2020 World Ultimate Frisbee Championships kicks off with demo for 3000 students
Leeuwarden got a taste of the WFDF 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships for the first time. As part of the freshman orientation period in Leeuwarden, over 3000 freshmen got acquainted with Ultimate by watching a demonstration by several members of Dutch ultimate teams and were given the opportunity to throw a disc themselves aswell. Delegate Sander de Rouwe took care of the official kick-off by presenting the official event logo.
Ultimate Frisbee may be a fairly small sport in the Netherlands, but it is showing huge growth internationally in recent years. As many as 53 countries are participating in the WFDF 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships from 11 to 18 July in Leeuwarden. From Venezuela to Guam and from Lebanon to the United States, where Ultimate Frisbee is even practiced at a professional level. They are all participating in the WFWD 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships with one or more teams. In addition to the world championships for men and women, there is also a division for mixed teams.
Dutch Ultimate internationals
Various internationals from Dutch Ultimate teams were present in Leeuwarden on Monday to attend the official kick-off and provide a demonstration for the interested students. Delegate Sander de Rouwe of the province of Friesland had the honour of revealing the official event logo. He is more than happy about the WFDF 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships coming to his province. “The impact of the event should not be underestimated. There are over 3500 athletes participating in the World Championships. In total, approximately 5000 people will come to Friesland, who will all sleep, eat and drink here. It also puts Friesland and Leeuwarden on the map as a tourist destination.”
Responsible alderman Sjoerd Feitsma, who could not be present for the kick-off due to the swearing in of Sybrand van Haersma Buma as mayor of Leeuwarden, is just as proud of the event. “The WFDF 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships should be a celebration for all people from Leeuwarden. That is why the event is largely freely accessible and we are providing things like clinics at schools in the municipality in the run-up to the event.
Big plans ahead
Eric Kersten, director of sports events agency Team TOC, which is organising the WFDF 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships is confident that the event will come to life among the residents of Leeuwarden in the coming months. “Today it were the students, but the rest of Leeuwarden and Friesland will be added in the coming months. Together with the municipality, the national association and the province, we have various plans in place to bring the event and the sport to the attention of the people.”
WUGC2020 will help to grow the sport
Currently, in the Netherlands, about 1700 people are a member of the Dutch Frisbee Association (NFB). Chairman Jos Verhoeven expects a significant growth in the number of members in the coming years, with the World Championships in Leeuwarden as a major catalyst. “Ultimate Frisbee is a fast, physical and dynamic game. In addition, there is a major focus on sportsmanship and respect in the sport. At the moment, the sport is fairly unknown in the Netherlands, but I think the World Championships will certainly change that.”