Ultimate in Nicaragua is growing. For the last 13 years ultimate has been played only in pick-up form here in Nicaragua. It wasn’t until March of 2016 that Nicaraguans had their first chance to play in an official tournament. Of the 70 people that played in that first hat tournament it was their first tournament experience of any kind and for some, their first time seeing Ultimate played competitively. That tournament gave a foundation for growth and got more people excited to play. Fast forward to September 2016. We hosted our second tournament, Torneo Cocibolca, at the beautiful Cocibolca Jockey Club in Granada. Over 80 people from all over the country came and participated. Players left this tournament grateful for the chance to play and ready to get better. Now in 2017 we are preparing to be grateful for what we had in 2016, but blow it out of the water with more opportunities to play in 2017.
Here in Nicaragua, ultimate is growing, not only because of and through youth programs, but because of the special people leading those programs. Exequiel is one of those leaders. Exequiel began playing almost 10 years ago and he has become an influential piece of the puzzle that is Nicaraguan ultimate. He has learned from people visiting from the States. He has watched videos online. He has practiced his throws. He has read books. He has done everything he can do to not only better himself, but better those around him. About 2 months ago he even started his own team from his neighborhood and it is quickly becoming the most skilled group around. They have a great chance at our first Club Tournament in March to win it all.
One of his dreams is to play in the States and one day I hope he can do that. Until then we are trying to create opportunities for high level players to come here and play with Exequiel and many more like him. Exequiel is the player on the team that doesn’t care who he has to mark or cut against. He accepts every challenge, plays his hardest every point, and demands the same from the person he is matched up with. I think he might even be daring enough to call out the State’s best and brightest to come down and challenge him on his home turf. Actually, I know he would welcome the challenge with a big smile and a bigger layout.
Ultimate has a unique way of building community by bringing people from every different walk of life, background, and experience together. That was no different for Torneo Cocibolca 2016. We had people that had played for 25 years and people who had barely played 25 minutes. We had successful resort and business owners, not only play with youth who lived in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Nicaragua, but also be able to have conversations and learn from each other. We had ladies ranging in age from their teens to some in their 60’s. Ultimate is a sport that has the power to bring people together and then send them right back out to all parts of the world.
With this in mind….We would love some help to keep things moving forward and to introduce you to our beautiful country! If you are trying to figure out some fun tournament options for 2017 and want to add to your destination tournament resume then you should come visit us! Torneo Cocibolca will become Latin America’s newest destination tournament and it is coming your way Nov 3-5, 2017 at a price you can’t beat! It will be hosted in the beautiful Granada, Nicaragua, the oldest city in Central America. Located an hour from the airport, an hour from the beach and surrounded by plenty of tour options, Granada is the perfect location for a fun tourney and fun times after. Not only will you get to compete with friends, make new friends, and visit a new place, but you’ll get to experience Nicaraguan ultimate and challenge Exequiel on his home turf. It is growing at a rapid pace and we hope you will join us to make this event the best it can be!
NICARAGUA needs YOU. We hope to see you Nov 3rd-5th, 2017.