26 July, Shanghai China: Three alumni of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) played in the 2019 Asia and Oceanic Ultimate and Guts Championships (AOUGC) as part of China’s national team.
Yang Guo (Class of 2009), Xiaofei Wang (Class of 2015) and Shengyi Zhao (Class of 2017) are all Ultimate Mixed players. In their latest game against Malaysia, China won 13:11 and got entry into semi-finals.
Shortlisted from over 200 candidates nationwide, Yang, Xiaofei and Shengyi are not full-time trained athletes in flying disc sports (frisbee). They have been working in different jobs in Beijing and Shanghai, but playing disc sports has never been far from their lives.
Playing disc sports all began during their time at UNNC. They agreed that the University acted like an incubator for this lifelong hobby.
“I remember the first time our UK teacher introduced this novelty sport to us, and we all felt it was such an interesting and fresh experience,” Yang said. “I joined the Ultimate club at UNNC and had the chance to compete in the Tri-Campus Games with our UK and Malaysian counterparts. It was a great opportunity at that time to hone my skills.”
Xiaofei was more excited about reuniting with his Australian disc friends. “I met fellow Ultimate enthusiasts at The University of Queensland during my exchange term and now the tournament has brought us back together again.”
The disc sport is new to many Chinese, but for the disc sport community in this country, hosting the AOUGC has special importance. China officially recognised flying disc games this year, and it is the first time that this intercontinental championship is being held in China.
The 2019 AOUGC is co-organised by Hangzhou Disc Culture Development Company, a UNNC alumni founded company committed to promoting disc sports in China. Co-founder and Tournament Director, Zhixing Xue said the event was a milestone for the Ultimate community in China.
“We are excited to be hosting the AOUGC 2019 in Shanghai. For the past 15 years, promoting disc sports in China and competing at World Flying Disc Federation events has been a major part of my life,” he said. “We will work hard to see that this event helps with the development of club and youth teams across China.”