After a very bizarre 2020, in which the population of Ireland (and the world) became more conscious of the need to look after their mental health and wellbeing, many people turned to outdoor social activities and sports as a way to meet new people and catch up with old friends.
Following the end of the first lockdown that year, we formed as a group of strangers under the name ‘Social Sports Dublin’, with an aim to enhance mental health and local community involvement by bringing people together through outdoor, alternative, social sports.
Centred primarily around Ultimate Frisbee, over the following months, a very international group of approximately 300 people from all over the world took part, with a core group of players from countries such as Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Bolivia, France, India, Ireland, Malaysia, UK, USA and Venezuela all playing together regularly, having moved to Ireland. While, at the time, very few of us knew the rules or how to play, as a non-contact sport that is very easy to learn the basics, we saw it as the perfect game for men and women, beginners and more experienced, to play together, regardless of previous experience.
Over the year that followed, while still championing our primary aim to introduce the sport to prospective new players in a fun, safe, welcoming and inclusive environment, our more regular members also saw a desire in the group to enter into tournaments as a team and provide an opportunity for new and existing ultimate players to play at competitive level that they may not have been able to do through the more ‘elite-minded’ clubs. With this in mind, just in time for Ireland’s national tournaments, the All Irelands and All Irelands Beach, a competitive team, ‘Sundrive Social Ultimate’, was formed within our more casual Social Sports Dublin group for those wanting to play the sport at a higher level. While the All Irelands was the first tournament most, if not all, of our players had ever played in, the chance to play in such a high level tournament fueled the desire to improve as a team and compete in as many competitions as possible, while providing the opportunity to play competitively for anyone who is interested in the competitive side, regardless of ability. We even have a player now going to play as part of a team from Venezuela in the 2022 World Masters Ultimate Club Championships!
For every tournament we enter, we strongly encourage good Spirit of the Game, with emphasis on fair play and positive attitude throughout the team, regardless of the result. This has been reflected in the spirit scores of every competition we have entered so far, where, in addition to a very close 2nd place spirit finish at the 2021 All Irelands and a joint 1st place spirit finish at the 2021 All Irelands Beach, we have received numerous compliments in our spirit scores regarding our fair play, positive attitude, great sideline atmosphere and team chants. While we try our best to play to a very high level, the ‘Social’ part of our name is a great indicator of how we like to play, so don't be surprised to hear both our sideline and players on the pitch chanting mid point!
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