Players prepare for the ultimate game of ultimate

The 2013 Art Hawkins Great Canadian Ultimate Game is set to go this weekend and will include a stop at Nanaimo's Merle Logan Field.

Ultimate Frisbee players Angeline De Bruyns

Ultimate Frisbee players Angeline De Bruyns

It will take place in 27 cities over 29 hours, and still, it’s expected to be a close game.

The 2013 Art Hawkins Great Canadian Ultimate Game is set to go Friday (June 14) and Saturday. The ultimate Frisbee match starts in Yellowknife, N.W.T., and relays its way back and forth across the country, ending in Nanaimo.

In each city, players are split into a white team and a red team, representing two different charities, and they take the field for an hour. When time is up, they text the score to the next city and players take it from there.

Remarkably, the game has always ended up being decided by three points or fewer – last year’s final score was 288-285 for the white team.

“It’s been fairly close,” said Dirk Heydemann of the Nanaimo Ultimate Association. “Which is pretty phenomenal considering it’s played in [27] different communities across the country.”

The start time in Nanaimo isn’t exactly fan-friendly, as players will take to the pitch at Merle Logan Field at 11 p.m. Saturday. But spectators are welcome and there will be food and music at the field starting from about 9:30 p.m. Ultimate Frisbee players there will be happy to sing the praises of their sport.

“We’re always keen to have more recruits. It’s a growing sport for us here in Nanaimo,” Heydemann said. “I myself am somewhat biased; I think it’s one of the best games around. The spirit of the game is a really important factor and the level of play is great, and the athleticism.”

This year’s Art Hawkins game supports the Boys and Girls Club of Canada and Ottawa-based Christie Lake Kids.

“Ultimate Canada is proud to support two great charities that teach youth to take personal responsibility for their actions, exhibit mutual respect towards others and uphold the principle of fair play,” said Danny Saunders, Ultimate Canada’s executive director, in a press release. “These are core values in the sport of ultimate.”

To make a donation, please click here and follow the link. For more information, please contact Heydemann at 250-729-5444 or e-mail dirk@haphotography.com.