Ultimate Frisbee growing in popularity among China’s Generation Z

2022-07-15 15:16:05Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

At an indoor soccer pitch in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui Province, two ultimate Frisbee teams are engaging in a fierce competition, complete with noise, sweat and plenty of laughter.

"This game is played by two teams, each consisting of three men and two women. By cooperating with team members, the players who catch the frisbee in the designated area can score for their team," said 22-year-old player Rui Lulu.

China's fascination with ultimate Frisbee - often referred to simply as "ultimate" - started in Shanghai, but the craze has now spread to many other cities across the country.

On Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle-focused social media platform, there have been more than 80,000 posts featuring ultimate, reflecting Chinese youngsters' enthusiasm for this fast-moving, non-contact sport.

Rui has been into ultimate for less than six months. It started when she met a group of young ultimate fans and joined a Frisbee club named Qipan in Hefei. Although she is relatively new, Rui quickly became a team leader thanks to her experience in soccer.

"Ultimate is a friendly game for girls, as physical contact is not allowed," said Rui. She has invited six friends of a similar age to participate in the sport.

According to Wu Chunhu, head of the Qipan club, ultimate combines the characteristics of many other sports, including soccer, basketball and rugby, while maintaining its unique features.

"In the past two years, especially this year, ultimate has gained in popularity in China. At the start of the year, we had a few dozen members, but now we have more than 1,000," Wu said.

As China builds itself into a strong sporting nation, and health awareness increases, more people - especially from "Generation Z" - are taking up emerging sports and activities like ultimate, Wu noted.

"Generation Z" refers to people born between 1995 and 2009, and China boasts about 260 million people in this age group, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Growing up in a different environment from their elders, they have witnessed China's rise as a global economic powerhouse and formed a new outlook on life.

For Ge Ziwei, a Post-1990 ultimate fan, the sport is not only fun to play, but also allows him to expand the range of his social circle.

"I like sports very much, and I think ultimate is particularly suitable for me. I used to be an introvert, but now I have many like-minded friends. It really makes me very happy," said Ge.  


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