September 25, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 5 comments
[youtube VOqWaE7oS7c 600 377]
This weekend in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, USA Ultimate and Disc New York hosted a booth at the Nickelodeon Day of Play, an expansive event encouraging children to get outside and play. With thousands of families in attendance, it was an opportunity to get discs in the hands of many young New Yorkers.
Ultiworld spoke with Mike Lovinguth, the USAU Manager of Youth and Education Programs, about the day.
“It’s been great,” he said. “There’s over 35,000 kids here and we’ve had 2 or 3,000 of those through our booth today.”
Volunteers from Disc NY, the local organizing committee for ultimate in New York City and an affiliate organization of USA Ultimate, helped operate the activities — throwing and catching as well as a radar booth to see how hard you could throw — throughout the day. Even USA Ultimate CEO Tom Crawford got in on the teaching.
“The look in each child’s face as they quickly improved their skills was way more than priceless,” he said in a press release.
USA Ultimate presented their sport alongside more established organizations like the National Football League, Major League Soccer, the United States Tennis Association, the Professional Golf Association, and Major League Baseball.
USAU was asked by Nickelodeon to join the Brooklyn event after presenting next to them at a Physical Education conference earlier in the year.
“[Nickelodeon is] the most trusted brand for parents in the country right now,” said Lovinguth. “And it’s a great way to leverage our sport with parents of a population that doesn’t know we exist yet. We’ve met a ton of people here who have never thrown a frisbee before.”
Behind the widely discussed goal of increased visibility, USAU’s #2 goal in their six year strategic plan is to grow youth, college, and league ultimate. This event was targeted squarely at youth participation.
Although some other sports had vastly more elaborate setups than ultimate, there was a constant line of people out the door to get a chance to throw a disc.