TOSSING the disc around is not just a pastime; it’s a high intensity sport and St Margaret Mary’s College, Hyde Park has been putting its mettle to the test.
SMMC Year 10 student Casey Dufficey and Year 11 students Georgia Astbury and Lillian Williams were part of the team that won the Australian under 18 Mixed Ultimate Disc Championships held in Brisbane earlier this month.
The students travelled down from Townsville with their coaches Sascha Presley and Simon Hammond to compete in the tournament.
Ms Presley said for those unfamiliar with the sport, it’s a bit of a mix between netball and American football.
She said each side has seven players who try to move the disc up the field towards the end zone by throwing and catching it, without dropping the disc and without moving while in possession of the disc.
She said if the disc is caught in the end zone, the team scores.
Ms Presley was introduced to the sport when she was a Year 11 student at SMMC in 2016.
“It’s heaps of fun,” she said.
And she was “100 per cent” proud of her team this year.
She said Georgia Astbury was selected in the Australian Green and Gold team this year to go away to compete in Manilla in the Philippines later this year.
Ms Presley said Georgia was “stoked” to be part of the international competition.
In 2017, Ms Presley also represented Queensland in the under 18 girls team and was selected for Australian Green and Gold team.
Since Ultimate Disc’s humble beginnings, it has become the fastest growing sport in Australia and all states had some representation in this year’s tournament.
“It’s mainly a university sport but it definitely has been growing in high schools, particularly in New South Wales,” Ms Presley said.
“It would be really good if schools in Queensland could continue the development, just to grow the sport,” she said.
“You pretty much just need a disc and kids that are willing to learn (and) a bit of space to run around.
“It’s not too hard to set up a drill and teach them how to throw.”
SMMC teacher Ashlee Buhigiar introduced SMMC students to the sport in 2016.
She has overseen the improvement of the students’ skills and has run the trainings after school for the past three years.
For Ms Presley, she was immensely proud of how her team galvanised with other players they had never met before the tournament began.
“We had a mixed team and Queensland numbers weren’t very high, so there were a lot of inter-state players,” she said.
“It was really incredible that for a team that had never trained together prior to the tournament – they’d only done separate sessions in different states – they came together and won the mixed division of the tournament.
“Props to them for being to pull that off.”
SMMC has had great success in other sports too, including roller-skating.
Two SMMC students claimed victory at the recent National Artistic Roller Skating Championships held in Brisbane over the holidays.
Year 8 student Breanna Clay won gold in International Level Espoir Figures and Year 10 student Lauren Neumann took a bronze in preliminary figures.