Disc sports aiming to fly high

Chua Boon Hui, 18, of the Disctractors Club, receiving a pass against opponents Thirsty Camels at the UPA(S) Mixed Nationals yesterday.
Chua Boon Hui, 18, of the Disctractors Club, receiving a pass against opponents Thirsty Camels at the UPA(S) Mixed Nationals yesterday.ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

SportSG is working with enthusiasts to facilitate creation of governing body

The sport of flying discs, or frisbee, as it is popularly known, could boast its own national sports association (NSA) by the end of the year.

The sport is currently governed by the Ultimate Players Association (Singapore) or UPA(S), a non-profit organisation.

Lim Teck Yin, chief executive officer of local sport governing body Sport Singapore, said yesterday that SportSG will help UPA(S) work towards the creation of an NSA.

Speaking at the launch of the ActiveSG Flying Disc Club at Kallang Field, he said: "This (process of becoming an NSA) could easily happen within the year.

"The association will work very closely with the Singapore Sports Institute, which is responsible for overseeing, from SportSG's perspective, all the NSAs."

Lim added that "an NSA is ultimately responsible for the technical development of their game and that SportSG will help UPA(S) officials develop a coaching framework and high-performance pathway".

UPA(S) president Ang Ziwei said: "We're working towards that and hope that we will get (NSA status) in time to come.

  • +2,000

  • Change in number of active Ultimate frisbee players in Singapore from two years ago.

"We are trying to strengthen the profile of our community, get the numbers and full set of coaches to cater to the demands of being an NSA."

Becoming an NSA would help the sport qualify for funding from SportSG, and allow its elite athletes to benefit from the sport science and financial support that SportSG offers.

Ang, a full-time swimming coach, said that the national team largely fund themselves for overseas meets, although the team receive support from sports apparel supplier Rubixwear and Ultimate Academy Singapore, an academy which provides coaching support.

The national team took part in the World Ultimate and Guts Championships in June last year and finished joint-13th out of 30 teams in the mixed category. They are preparing for the World Championships of Beach Ultimate, to be held in France from June 18-24.

Yesterday's launch took place alongside the UPA(S) Mixed Nationals, which featured over 500 players from 20 teams.

The ActiveSG Flying Disc Club uses the term flying disc because "frisbee" is a registered trademark of toy company Wham-O.

It is the latest entrant to SportSG's host of sports academies.

The most popular flying disc sport format is Ultimate, where two teams score against each other by passing the disc to a team-mate in the opposing end zone.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who helped launched the club, gamely played a friendly Ultimate match.

Ms Fu said she used to play the sport with her three children when they were younger and said it was a great way for families to bond.

She added: "Over the last few years, it's really getting support... but we think there's still some potential particularly those in secondary schools, and also some schools which still do not have these programmes. That's where ActiveSG can (offer support)."

UPA(S)'s Ang echoed Ms Fu's sentiments, and hopes the club will help the sport gain traction here, particularly among those aged 17 and under.

The sport has doubled its number of active players in recent years, from 2,000 in 2015 to 4,000 today. Most of them range from 17 to 28 years old.

Ang said: "We don't really have programmes in secondary and primary schools. That's an area we want to get into.

"Hopefully with the launch and NSA status, we can bring this sport into schools, starting with physical education lessons."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2017, with the headline 'Disc sports aiming to fly high'. Print Edition | Subscribe