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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.