Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Derry man soars high with frisbee

Throwing a Frisbee can be fun, but for one Ulster lad it's an elite sport.

Earlier this month, Londonderry man Cormac Cosgrove was crowned European Ultimate Frisbee Champion after winning the men's division at this year's championships.

The 27-year-old was part of the 25-member UK squad that took out the division at the six-day event, which was held in Southampton from July 29 to August 4.

A total of 63 teams from 19 nations, including Russia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Italy, France and Germany, competed at the University of Southampton's Sports Ground at Wide Lane in Eastleigh for the competition, held every four years.

Cormac, who now lives in Edinburgh, said he was very proud of his achievement.

The sports immunology PhD student has been playing at the top domestic level for the past four years, but this was the first time he had represented the UK.

"I became involved in Frisbee while I was at uni," Cormac explained. "The teams at university are very vibrant and they're open to all sorts of people.

"You don't have to be that athletic or sporty but if you are, like me, you can get involved in Ultimate Frisbee.

He added: "Basically I have been playing at the top domestic level for the past four years now and I have played internationally, but this was the first time I have represented Great Britain."

For those who are wondering what Ultimate Frisbee is, all you need to do is imagine basketball or netball with a flying disc.

"The best way to describe Ultimate is that it is a non-contact sport that has similar rules to basketball and netball, especially netball because you can't move once you catch the disc," Cormac explained. "There are seven on a side and it's played on a pitch similar in length to a football pitch, but slightly narrower.

"The aim is to outscore the opposition by catching the Frisbee in the opposition's end zone for a goal.

"It's a great game which can be played by anyone. There are lots of people, regular people, right across the board who play. It's great."

And while he has adjusted to being the European Ultimate Champion, the 27-year-old says he is looking forward to defending the title at the next world championships in Vancouver, Canada in 2011.

"I've just got to make sure I keep my spot in the side," he said.