Frisbee craze gets pupils flying back to sport

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The Independent Online

There's no ball, no net, not even a referee, but that hasn't stopped Ultimate Frisbee from becoming one of the UK's fastest-growing sports.

A surge in the popularity of Ultimate, a cross between American Football and netball, will climax at the European Ultimate Club Finals, being held for the first time in the UK this weekend. Around 80 clubs from 14 countries will convene in London for the sport's version of football's Champions League final.

The growth is remarkable at a time when the Government is struggling to get more people into new sports by 2012. At least 10,000 men and women regularly play Ultimate, although mostly on an ad hoc basis. Membership of UKU, the sport's governing body, which was recognised by Sport England last year, has doubled in the past two years to 2,000. The biggest increase in new players is from schools in counties that include Wiltshire, Norfolk and Warwickshire, which have put Ultimate on the curriculum.

Si Hill, the head of UKU, said: "Schools like it because it is different." Rebecca Forth, who plays for the UK number two women's team Iceni, said: "It's the most spectacular sport to watch and really interesting to play."

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