Ul­ti­mate goal – beat the teacher

Central Leader - - NEWS - By BEN ROGERS

There are plenty of stu­dents who would rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to get one up on their teach­ers.

For Auck­land Gram­mar’s Ben Waller the prospect could be­come a re­al­ity when he faces off against one of his teach­ers on Sun­day in an ul­ti­mate fris­bee match.

Gram­mar Latin teacher War­ren Buck­ing­ham will go head to head with the 17-year-old when the Auck­land men’s team, Magon, take on the New Zealand un­der-19 team, Katipo.

‘‘‘We have played each other be­fore at na­tion­als, I was in a de­vel­op­ment squad and Mr Buck­ing­ham was in the Magon side, which was a lot of fun,’’ Waller says.

The pair have also played to­gether on the same side but Buck­ing­ham will be wary of Waller when the match gets un­der way.

‘‘He’s got­ten a lot bet­ter since we last played so this time I’ll have to watch him,’’ he says.

Waller is a mem­ber of both Magon and Katipo and will play for Katipo this weekend due to in­jury cover.

It’s the fast pace of the game that both Waller and Buck­ing­ham love.

‘‘It’s a very dif­fer­ent sport that’s very fast and skill­based as well,’’ Waller says.

‘‘I play ten­nis a bit but it’s nice to be able to find a team sport where you don’t get all the ma­cho­ism that comes with some sports.’’

Buck­ing­ham loves the fact that the game isn’t in­ter­rupted with a whis­tle ev­ery five sec­onds.

‘‘There’s no ref so any­thing that goes wrong is sorted out by the play­ers,’’ he says.

Buck­ing­ham started play­ing ul­ti­mate back in his univer­sity days and it was on a fourth form camp that he in­tro­duced the sport to Waller.

‘‘Since Mr Buck­ing­ham showed me the game it has grown a bit and I’ve been play­ing com­pet­i­tively for a cou­ple of years now,’’ Waller says.

‘‘Ul­ti­mate

is

def­i­nitely be­com­ing more pop­u­lar be­cause we are get­ting it into schools,’’ Buck­ing­ham says.

‘‘It takes a while but it’s slowly get­ting there and we are get­ting that crit­i­cal mass that you need to build num­bers.’’

The match be­tween Magon and Katipo is in­tended to raise funds for both teams’ trips to the world cham­pi­onships in Italy, at the end of July.

Full stretch: War­ren Buck­ing­ham, left, and Ben Waller get some prac­tice in be­fore they square off on Sun­day.

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