ELCHK Lutheran Academy's ultimate frisbee handler says there are no "stars" in his sport

ELCHK Lutheran Academy's ultimate frisbee handler says there are no "stars" in his sport

To Jonathan Tang, there are no stars in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee because, as he says, there's always the next teammate to pass the disc to


Jonathan Tang says self-control is key to success.
Photo: Ariel Conant/SCMP

Student athletes usually have the same goal, no matter their sport: everyone wants to be a star.

Everyone, that is, except Jonathan Tang Chung-hei. The 17-year-old ultimate frisbee handler says that it's a unique part of the sport.

"There is no star player in this sport, since everyone needs to pass to others in order to score," says Jonathan, a student at ELCHK Lutheran Academy. "I really enjoy the team spirit during the game."

Jonathan started playing the fledgling sport two years ago with friends from his church. Eventually he was invited to join training with the Hong Kong Ultimate Player Association.

As the sport gains more popularity and more of a following in Hong Kong, Jonathan has had more opportunities to play frisbee in inter-school and other tournaments.

The ultimate team sport doesn't care if you're a girl or a boy

"My goal is to represent Hong Kong in different tournaments, such as the World Cup and Asia Oceanic Ultimate Championship," he says.

For now, he's happy to focus on his training - especially as preparation for his sport means getting to spend time by the sea.

"We train at the beach, which is a strange thing for me since it is more difficult to run on sand than a football pitch," Jonathan says. "But we can increase our energy and muscles there."

The difference between playing on sand and grass isn't Jonathan's biggest challenge, though.

"I have to control my emotions," he says. "I am a tense person, especially when I'm in a competition and our side is losing. I need to control my emotions and stop being nervous. If I get tense, I can't pass the disc with accuracy."

Ultimately, Jonathan believes that when it comes to the sport of Ultimate, it's all about what their coach, K.L. Tang, told him: "It is more important to enjoy the game than to win."

Bench notes

What song/movie title best describes you when you're playing your sport?
Glory Road. It is a film about basketball that explores racism, discrimination and student athletics. It reminds me why I started playing frisbee, and that on the road to success, there will be difficulties, but I should know that I will succeed if I keep training.

You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
To run at the speed of light, because The Flash, from DC Comics, is my favourite superhero. I would use the power to travel, walk, and of course while playing frisbee. It would definitely give me an advantage to win games.

If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be and why?
Time, for sure. I am someone who loves to unearth new things, and I don't think there is enough time for me to play and rest.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The Ultimate team sport


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