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The Austin Ultimate community is coming together to help Texas recover from COVID-19

The Austin Ultimate community is coming together to help Texas recover from COVID-19

UPLA Ultimate Players League of Austin Texas Ultimate Frisbee Community Quaranteam Fundraiser

Five Ultimate is teaming up with Aria Discs to help raise funds for local Ultimate non-profits like the Ultimate Players League of Austin (UPLA). These organizations have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, being forced to cancel all their spring programs and events, and potentially their summer ones as well. These events are not only important to their local Ultimate communities but are critical for raising necessary funds that allow them to operate. 

During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for us to come together as a community and make sure we all come out the other side of this stronger than before. Five Ultimate’s Quaranteam partnerships and limited-edition line of products are our way of giving back to these amazing organizations that do so much for their communities. Austin Ultimate is taking this partnership even further by donating funds raised through the Quaranteam to organizations in Central Texas that are helping with COVID-19 relief for under-served communities, particularly their Black and Latinx neighbors. UPLA will be donating all of the proceeds and matching up to $1500 to All Together ATX, a partnership of the United Way for Greater Austin and Austin Community Foundation helping those who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

We spoke with Stacey Nava, the Executive Secretary of the Board for UPLA, to learn more about how the global pandemic has affected their organization and community, and how they’re weathering the storm. Read on below to learn more about the wonderful work they do and how joining the Austin Ultimate Quaranteam can help.


Savage: How has the COVID-19 pandemic been affecting you and your organization? What programs and events have been affected? How does this affect your overall mission and the work you do for the Ultimate community?

Stacey Nava: The pandemic has effectively shut our organization down. We have not been able to provide any programming, so we have not been able to adhere to our mission (to serve the greater Austin Ultimate community by organizing, promoting and developing the sport and spirit of Ultimate for all ages and levels of competition).


Other than not being able to get on the field and play, what’s been the biggest challenge during this?

SN: Our biggest challenge has been that the state government has opened Texas but the disease has not slowed down. This has created a lot of mixed feelings and uncertainty regarding our programs that we so badly want to host, but only under safe circumstances. 


How are you getting through this difficult time?

SN: Self-care is essentially the most we can do for ourselves and our mental health.


What’s the vibe in your city/community like?  

SN: Torn — many community members want to return to play, but we need to have a larger/more long-term view of the pandemic before we can safely host our programs. We all miss being out at Zilker playing pick-up or scrimmaging with our teams. 

Ultimate Players League Austin Texas Ultimate Frisbee Community Fundraiser

What are you looking forward to right now?

SN: Returning to play! But only when it is safe to do so. 


How are you hoping to use the funds raised through the Quaranteam fundraiser?

SN: Austin Ultimate will be donating all of the proceeds and matching up to $1500 to All Together ATX, a partnership with United Way for Greater Austin and Austin Community Foundation helping those who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 


What does being a part of a Quaranteam mean to you?

SN: That we are all in this together and we need to focus on the long game — doing our part to stay distant now so that we can play Ultimate together again when it is safe to do so.


What else can folks do during this time to support the Ultimate community?

SN: Hang in there, keep practicing good healthy habits, stay on top of the news, and do your part for our local elections, take the census, get educated, etc.


If you’d like to join the Austin Ultimatte Quaranteam and help support the Central Texas community, you can order your official gear in the Austin Ultimate (UPLA) Quaranteam shop. Hurry — the store closes June 28. If you’re involved with a local Ultimate non-profit organization and want to find out more about partnering with us for your own Quaranteam fundraiser, you can email kyle@fiveultimate.com.


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DiscNY Stepping Up to Support the Ultimate Community and Beyond in NYC

DiscNY Stepping Up to Support the Ultimate Community and Beyond in NYC

DiscNY COVID-19 NYC Ultimate Frisbee Community Quaranteam Fundraiser

Five Ultimate is teaming up with Aria Discs to help raise funds for local Ultimate non-profits like DiscNY. These organizations have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, being forced to cancel all their spring programs and events, and potentially their summer ones as well. These events are not only important to their local Ultimate communities but are critical for raising necessary funds that allow them to operate. 

During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for us to come together as a community and make sure we all come out the other side of this stronger than before. Five Ultimate’s Quaranteam partnerships and limited-edition line of products are our way of giving back to these amazing organizations that do so much for their communities. 

We spoke with DiscNY Board Member, Mickey Pearl, to learn more about how the global pandemic has affected their organization and community. Read on below to learn more about the wonderful work they do and how joining the DiscNY Quaranteam can help.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic been affecting you and your organization? 

Mickey Pearl: New York City has been one of the epicenters of the current pandemic in the U.S. With the region shut down, our operations have also come to a grinding halt. We suspended all of our programs in early March, and have since canceled all spring activities including our high school and middle school leagues. Our summer plans remain uncertain — it's unlikely we will run any programs before July, which means our YCC squads and adult club season are in question. 

Spring is our busiest season, so canceling all of these leagues, programs, and events directly impacts DiscNY's financial standing. Beyond the financial hardships and the sadness of missing playing Ultimate and spending time with friends, we are concerned about the impact the pandemic will have on New York City in general. Entire industries are decimated; folks are struggling to pay for essentials. 

The effect runs much deeper than having to cancel our own programs.

What are you looking forward to right now? 

MP: We hope that our community members and New Yorkers, in general, will learn how to spend time outdoors in a safe and respectful manner. Now that the weather is improving, it is inevitable that people will want to spend more time outdoors. But the realities of New York can make that challenging; not everyone will be able to enjoy being outdoors in the same way. We are looking forward to tossing a disc with some friends, spending time in the sun, and doing that in a way that keeps the safety of others in mind.

How are you hoping to use the funds raised through the Quaranteam fundraiser?

MP: We are not only concerned about DiscNY but about our much larger community — the greater NYC area. With many New Yorkers experiencing food vulnerability or homelessness, DiscNY is planning on splitting the funds raised between itself and two other non-profits: NY Common Pantry and the Coalition for the Homeless. The funds we keep will go towards our ongoing expenses, ensuring we can continue to support our employees, and set aside towards fall youth programs.

What does being a part of a Quaranteam mean to you? 

MP: We are so excited to work with Five Ultimate on this great project! It's a way for us to support an organization dedicated to the larger Ultimate community while also offering some relief to fellow New Yorkers as well as our own community members.

If you’d like to join the DiscNY Quaranteam and help support New York’s Ultimate community, you can order your official gear in the DiscNY Quaranteam shop. Hurry — the store closes May 24. 

If you’re involved with a local Ultimate non-profit organization and want to find out more about partnering with us for your own Quaranteam fundraiser, you can email kyle@fiveultimate.com.
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Philadelphia Area’s Ultimate Community Comes Together for PADA’s Quaranteam Fundraiser

Philadelphia Area’s Ultimate Community Comes Together for PADA’s Quaranteam Fundraiser

Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance Ultimate Frisbee Quaranteam Fundraiser

Five Ultimate is teaming up with Aria Discs to help raise funds for local Ultimate non-profits like the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance (PADA). These organizations have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, being forced to cancel all their spring programs and events, and potentially their summer ones as well. These events are not only important to their local Ultimate communities but are critical for raising necessary funds that allow them to operate. 

During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for us to come together as a community and make sure we all come out the other side of this stronger than before. Five Ultimate’s Quaranteam partnerships and limited-edition line of products are our way of giving back to these amazing organizations that do so much for their communities. 

We spoke with Elena López, the Executive Director for PADA, to learn more about how the global pandemic has affected their organization and community, and how they’re weathering the storm. Read on below to learn more about the wonderful work they do and how joining the PADA Quaranteam can help.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic been affecting you and your organization?

Elena López: PADA has had to cancel or terminate over a dozen leagues and tournaments over the past two months. The termination of the high school season and cancellation of States has been the most devastating to watch. I especially sympathize with the seniors whose high school careers ended abruptly. 

In addition to focusing on Ultimate, PADA’s mission revolves around fostering community. While we can’t play, we are providing opportunities for our community to stay interactive digitally.

Other than not being able to get on the field and play, what’s been the biggest challenge during this?

EL: As with all Ultimate communities, PADA is not simply dedicated to the sport, but more importantly, dedicated to our community. PADA’s unique culture goes beyond on-field camaraderie and Spirit of the Game. On any given evening after summer league games, teams congregate to grill and chill the night away. Being away from teammates and friends makes this time that much more challenging.

How are you getting through this difficult time?

EL: Since we can’t physically be together, we have been hosting opportunities to keep up the conversation virtually. We are incredibly grateful for social media platforms where members can share content with the rest of the community. A huge thank you to community members who have shared their skills by leading fun activities and challenges including trivia, yoga, cooking, talent show acts, and more. The PADA community is an incredible asset and we are all grateful for our members.

Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance PADA Ultimate Frisbee Summer League Quaranteam Fundraiser

What’s the vibe in your city/community like?  

EL: Members are jonesing to chase discs again, but have been responsible, respectful, and understanding about the current situation. We’re all feeling the frisbee void, but it’s encouraging to see membership banter alive and well on social media. 

What are you looking forward to right now?

EL: I never thought I’d say this, but at this point, I’m even looking forward to getting skyed.

How are you hoping to use the funds raised through the Quaranteam fundraiser?

EL: Adult league revenue is our main source of income, which has come to a halt with cancelled leagues. Overhead expenses, however, remain the same. This fundraiser will help pay our staff, who have slightly shifted gears but have continued working.

Every year, PADA provides financial assistance to help more Philadelphia Area youth participate in the unparalleled experience of YCCs. If the tournament goes as planned, we foresee a greater need for financial assistance this year. We hope this fundraiser can also create a more robust financial assistance fund.

Thank you XII team for this opportunity!

What does being a part of a Quaranteam mean to you?

EL: This is an exciting opportunity to participate and promote global solidarity. Our collective sacrifice to put aside our favorite activities to protect one another has been challenging but is also inspiring.  

What else can folks do during this time to support the Ultimate community?

EL: Take this opportunity to conduct virtual workouts with your team to keep each other accountable, reconnect with old teammates across the globe, and share your (Ultimate and non-Ultimate) skills on social media. If you’re looking to help but don’t know how to, reach out to your local disc organization. We’ll be ecstatic to hear from you, and might be able to find a project tailored to your interests.

Keep morale high — we’re all in this together (responsibly distanced, but together)!

If you’d like to join the PADA Quaranteam and help support the Philadelphia Area Ultimate community, you can order your official gear in the PADA Quaranteam shop. Hurry — the store closes May 17. If you’re involved with a local Ultimate non-profit organization and want to find out more about partnering with us for your own Quaranteam fundraiser, you can email kyle@fiveultimate.com.



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Quaranteam Q&A With Rusty Brown from DiscNW

Quaranteam Q&A With Rusty Brown from DiscNW

  DiscNW Five Ultimate Aria Discs 209 Ultimate Frisbee Tour 2019 UltiPhotos

Five Ultimate is teaming up with Aria Discs to help raise funds for local Ultimate non-profits like Seattle’s own DiscNW. These organizations have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, being forced to cancel all their spring programs and events, and potentially their summer ones as well. These events are not only important to their local Ultimate communities but are critical for raising necessary funds that allow them to operate. 

During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for us to come together as a community and make sure we all come out the other side of this stronger than before. Five Ultimate’s Quaranteam partnerships and limited-edition line of products is our way of giving back to these amazing organizations that do so much for their communities. 

We spoke with Rusty Brown, the Director of Operations for DiscNW, to learn more about how the global pandemic has affected their organization and community and how they’re weathering the storm. Read on below to learn more about the wonderful work they do and how joining the DiscNW Quaranteam can help.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic been affecting you and your organization? How does this affect your overall mission and the work you do for the Ultimate community?

Rusty Brown: Like most small businesses around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on DiscNW and our community. Due to the stay-at-home order, we've canceled all programming (Youth and Adult) for all of Spring. In addition to this, we've canceled our premiere events for the year, Spring Reign (Youth) and Sunbreak (Adult). These cancellations affected a large part of our operating revenue for the year and if cancellations continue through the summer camp season, we will need to continue to scale back our staffing at HQ. That being said, we believe in our mission and want to continue to serve the Ultimate community near and far. Our staff continue to support fundraising efforts, distance learning, and working with other local and national organizations in strategizing the future look of our sport. DiscNW has had numerous volunteers step up to help fill in for staff and our board and staff are committed to determining the future of DiscNW for the positive. 

Other than not being able to get on the field and play, what’s been the biggest challenge during this?

RB: The biggest challenge for everyone in and outside our organization is the lack of social aspect from our sport and community. It's not just about getting out on the field and exercising/competing; it's also about the small social interactions week in and week out with teammates and opponents alike. Simply being able to see and interact with people is a huge boost to a person's emotional well being.

How are you getting through this difficult time?

RB: Personally, as a father of two, I struggle to be dad, teacher, and partner all while not having time to myself or an outlet for my frustrations, fears, and insecurities (which Ultimate was for me). I've found solace in small projects: art with my kids, little bits of home improvement, cooking, and playing basketball or soccer with the kids. As an organization, being in touch with our board as a staff member is helpful. Even sitting through board meetings and listening to their thoughts and discussing options for the future helps me be connected. Being active in planning for the future of our sport, knowing that it will return someday, and helping to game plan for how to do that in a safe manner gives me hope.

What’s the vibe in your city/community like?  

RB: This is difficult to express as we are in stay-at-home. The vendors I interact with are all hopeful about the return to our sport. The friends I have on social media are all coping in different ways with varying amounts of success. I have seen amazing things come about in this community due to the pandemic and I hope that this spills over to the "normal" of the future.

What are you looking forward to right now?

RB: Right now, I am most likely looking forward to seeing and interacting with friends in person again. Feeling as if I can safely go around or travel if I wanted to. Even if I choose not to, simply having the choice would be great.

What are you hoping to use the funds raised through the Quaranteam fundraiser for?

RB: DiscNW hopes the funds can be used to continue offering virtual programming and priming our organization to be able to ramp back up quickly, once the stay-at-home order is lifted.

What does being a part of a Quaranteam mean to you?

RB: Being a part of Quaranteam means being a part of something bigger than myself. Being able to stay home to keep others safe is imperative to helping our communities survive this pandemic. Being able to support DiscNW while showing that I value the #stayhomesavelives movement is an added benefit.

What else can folks do during this time to support the Ultimate community?

RB: Reach out to your teammates. Share your struggles. Share your wins and losses through this time. Simply sharing with people and showing an effort can mean the world to people. Take care of your community. Ask what you can do to help. If you have time or resources, bring them to bear for your Ultimate teams and organizations.  


If you’d like to join the DiscNW Quaranteam and help support the Seattle Ultimate community, you can order your official gear in the DiscNW Quaranteam shop. Hurry — the store closes May 3. If you’re involved with a local Ultimate non-profit organization and want to find out more about partnering with us for your own Quaranteam fundraiser, you can email kyle@fiveultimate.com.

 

Photo by Burt Granofsky/UltiPhotos

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