A GLIMPSE BACK AT ULTIMATE IN MALAYSIA
The roots of Ultimate can be traced to a group of teachers at International School in Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) in the early 2000’s who enjoyed a weekly game of pick-up among themselves. Before long, locals began to join in who in turn, began to recruit others. In 2004 Global Sports Partners (GSP) began to support the development of the sport with the manufacturing of a locally produced disc, MyDiscTM. The availability of a decent yet affordable disc worked in tandem with efforts by GSP to introduce the sport to a growing number of schools and universities as well as the organization of local tournaments beginning in 2005.
Since that time, the sport has mushroomed with a growing number of schools, universities as well as working adults enjoying both casual and competitive play. Certainly the presence of the internet, both Malaysia’s first site, www.ultimatemalaysia.com as well as other local sites which followed and instructional videos and examples of competitive play on YouTube were critical to the development of the sport. Facebook groups such as KLUltimate and NUTS (Northern Ultimate Tribes) and many others have also been instrumental in the development of the Ultimate network.
Today there are an estimated 30-40 clubs and teams actively playing the sport throughout East and West Malaysia representing well over 1000 players. Many more enjoy the sport on a more casual basis. Tournaments are held monthly at various locations throughout the nation including signature events such as the annual Malaysian Open and the Penang Hat which attract not only domestic competition but players/teams from throughout the region.
Certainly the Spirit of the Game (SOTG) – the heart of the sport – should be ultimately credited with the incredible growth of the sport. SOTG reminds all players “That while competitive play is encouraged, it is never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules or the joy of play.” Surely the sport of Ultimate is far more than a sport, but is also making a valuable contribution to a stronger sense of commUNITY among all peoples of the nation. The best is yet to come!