"Ultimate" Way Of Life

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"Ultimate" Way Of Life

Project Summary
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Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our innovation is to introduce Ultimate Frisbee to Croatia, which will encourage young people to respect those around them, to resolve problems through dialogue (and not violence), and to realize that sports are not exclusively about winning, but to win with class.

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Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Few effective tools for personal improvement

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Use sport to build character

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:

This field has not been completed

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

Our innovation is to introduce Ultimate Frisbee to Croatia, which will encourage young people to respect those around them, to resolve problems through dialogue (and not violence), and to realize that sports are not exclusively about winning, but to win with class.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

Our sports club is the the only Ultimate Frisbee club in Croatia, where it has worked on promoting this sport, team building, fair play, and the spirit of the game for two years. We have already organized several training camps and other public events to draw attention to this unique sport. No other sport is based upon fair play as much as Ultimate Frisbee, and our club is the only one active in Croatia. Our sport and club are also co-ed, which is unusual in a country where women are often not permitted to participate in sports on the same level as men. We operate under the slogan All Are Welcome so as to open the door to everyone interested in a quality activity for their free time. Our wish, through Ultimate Frisbee workshops and other promotional activities, is to increase public awareness of this sport, which does not involve contact, encourages problem solving through dialogue, and is based on mutual respect among the players, as well as offers an alternative to spending free time in cafes or on the streets. These values are incredibly important in a country such as Croatia, which is still struggling with the consequences of post-socialist transformation and the intolerance generated by ethnic conflict.

What are the existing barriers, the biggest problem, your innovation is hoping to address/change?

Young people in Croatia, a country known for its successes in the field of sports, are increasingly spending more time indoors, watching television, surfing the internet, and playing video games, or sitting in bars, where they are exposed to various negative influences. Even when playing sports, the current mentality fosters aggressiveness, cheating, and a willingness to win by any means necessary, characteristics which are often retained off the field. The current prejudice towards new sports like Ultimate Frisbee, which have the potential to influence society beyond the field, can be remedied through greater promotion and public awareness. Ultimate Frisbee is not a game to play with your dog, but a serious team sport that can considerbaly contribute to a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

We intend to increase promotion of Ultimate Frisbee at high schools and colleges, as well as other places where young people hang out in order to introduce the sport and encourage a new way of thinking. Moreover, we want to increase general knowledge of other sports that can be played with a disc, from simple throwing to disc golf, alternatives for the youth and families who spend their weekends shopping or sitting around indoors. Furthermore, we wish to identify potential players for the club, who would join us at tournaments in the region and throughout Europe. These tournaments allow for relatively cheap trips to other countries that are invaluable opportunities for cultural exchanges, socializing with other young people interested in healthy lifestyles, and learning about the values of fair play.

How do you plan to grow your innovation?

In cooperation with physical education teachers, we intend to organize workshops at various schools in order to demonstrate the dynamic and exciting aspect of Ultimate Frisbee, as well as its specific characteristic of fair play. This model has already been tested at several colleges in Zagreb, and we expect similar activities in the future. Moreover, through public promotions at sporting events and sporting fairs, we want to inform the general public of this sport which offers a healthy alternative for spending one's free time. We are currently working on organizing the first international Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Croatia, which will ideally draw the interest of the media, local companies who would be interested in sponsoring a new sport, and the broader public.

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

The intended impact is to spread the spirit of Ultimate, draw attention to the importance of sport for a healthy lifestyle, and encourage people to spend their free time in positive and active pursuits.

What impact has your innovation had to date/or what is your intended impact? Exactly who are the beneficiaries?

Since we operate under the slogan of All Are Welcome, the beneficiaries of our work would be everyone who is ready to participate in our organized activities. So far, with our own financing and limited promotional opportunities, we have organized six presentations at various schools and events, co-organized Ultimate camps in Slovenia, given demonstrations to the annual meeting of Croatian physical education teachers, and received a certain amount of media coverage to introduce this sport and our goals to the public. In the future, we want to be more active in informing the youth of Croatia (in high schools and colleges) and families about the value of Ultimate Frisbee, as well as recruiting potential athletes into our club.

How many people have you served directly?

Currently the club has 24 active members, and several dozen other men and women have at one time or another been directly involved in the club's activities.

How many people have you served indirectly?

It is difficult to determine the exact number of people we have so far influenced through our presentations, camps, media appearances, and other activities, but it is certainly over a thousand people, if not several times more even at this young developmental stage of our sport in Croatia.

Please list any other measures reflective of the impact of your innovation?

In a club survey conducted two months ago, 98% our club members stated that they were extremely satisfied with the atmosphere and relations in the club, which confirms that we are firmly grounded in the sports values we promote publicly, and that we are on track in building a healthy organization.

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

The main barriers are the lack of information and prejudice towards Frisbee sports, especially Ultimate, among the Croatian public. There is also a fair amount of reluctance to learn new things or change bad habits in how to spend one's free time. Unfortunately, there also exist financial barriers, since without any current sponsors it has been a challenge to realize many of our goals and ideas.

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

All our initiatives so far have been financed by the voluntary contributions of the club members, but in the future we are hoping to attract some sponsors and donors. We believe that once the initial hurdles of informing the public about the benefits and values of Ultimate Frisbee are surmounted, future financial sustainability will be considerably easier and enable us to eventually receive state funding as we build an organization beyond Zagreb.

If known, provide information on your finances and organization.

Currently, all positions in the club organization have been voluntary, and the club is at such an early stage that we do not have an annual budget yet.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Because sports are highly valued in Croatia, offering a cheap and fun alternative to the well-established sports has a great potential to attract many new fans of Ultimate Frisbee. As previously mentioned, the values embodied in this sport and the great opportunity for building international connections means that our innovation can affect society beyond the playing field. Furthermore, developing Croatia's Ultimate Frisbee program can be a starting point for spreading the sport and its values to other countries of Southeastern Europe, where cross-border exchanges, especially among young people, are so critical in this post-war era still characterized by nationalism and ethnic violence.

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

At present the main barriers to financial sustainability are other, more established sports which are able to attract the majority of sponsors and donors, in addition to the above-mentioned stereotypes about Ultimate. However, once the initial breakthrough into the public awareness is acheived and Ultimate is seen as the dynamic, serious, yet fair-play oriented sport that it is, there is little doubt that future growth and public participation can sustain this positive innovation in Croatia.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

We are the first Ultimate frisbee club in Croatia, and our goal is to promote this amazing sport throughout our country, as well as spread the spirit of the game, friendship, and the idea of fair play. Ultimate frisbee is a sport in which winning is not everything; instead, the way in which the game is won is of great importance. The idea of “spirit of the game” encourages fair play and gives the sport an additional social dimension. Through our participation in international tournaments across the region we have made many friends, had a lot of fun in an atmosphere of fitness and exercise, and achieved several big victories which have given us confidence for future challenges. Our goal is to develop a club which will win with style and thus enable future generations to enjoy playing this unique and exciting sport.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material.

Darija Krasevac, 22, student of Economics in Zagreb, Croatia. After finishing high school I started working as sports journalist at a radio station in town, which gave me a lot of experience for the future. Since 2005 I am a University student, direction Marketing, also taking part at several projects at faculty. Last year I joined the Ultimate frisbee club in Zagreb and was enthusiastic from the very beginning because of great team atmosphere and spirit of the game.

How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)

Our coach, Josh Champagne, came up with the idea to participate in this contest. He heard about it on the Internet. Our main incentive to participate is to move the world, to change things and to start being more proactive in doing what we are doing.

Affiliation (please list all that apply)

Most of us are University students, but we also have some older members who already graduated at different Universities or are working for different companies.
- Vjeran Pavlakovi?, Ph.D., History, University of Washington and club president
- Josh Champagne, graduated history at Brown University and club coach