hosted in Gqeberha in May.
Their finish meant they were among the top university teams out of 14 participating groups.
The sport, Gwynne-Evans explained, is self-refereed, promoting the ethos of “spirit of the game”, which involves teams ranking each other on said spirit at the conclusion of matches.
“The beauty of the sport is that it ticks a lot of boxes. It’s one for everyone. It’s a fun, beautiful space to be part of. You can take it as easy or as hard as you like, and it has a range of levels,” said Gwynne-Evans.
“Ultimate frisbee isn’t as popular in the country and some other countries have head starts on the rest of us.”
Having played frisbee for the past three years, Gwynne-Evans is fulfilling a childhood dream by representing her country on a global stage.
“It is surreal to be representing my country. It’s been a dream of mine as a sportswoman, and it’s now a dream come true. It’s been a lot of work; we have been training hard and have had several training camps to get us ready.
“We have a good team vibe; however, we also recognise that it will be a challenge because ultimate frisbee isn’t as popular in the country and some other countries have head starts on the rest of us,” Gwynne-Evans said.
“We must have a sense of pride [at the competition]. [We] are representing [our] country with the best of [our] country sportspersons, and I want us to perform to become history-makers. We want to be inspirational through our performances and our team cohesion.
“We’ve got to know we are good enough and can compete on the world stage,” she added.
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