History

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The History of Ultimate in Burnaby as I know it. From a league stand point, the first season of league started in May 2005, it ran for 7 weeks, immediately followed by our second season of league, which ran another 7 weeks.

However, this would hardly be a history if we didn’t go a little bit farther back. On numerous occasions the beautiful grass fields at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex East have hosted Ultimate tournaments, including the BC Ultimate Championships and the BC Junior and Senior High School Championships. Events organized and run through the stewardship of the BCDSS.

The fact that these events were taking place put Ultimate on the radar of the Burnaby department of Parks, Recreation and Culture. To this end they consulted with Jeff Malmgren, the coordinator of the Vancouver Ultimate League, as to the possibility of Ultimate developing in Burnaby, and how they might be able to include it in their 10 year growth strategy. A result of this consultation process resulted in the inclusion of a dual purpose Ultimate/Rugby field in the Burnaby 10 year plan. Not much but a start.

Couple with this involvement of the VUL in Burnaby, the VUL started booking fields at Burnaby Lake East in 2004. This was a joint venture by the VUL and the BCDSS, where the fields were used by the VUL to supply practice space to touring teams, while the BCDSS operated pick-up (through the summer of 2004, coordinated by Simon Beardmore) and practices for the BC Junior team.

In 2005, due to Simon’s impending graduation and post-grad plans, I (David Cowley) took over as Coordinator of Burnaby Ultimate. Fortunately I was unemployed at the time, or more charitably I was a full time student, and playing with the SFU Clam. This allowed me the time to start building a relationship with Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Culture, who have been very helpful through our first year of existence.

In April of 2005 we put on a series of 3 clinics and pick-up nights at Burnaby Lake East, leading in to our inaugural season in May. We had at least 33 players out each week with a high of over 60 for our second clinic. They were well received, and by the end of the final clinic we had over 60 people registered for our inaugural season! By the end of the summer we were able to expand to 6 teams, and had 100+ players registered.

We were able to keep the momentum up (despite not getting the fall fields that we wanted) and had 40+ people registered for our Sunday and Monday night Fall league.

We followed up the Fall season with a true Winter season, playing through December and January outdoor. And that’s where we stand now, at the beginning of 2006 looking forward to our first Spring league, and Summer number 2.

David Cowley

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