On December 1st, American Ultimate Academy teamed up with DC Public Schools to teach Physical Educators from across the district about Ultimate. Over the course of two clinics, we connected with over 80 teachers, teaching basic throwing cues, offensive fundamentals, and core tenets of Spirit of the Game. The instructors were engaged and enthusiastic about learning the sport, and were particularly eager to play in scrimmages themselves. We are excited to watch these PE instructors share Ultimate with their students, and AUA will continue to provide educational material and support to help expand the game throughout Washington DC.
Physical Educators experienced all the athleticism of Ultimate at H.D. Woodson at their Professional Development Day
After going through the basic fundamentals of forehands, backhands, and hammers, the instructors got to get a taste of the cardio benefits of Ultimate with a deep cutting drill. Many of the instructors, experienced with football and basketball footwork, were able to quickly and creatively transition their footwork and coordination into a high percentage of completions. After 10 minutes of ‘cut-cut-catch’, there was a clear consensus through the heavy breathing, “I can’t wait to take this back to my classrooms”.
Teachers and students alike got excited about throwing at Professional Development Day
After the first round of drills, we took a little break to discuss Spirit of the Game and self-officiation as transferable skills outside of Ultimate. Many of the teachers were surprised that a sport could rely on the players respecting the rules, and acknowledged that it could be a huge tool in promoting sportsmanship and conflict resolution in their schools.
DCPS Director of Health and Physical Education Miriam Kenyon throws one of the many highlight level plays.
Both clinics ended with what all the physical educators were waiting for, the PD day Championships. Anticipation filled the air as we broke the educators into three teams. The teachers learned quickly, asking questions about offensive formation, inquiring about the rules, and after a disputed ‘out call’ learned how important Spirit of the Game is to Ultimate. As the games got closer, more and more people rose to the challenge of playing this new sport. Even a group of High Schoolers, who had begrudgingly got kicked off the Woodson Gym in order to accommodate their Frisbee playing teachers, put down their basketballs and got in on the action. Both games featured highlight reel plays and ended in close wins. At the end of the day, all of the instructors came away in awe of the athleticism and skill required to excel at Ultimate.
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