Auckland Ultimate’s Brass Monkey story competition only received one (proper) entry, but I think you’ll all agree that it is an excellent story. Thank you, Austin from Boston.
I’ve been lucky enough to have learned about ultimate at an early age, and have loved every minute of every game I have played in since I was 13. In my eight years of competitive and social ultimate, never have I enjoyed a tournament as much as I enjoyed this past weekend at Brass Monkey. It was a culmination of reasons why, but the true reason is that the ultimate community in New Zealand is a collection of some of the most accepting, well meaning, passionate, and athletic people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and Brass Monkey really embodies the spirit of this community.
Brass Monkey with it’s unique structure as half indoor, half outdoor, half party, 100% awesome demonstrated to me what it means to play ultimate in New Zealand. Playing ultimate here is to run around a gym in a toddler’s spiderman costume, to come from behind and score a last second tying goal, to whirlpool with about 40 people you are hardly well acquainted enough with, to cheer whenever your teammate or opponent makes a spectacular play, to play 4 games and never hear a foul call, and to laugh as the rain comes crashing down on you on the line in your last game. Brass Monkey was all this, but more than anything it was a chance to come together and celebrate this game that we all love.
Playing in this tournament let me play with some awesome players and people I would probably not have met otherwise. For me it was a time to throw myself in the fire with a random indoor team and a hat team. On my team’s last weekend, I had only met 3 of them before, and yet I immediately felt like I had been playing with everyone for years. It made me really upset that I missed Twin Harbor and Nationals due of injury, as maybe I could have met more of you instead of feeling bad for myself. Regardless, I was really touched when I found out that I tied with Andy for MVP. It is one thing to be noted for exceptional play, and it is another to be noted as a foreigner by complete strangers, and even though he got the medal, I’ll remember playing my heart out in Brass Monkey with a group of awesome people. (Especially the ladies I played with. You all were superstars)