Minister Nemcha Kipgen on Saturday launched the first-ever state-level Ultimate Frisbee Championship at Brig M Thomas Ground in Kangpokpi, the first of its kind in that state.
Ultimate Frisbee is a unique game invented and popularized in high schools and universities in the United States in the ’60s, which later came to Europe in the early ’80s.
Ultimate is a team sport which mixes elements of football, basketball and rugby, substituting the ball with a flying disc (Frisbee) and the referee with the spirit of the game.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Nemcha Kipgen expressed pride in the first-ever state-level Ultimate Frisbee Championship being launched in her district with a strong aim to empower women.
The minister also thanked Hejang Misao of InSIDE North East and Peter Rangnamei of MANEDA, the two well-acclaimed NGOs in Kangpokpi and Senapati for introducing such a unique game in the state and organizing the first-ever state-level Ultimate Frisbee Championship in the state at Kangpokpi district.
She also conveyed her gratitude and warm greeting to the four Flying Rabbits coaches from Belgium who trained young tribal girls in Kangpokpi and Senapati, the Ultimate Frisbee game.
The minister said the introduction of Ultimate Frisbee will shortly create another room for the young talented Manipuri youth in bringing more fame and laurel to the state through the new game.
The Ultimate Frisbee Championship is jointly organized by InSIDE North East and MANEDA supported by Terre Des Homme, National Foundation for India (NFI), and the European Union.
InSIDE North East Director, Hejang Misao, while briefing as to why it has started with the girls, said that since Ultimate Frisbee is the first time here in Manipur we train first the girls so that they could train the boys in the future as we introduce and organized the championship mainly for the empowerment of women of Manipur.
The four Flying Rabbit Ultimate Club of Belgium's Brussel, Corrine, Rachel, Ysaline, and Charlotte set off to India on a volunteer mission to coach Ultimate Frisbee for young girls with the Indian Association Playquity. Playquity is a Chennai-based organization in South India that promotes gender equality through Ultimate Frisbee. It is implementing its projects in nine different locations in India, including predominantly in the Northeast region.
The InSIDE North East in Kangpokpi and MANEDA in Senapati, linked together by a joint project called Friends Across Barriers, have begun imparting the Ultimate Frisbee training in Manipur through the four Flying Rabbit Ultimate Club since January in Kangpokpi, Senapati and Noney district.
The four Flying Rabbit Ultimate Club split into two groups, viz. Ysaline and Charlotte, Rachel and Corinne. The first group Ysaline and Charlotte spent their time imparting training to young girls in Saikul in Kangpokpi, and Joujangtek in Noney district in partnership with InSIDE North East while the other group Rachel and Corinne imparted training at T Khullen in Kangpokpi and Senapati in partnership with MANEDA.
Around 100 young girls, aged between 12-24 participated in the Ultimate Frisbee training camp.
As part of the launching ceremony of the first-ever state-level Ultimate Frisbee Championship, Ultimate Frisbee matches between Saikul Ultimate Frisbee Club versus Senapati Ultimate Frisbee Club, and Kangpokpi Ultimate Frisbee Club versus Noney Ultimate Frisbee Club were also held where Saikul Ultimate Frisbee Club defeated Senapati Ultimate Frisbee Club (6-2), and Kangpokpi Ultimate Frisbee Club defeated Noney Frisbee Club (5-2).
Kangpokpi Town Committee chairman Angam Leivon appreciated and lauded the humble effort of InSIDE North East and MANEDA in introducing the Ultimate Frisbee for the first time in the state and particularly in Kangpokpi while adding that Kangpokpi will remain in the history when it comes to Frisbee in Manipur.
Apart from Kangpokpi Youth Union, many other civil bodies also attended the function.