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.