Ultimate goal – beat the teacher
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.
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.