Creswick to London: Cycle for Ultimate Peace

by | February 21, 2014, 11:07am 0

We’re Jess Mumford and Dan Rule, two Australian ultimate players just having a go at seeing the world by bike.

On September 1, 2013,  we set out on an epic 25,000km cycle journey from Creswick, Victoria, Australia to London, England, something that we had been planning for over a year. Initially the tour was simply a means of getting out and exploring this wonderful planet on two wheels. However, after a few weeks on the road, we came to the realisation that we could use our trip to make a real difference for a charity or non-profit. Given our heavy involvement in ultimate (Jess plays club level in Australia and I coach Australian national teams at Worlds), Ultimate Peace became an obvious choice for us.

Ultimate Peace is an organisation that runs ultimate camps for young people in the Middle East. Originally starting out teaching in the Israeli Frisbee community, the teachers then expanded to teach in the Palestinian and Arab communities with the vision of one day having players from each of these communities playing co-operatively on the same teams, and settling on field discussions collaboratively. This program eventually became what we know as Ultimate Peace.

We started by contacting UP’s Director of Coaching, Miranda Roth, who I previously stayed with in Seattle while playing with local team Seattle Voodoo in 2008. Miranda then put us in touch with the UP board, and the process rolled on from there. We quickly developed the idea of supporting Ultimate Peace by running ultimate clinics and tournaments. These events would have a goal of both promoting the sport and raising money at the same time. All of the events would be free to attend, with donations to Ultimate Peace welcome.

After 4000km and six weeks of camping in the Australian outback (and only running out of water once!) we arrived in Darwin, Australia. Inspired by our new mission, we then set about organising a small fundraiser tournament (Darwin’s first ever tournament) for local players and our new friends in town. The following week, we packed up the bikes and flew to Dili, cycling another 4000km across East Timor and seven of Indonesia’s islands. Along the way we taught and played ultimate on many Indonesian beaches with the locals. Arriving in Singapore in January, and at one weeks notice, we hosted another (this time much larger) fundraiser tournament for Ultimate Peace with the help of the UPA Singapore. 65 players attended, raising close to $800 AUD.

From there, we hopped back on the bikes and pedaled up to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where, with the support of local players, we were able to run an intermediate level clinic for 55 players, again raising close to $600 AUD. At the clinic I ran into an old friend, Abhi, from Chennai Ultimate. I had met Abhi when he had attended one of my coaching clinics in Sydney three years prior. After the clinic in KL, Abhi made a decision and offered to fly us over to run clinics in Chennai, India. These clinics are now in the works, with the first clinic with Pudiyador beginning on February 20.

After a few days off in KL and lots of delicious Malaysian food, we hauled our bikes 1600km in 17 days to arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, just in time for the first pull of the famous Bangkok Hat tournament. Hearing about our mission, tournament director, Tri Le invited us along to the tournament to play for free. I was even lucky enough to pick up a medallion as champion of the tournament after close of play on Sunday.

We are now taking one month off the bikes after 10,000km total cycled to Bangkok. Followers can track our progress and find out how the clinics in India go  at as well as on our Facebook page. After India, we will fly back to Bangkok and pick the cycle tour back up where we left off, heading north to Laos.

If you are in a position to donate to Ultimate Peace, please do so through our website as we attempt to reach our ambitious $100,000 AUD target.

If you would like us to visit your city to run a free clinic or tournament, or you would like to host one on our behalf, please get in touch with us.

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