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This Coach Uses Ultimate Frisbee to Teach Life Lessons

Meet Daniel Bannoura: Ultimate Frisbee Coach
Beit Sahour, Palestine

(Team warms up on ultimate frisbee field)

Daniel Bannoura: Three years ago, myself and some friends started playing Ultimate Frisbee here in Beit Sahour and we kept growing and playing and inviting a lot of friends and others to come and join us. And now we have this young, budding, kind of exciting group that plays throughout the West Bank, specifically in Hebron and Bethlehem and also Ramallah.

(Daniel demonstrates throwing techniques)

(Teams play ultimate frisbee game)

Ultimate relies heavily on what we call the spirit of the game, which basically says you need to treat others as you treat yourself, as you want to be treated. So when someone calls a foul, you have to stop the game, and everyone who was involved in the foul has to speak. So there’s that sense of speaking your truth, of standing against what you think could be wrong, but also learning the skills of communication, learning the skills of conflict resolution.

And this is very important for our youth who got used to not being heard, one; also who’ve been used to oppression, to injustice. Things happen to them politically and socially and they feel disempowered. So for them to move away from, “Okay, whatever happens, whatever decision is made, I’m going to go with it,” to, “You know what? I’m going to impact the decision. I’m going to impact the outcome of what’s going to happen.” And that’s very powerful, especially and very uniquely, for Palestinians.

(Team huddle during a time out)

Something else that I’m very proud of, which is very unique in our context, is the empowerment of women. And we made a point from the beginning that women are well-represented and also women are leaders in the organization.

(A woman gives direction on the field and demonstrates catching technique)

It’s not just a sport. It’s not just throwing the disc around. It’s also through that, we’re creating leaders, we’re forming character and hopefully contribute to the change and development and growth of our community.

(Team clapping and cheering)

(Players laugh and make a dog pile)

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