Ultimate Frisbee in Colombia

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Ultimate Frisbee in Colombia

On 23 September 2016, one of our students, Thomas, started his first class at Whee Institute. He stayed with us  for 4 weeks, and ended on the 21st of October. He left immediately afterwards, to go see more of Colombia. On the 2nd of December, he returned for a visit!

Although he loved travel, his true passion is ultimate frisbee, and he found a team here in Bogotá! Below, in his own words, is the story of Thomas and the love of his life.

Travelling and Ultimate Frisbee

“It’s not often that i find opportunity for my passions to overlap but with a bit of meticulous planning this adventure has been just that.”

Travelling and ultimate frisbee. I could rant for hours on the theories and complexities of ultimate frisbee. For the sake of this article; however, I recommend those unfamiliar with the sport to do a simple search via google or youtube.

Anway- travelling and ultimate frisbee- two of my greatest passions on this Earth. When I arrived in Bogotá in late September I had already acquired the contact info for some local teams. I followed by wasting no time in joining their scrimmages and practices.

What a culture shock!

The difference in playstyle, strategies, and intensity of the sport in Colombia was bewildering. At 8,675 feet above sea level, a few hours of practice would leave me breathless. It wasn’t until the end of the scrimmage that the ultimate culture I knew and loved would shine through. That’s when everybody would gather together and head to the bar or plaza for drinks and to banter for hours on end.

That’s when I knew I had made the right choice in coming here to Colombia.

From there on, the rest of my trip was dictated by the sport. A series of successes and failures of me trying to schedule  in treks and visits to the coast in between ultimate frisbee tournaments that I had registered for.

llamada a la selva. The call to the jungle was my first tournament here, a few hours south of Bucaramanga. Three whole days of frisbee and camping in the jungle among hundreds of other players (mostly Colombians). My team accepted me with open arms, though. And after three long days of pool play and the knockout stage we walked (or limped) away with the 3rd place title, the award for spirit champions, and most importantly new friends.

I can only hope that one of my new friends can come to my city, Portland, Oregon, in the future so that I may return the great hospitality.

After my initial 6 weeks of training with various club and university teams in Bogotá, one finally offered me a spot on their roster for DV2600.

What is DV2600?

Disd Volador 2600. Although I didn’t know it then,  it is the largest tournament on the continent- attracting teams from as far away as Argentina and Canada. What an honor to be invited to such an event. So here I find myself once more in Bogotá this first week of December. Back to where my passion for travelling and frisbee first began and back to all the new friends I made along the way.

Thomas’ story, is just one of many that shows that language learning is not simply about sitting in a classroom with textbooks. It is about exploring, following passions, and getting involved with the local community. 

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