Ultimate Spirit is an Indigenous focused program delivered by BC Ultimate. Every perspective is welcomed and respected with the understanding that learning is most impactful when done symbiotically. It is a collaborative initiative that takes a holistic approach to health. The program acknowledges the importance and interaction of the physical, mental, spiritual, and cultural aspects of Indigenous communities in BC.
Unify connection, healing, and wellness in communities through the culture, spirit and sport of ultimate.
To transform connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
Ultimate Spirit, through it’s Community Ultimate Spirit Program (CUSP), delivers multi-week school-based program designed for youth ages 12 and up attending Indigenous schools, or public schools with high Indigenous populations in British Columbia. Participating schools and communities will experience multiple series, each with 10 sessions, which are designed to take participants from an introduction to disc activities to intermediate and advanced disc skills to competitive play. Youth will be invited to join in the journey, while learning the game of ultimate. They will be exploring self awareness, responsible decision-making, self management, relationship skills, social awareness, mentorship, and community building, through the vehicle of the sport of ultimate. Ultimate Spirit will also connect the program participants with the larger ultimate community as a whole.
A key component of CUSP is to identify committed local athletes and train them as sport leaders within their communities, providing them with both the knowledge and equipment needed to develop the sport between formal sessions.
The program works in support of holistic growth and the development of social emotional learning. Through play, youth learn to effectively manage themselves and their relationships with others. Research has demonstrated that social and emotional learning is critical for academic and life success.
CUSP is the first step towards the overall goal of Ultimate Spirit. Local sport leaders and mentors will be identified and trained to promote activity between CUSP sessions. As a group moves from disc sports as an activity towards ultimate as a competitive sport the opportunity to connect with surrounding communities, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous will further expand and enhance the playing opportunities of all participants. These wider connections are crucial for helping to broaden experience and understanding between cultures around the province.
Communities, as well as ISPARC have been consulted with and in the planning of the program.
The Indigenous community is under-represented in the overall sporting community, with Indigenous youth often lacking in opportunities to take part in athletic activities.
A feature of ultimate is that all genders can play on the same team throughout all levels of the sport. This allows for trust and connection to develop between members of different genders and for an understanding of gender equality. The message sent to people when playing mixed gender ultimate is that individuals of all genders are equal, welcomed and valued. Ultimate builds relationships between people in a positive way by removing the gender barrier and focusing on each person as a participant, player and athlete.
Indigenous peoples are twice as likely to live in poverty. Ultimate’s low barrier to entry is a valuable feature that also lends to inclusivity. Unlike many other sports, all you need is a low cost disc, and a space to play, no other costly equipment is needed.
The Ultimate Spirit CUSP has been conceived as a long-term, multi-partnership program with the goal of engaging Indigenous communities throughout the province of British Columbia. BC Ultimate has a long term vision for the program, with the goal of giving youth not only the opportunity to play and learn from the sport of ultimate, but also to connect with other communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, and create a network of youth throughout the province, connected by the sport of ultimate.
The program will be measured in years, if not decades, but we have no doubt that it will provide a unique experience and bring together a wide range of people in a shared athletic endeavor and with a common understanding of the Spirit of the Game.