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Winnipeg teen gets scholarship to play ultimate Frisbee in U.S.

A Winnipeg teen is off to college on a scholarship after letting it fly in the ultimate field.

Kale Peterson is heading to Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich., after getting a scholarship to play ultimate Frisbee.

The Kelvin High School student has one national championship under his belt and plays for Canada’s U20 team. At Davenport, he’ll join two of his Team Canada teammates: Kai Creed and Rowan Jamieson.

“I never really thought this would be possible,” the teen said. “It’s really nice to see the sport actually growing pretty quickly and that you’re able to have opportunities like this now.”

Ultimate is a team sport where players pass a disc (or Frisbee), trying to catch it in the opposing team’s end to score. The sport is largely self-officiated even at the highest levels of competition.

Last spring, Peterson got a chance to play with the university’s team. Once he’s in Michigan, he will have access to the school’s athletic facilities and trainers.

Two people jump and reach for a Frisbee.
Kale Peterson, right, jumps to grab an ultimate disk. (Submitted by Kale Peterson)

All of Davenport’s home games are livestreamed, Peterson said.

“My family is able to watch, which would be super neat,” he said. “It makes us feel professional, and it’s actually real.”

Kelvin High School’s ultimate program has won multiple provincial and national titles. It has been running since 2003.

Coach Heidi Howes, who started the program when she became a teacher at the school, said the number of opportunities for ultimate athletes is growing.

“It’s fiercely athletic. It’s fiercely competitive as well,” Howes said. “It has an incredible community of people that are playing, and so I think it’s great, just the more publicity that it’s getting, just so we can continue to have it grow.”

Peterson will study finance at Davenport but hopes to continue playing ultimate after school, either professionally or in Manitoba with his brothers.

“There definitely is places you can play in the future, and it doesn’t have to end when you turn 18,” he said. “You can really play it for as long as you want.”

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