The Austin Ultimate community is coming together to help Texas recover from COVID-19
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.
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 email@example.com.