Clubzone: Ultimate Frisbee in Ballincollig

In this week's Clubzone we profile Ballincollig Ultimate, a team involved in the growing support of competitive frisbee.
Clubzone: Ultimate Frisbee in Ballincollig
Vika Fleming of Ballincollig Ultimate Team. Picture: Denis Minihane.

BALLINCOLLIG has a 40-player strong Frisbee team that’s looking to attract new members.

The sport is officially called “ultimate” and the Ballincollig Ultimate team was started four years ago by Ben Noonan and Matthew Feely.

Ben Noonan, head coach of Ballincollig Ultimate, throwing against Killian Leahy in the Ballincollig Regional Park, Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Ben Noonan, head coach of Ballincollig Ultimate, throwing against Killian Leahy in the Ballincollig Regional Park, Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Since then the club - one of three in the city - has seen some impressive results when competing against well-established teams.

The skillful, competitive sport, encourages sportsmanship. Last year the team placed first at the Indoor All-Ireland Championships and fourth at the Outdoor All-Ireland Championships.

This weekend, the team play the outdoor championships in Limerick and hope to do better than last year.

Ballincollig Ultimate Team members who play ultimate frisbee at the Regional Park, Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Ballincollig Ultimate Team members who play ultimate frisbee at the Regional Park, Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Minihane.

This summer saw the team play a tournament in the UK.

“Many of us who play for Ballincollig have represented Ireland on a number of occasions,” Mr Noonan said. 

“I was lucky enough to travel to Toronto in 2013 for the World Championships and again to London in 2015 for the same tournament - there are so many opportunities to play abroad with the sport and that's one of the reasons I love it.” 

Patrick Hayes and Dan Molnar.Ballincollig Ultimate Team playing ultimate frisbee at the Regional Park, Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Patrick Hayes and Dan Molnar.Ballincollig Ultimate Team playing ultimate frisbee at the Regional Park, Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Minihane.

This week the team - aged between 17 and 25 years - had their last training session at Ballincollig Regional Park, before the weekend nationals.

Mr Noonan encourages anyone interested in the sport to watch them train to get a feel for it. In time, the club hopes to start a women’s team.

Alan Reidy in action with Ballincollig Ultimate Team playing ultimate frisbee at the Regional Park, Ballincollig.  Picture: Denis Minihane.
Alan Reidy in action with Ballincollig Ultimate Team playing ultimate frisbee at the Regional Park, Ballincollig.  Picture: Denis Minihane.

“We're always looking for new players.

“We have two age categories, junior and senior and we take players as young as 15, of all experience levels.

“It's our goal to have an under 17 team in the next year or two, as well as run summer camps for players younger than 15.

“The emphasis on sportsmanship and fair play in the sport is something that’s invaluable for younger players, so it's a great sport to get involved with.” 

Mr Noonan and Mr Feely first played ultimate in after-school sessions run by the UCC club at Ballincollig Community School and Colaiste Choilm. There was huge interest, so the pair wanted to set up another club; they’ve recruited players ever since.

In recent years the sport has become semi-professional in the USA.

For more information email Ben at: ballincolligultimate@gmail.com

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