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National ultimate championship set to put Saskatoon in disc sport spotlight

Local ultimate players demonstrate the sport at an event announcing Saskatoon as host of the 2017 Canadian Ultimate Championships Mixed division. File / Global News

Disc sports are about to receive a lot more attention in Saskatoon. It was announced Monday that the city will host the 2017 Canadian Ultimate Championship Mixed tournament.

The event is set to take place Aug. 24 to 28, 2017, bringing many of the country’s top ultimate teams to town for five days of exciting action.

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Also known as ultimate Frisbee, the sport is a far cry from the leisurely pastime commonly seen at the beach or a family barbecue. Played on a field measuring 110 yards long and 40 yards wide, it requires a combination of speed, agility, endurance and teamwork.

“It’s quite a competitive … it takes a lot of athleticism to play this sport,” said Nola Stein, tournament organizing committee chair.

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“It’s really exciting to have the ability to showcase this to all the younger people that are coming up who heard about ultimate. Maybe they play with their friends here and there in a park but now they go, ‘wow, this is actually, I can play this, this is a real sport.'”

More than 500 athletes are expected to compete in next year’s championship including Saskatoon’s own Bunny Thugs, who placed third at nationals in 2015 and are the top-ranked team in Canada heading into this year’s tournament.

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Games will be played at Forest Park and SaskTel Sports Centre, with the championship game taking place at SMF Field.

“Definitely you’re going to help grow the quantity in terms of the number of people playing in our recreational leagues and on our competitive teams, but also the quality as well,” said Aaron Chubb, executive director of the Saskatoon Ultimate Disc-Sport Society.

“When you see that quality of an event and that quality of teams around, that spreads and everybody learns from it.”

The tournament will mark the first time Saskatoon hosts a national ultimate championship.

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