BY JENNIFER TSE
It’s a chilly morning on the field. Ryerson student Thomson McKnight grips the Frisbee, winds up and delivers a perfect long throw to a waiting teammate.
His teammate leaps gracefully and snatches the disc from the air above his opponent’s head, landing in the endzone for a point.
The resulting cheers speak of a bond only an established university sports team could have.
But McKnight isn’t cheering with his university. Nor is he even on a Ryerson field. He’s playing for Torontula, the University of Toronto ultimate frisbee team and three-time Canadian university champions.
Second-year radio and television arts student McKnight also plays for GOAT — the best elite competitive men’s team in the country — and is a strong contender for making the 2012 Team Canada squad.
The reason Ryerson’s greatest upand- coming ultimate talent belongs to U of T? Ryerson doesn’t have a team.
“Would I join it if we had one? Definitely,” says Anthony Gras, three-year Ryerson intramural ultimate participant.
“There is talent. A lot of people like it. But I’ve only ever been able to play intramurals.”
Even intramural ultimate is struggling. “We made a switch from Moss Park to the Quad to improve turnout but things haven’t gotten much better,” said Nick Asquini, Ryerson intramural and sports club specialist.
Many consider ultimate the epitome of college sports. McKnight, for one, isn’t entirely sure why Ryerson hasn’t nurtured ultimate frisbee as a varsity sport or as an intramural program.
“I know that even intramural ultimate at U of T is huge,” said McKnight. “But I didn’t even know Ryerson had intramurals. I think there’s definitely talent and interest in the sport here, but it would help if it were easier to access.”
Crunched out of weeknight field time by every other intramural sport, ultimate unequivocally gets the short end of the stick with its Sunday slot.
With Ryerson’s large commuter student population, dedicated weekend participation is virtually nonexistent. “Intramural ultimate at its most successful was very residence-based,” said Asquini.
“Residence participation is still very good. Where we would struggle in forming a club or a team would be having a dedicated field to play on, and accessibility.
“Ultimate at Ryerson is not dead, but it’s struggling. It could be so much more.”