Ultimate Frisbee @ Project KHEL
At Project KHEL, our aim has never been to produce sportspersons, rather to harness the power of sports to achieve developmental goals. With this overarching understanding, we have not taken up opportunities to create and field teams in football/ cricket/ volleyball, etc. even though we have had facilitators who have played these sports at the state and national level.
However, as described in Why Ultimate, this particular sport embodies everything we do through sport at Project KHEL. Our founder, who played a bit of Ultimate in Austria in 2001 and in Chennai in 2010, introduced the concept of “ultimate” in Made in Maidaan in 2013 for our children who had reached a level where they could play a game without a referee. Thus, we had games of Ultimate kho-kho and Ultimate Pitthu where the players would self-regulate.
In 2014, we took 11 of our children to an Ultimate Frisbee youth camp – Bridging the Gaps – being held at Ahmedabad. These 11 children came back to Lucknow and introduced the skills they had learned to our facilitators and other children. Soon frisbees were flying at Made in Maidaan sessions at 20 different locations in the city – being thrown by over 1300 children!
At Project Khel, Ultimate is used as a tool to imbibe and develop important social skills – self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness – that enable children to effectively manage themselves and their relationship with others.
In the recently concluded Rio Olympics (2016) two athletes were awarded a rare medal for displaying sportsmanship. Just as on the Ultimate Frisbee field, at Project KHEL too, this behavior is the norm and not an exception!