‘You run yourself to pieces sometimes’

Frisbee player Maurice wants to go to the Olympics

Maurice van der Reest, student of the Christian Academy for Physical Education (CALO), is one of the highest level frisbee players in our nation and internationally. His dream? An Olympic medal.

“Seeing your teammate catch a frisbee from 80 meters away is a magical feeling”, says Maurice (18). Someday he wants to participate for a winning position in the Olympics. “Frisbee is not an Olympic sport yet, but it is being discussed. I assume that in 2024 or 2028 it will be one of the Olympic sports. In America and Canada, ultimate Frisbee is already being broadcasted on the television. It is now up to the rest of the world to perform something amazing, together. If only we could manage that together…”

Earlier this year the student Teacher Education in Psysical Education participated in the world championships in Poland, taking a position in the category ‘up to twenty-year-old’ and it was a taste of something extremely good. “It was amazing. The atmosphere was good and we made it up to fourteenth place. I am a ‘cutter’, a forward position from which you can score many points. My first point felt awesome.”

Completely knackered
At 1.96 meters and having an enormous jumping power, Maurice towers over his opponents. Ultimate Frisbee (which is what the athletes call the sport) is physically challenging, says Maurice. “Matches can last up to two hours. You run yourself to pieces sometimes. Besides, there is a lot of throwing technique involved. Your teammates are constantly moving so you need to calculate where someone will be moving towards. A little bit of wind can change the direction of the frisbee and of course you want your teammate to be able to catch it.”

No referee
Frisbee teams consist of seven players (two handlers and five cutters) who play against seven opponents on a field with a length of 110 meters. “The back section is about eighteen meters long and goes along the entire width of the field. If you catch a frisbee there, your team scores a point. Handlers are comparable to midfielders in football. They play together a lot to get close to the goal, which is the other side of the field. The cutters are the attacking players. I love being a cutter. You need to run a lot, shake off the defenders and you get the chance to score a lot of points. The team that gets to fifteen points first wins the game.”

One of the special things about this game is that there is no referee. “Most frisbee players just want to play the game and have fun. However, if, for instance, a defender knocks down an attacking player, the game is stopped. The attacker and defender then talk with each other and if the defender agrees that he committed a foul, the attacker gets the disc. However, if they cannot agree to whether or not a foul was committed, the disc goes back to the person who last threw it and the game then resumes. It is a game with very sporty manners.”

European Championships in France
The love for frisbee began in Maurice’s third year of secondary school. It was not love at first sight. “When I heard that we would be playing Frisbee during physical education class. I thought it would be boring. When I started understanding the game, however, I loved it. I ordered a few discs and eventually enrolled with the Bluefingers Ultimate Frisbee in Zwolle.” He trains twice a week and goes on a run twice a week. However, once January starts, this will be more often. This is because the selection training will start for the national team who will be participating in the European Championships in France in the summer of 2017. Maurice: “Aside from the evenings set for training in Zwolle and the day in the weekend with the national team, I spend time in the gym to improve my jumping power. I don’t know how I am going to manage all of this in combination with my study and my work. Of course, as a part of my study, I already do a lot of sports.”

Earning money
Do friends still want to throw around a frisbee with him on the beach? “Yes, especially now. They want to learn the throwing techniques and I enjoy teaching them these.” This fits in well with his study. “I want to become a sports teacher and also participate in Ultimate Frisbee. Maybe I can use it in my lessons and who knows what else lies in store for me. In America and Canada there are already professional teams playing who earn their money in playing this game. It would be nice if that was a possibility in Europe. Until that time, we have to pay for the travel expenses, the outfit and the stay surrounding an event. I save up the money by working. I don’t mind doing this because the World Championship, or even the Olympics, are a great experience.”

Tessa Klooster

Frisbee in Zwolle
•    Interested in frisbee? Frisbee association Bluefingers Ultimate Frisbee trains every Tuesday evening from 19:30 to 21:30 on the grass field belonging to Sportpark de Marslanden.
•    You can compete at match level in the national indoor and outdoor mixed competitions. There are also tournaments abroad.
•    A competition membership costs 170 euro per season. If you prefer to train alone, then the student fee is 110 euro per season.
•    More info can be found on student.bluefingersultimate.nl

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