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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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Boston’s Ultimate Community Pulls Together for BUDA’s Quaranteam Fundraiser

Boston’s Ultimate Community Pulls Together for BUDA’s Quaranteam Fundraiser

BUDA Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance COVID-19 Quaranteam Ultimate Frisbee Community Fundraiser

Five Ultimate is teaming up with Aria Discs to help raise funds for local Ultimate non-profits like Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance (BUDA). 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 Jonah Guerin, the Operations Manager for BUDA, 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 BUDA Quaranteam can help.

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

Jonah Guerin: When the COVID-19 pandemic started to become a major issue, we were in the middle of two winter leagues and finishing registration for all our spring leagues. We made the decision to cancel the remainder of our winter leagues right away, and after gathering more information, we canceled our spring leagues as well. Just last week we made the decision to cancel our two biggest club tournaments, Mixed Easterns and Boston Invite, which would have been in late May and early June. Since running events is core to our mission of providing opportunities to learn, play, and teach spirited Ultimate, we were disappointed to not be able to provide those opportunities. Without those traditional avenues for supporting the community, we've had to get creative. 

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

JG: Staying in touch with the community. BUDA has an incredible community of players, from our U8 leagues to our Grandmasters leagues, and everything in between. We try to emphasize the social aspects of the game by encouraging players to go out after games and by hosting events like BUDA Prom. In an effort to stay engaged with the community, we partnered with DiscNY and created our Remote Community Calendar. This calendar contains a variety of online events that anyone can attend, including yoga, workouts, game nights, and more. While we can't get together on a field for now, we wanted to give people the opportunity to stay connected virtually.

How are you and the rest of the organization getting through this difficult time?

JG: We're hanging in there. It's been challenging to adjust to our new normal, but we're working hard to stay positive, keep in touch with the community, and practice kindness. One benefit I've seen is more communication amongst everyone within BUDA. We're holding more regular board meetings, and staying in touch more often to ensure that BUDA makes it through this pandemic.

BUDA Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance Boston Ultimate Frisbee Community Events

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

JG: I think people understand the importance of staying home, so it's pretty quiet right now. No one was planning on spring 2020 going this way, but it's great to see how people have adapted! One of our winter leagues which ended early has held regular Zoom hangouts to stay in touch. One of our Grandmasters teams created a "Remote Ultimate" video and we’ve challenged others to do the same. When we hosted our remote captain's meeting for summer league, I wasn't sure how many people to expect, but 86 people showed up ready to talk about Ultimate! It's clear that people are excited to get back on the field whenever we can safely do so, and that Ultimate is still high on people's minds. It can be a great distraction!

What are you looking forward to most right now?

JG: Personally, there are a handful of things: being able to hug my family, getting to travel, and eating a burrito at Tenoch or ribs at Red Bones. For BUDA, I'm looking forward to getting back on the field, playing with friends, getting to be outdoors with other people, and the camaraderie of a team sport.

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

JG: BUDA relies on income from our leagues and tournaments to survive. Without any spring events, and with summer events on hold, we haven't had much money coming in for a while. We plan to use the funds raised through the Quaranteam fundraiser to pay our basic costs such as employee salary, insurance costs, and website fees. Anything extra, we would store away for future use by our youth program. We were so excited to be expanding our initiative with the Boston Centers for Youth & Families this spring, and we will use any extra funds towards growing that program in the future.

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

JG: To me, it's about being a part of the larger Ultimate community. While BUDA is a local organization, we love working with other local organizations and companies like XII Brands who share our mission. Being a part of a Quaranteam means supporting each other through this crisis and making sure we all come out on the other side.

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

Keep in touch! We love to hear from folks about their experiences and ideas to improve. And stay engaged with your community. Attend online events, post on social media, watch old footage of games, read interesting articles. And if you have the ability to donate, please do so. Most orgs like BUDA are non-profits who rely on the community for support. Donations help us stay afloat until we can get back on the fields!


If you’d like to join the BUDA Quaranteam and help support the Boston Ultimate community, you can order your official gear in the BUDA Quaranteam shop. Hurry — the store closes May 10. 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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