DU Ultimate Frisbee Club (DUUFC) were forced to hold a bake sale the week before last “because DUCAC won’t give us any money”. The fundraiser, held November 5 in the Arts block and Hamilton, raised 530 Euro to subsidise basic expenses such as equipment, travel and entry to major tournaments. Bystanders commented that DUCAC, the central body responsible for the allocation of funding to sports clubs, appears to be failing students interested in Frisbee as a sport.
“Sport is pretty under funded in general in Trinity and as you may imagine, Ultimate Frisbee is the last in the list of priorities for DUCAC, which hands out the money”, say the DUUFC Social Committee. In the current system of allocating funds, the 4 Euro sign-up charged by Ultimate Frisbee automatically reverts back to DUCAC which then decides on its allocation. DUUFC submits a budget estimate at the start of the season, and a proportion of this is paid by the central body with the rest coming out of the club’s own funds. The DUCAC Honorary Treasurer, Cyril Smyth, comments there is an “element of subjective judgement” when it comes to deciding where funds should be allocated.
According to the Social Committee, DUCAC provides Ultimate Frisbee with enough money to cover entry to tournaments, “if they’re feeling generous”. It is understood the Club are forced to subsidise their expenses by holding fundraisers as a result of Frisbee’s increasing popularity as a sport and the Club’s resultant expansion.
DUUFC has been growing ever since its formation in 1995, from just a few students to approximately forty active members and twelve committee members. The Club has held the Intervarsity Trophy annually since 2006 for Ultimate Frisbee, which is regulated by the Irish Flying Disc Association. The sport, which is self-refereed, was invented by American students at Columbia High School in the 1960s.
When it comes to permitting bake sales in College, Trinity have surprisingly strict regulations, allowing only one stall in the Arts Block and Hamilton per day. Even clubs in the direst straits are allowed only to hold one bake sale per term, a money-making scheme many seem to be resorting to.
Speaking on behalf of the Club, DUUFC Treasurer David Perry says “we don’t necessarily consider DUCAC to be failing in the present situation.” When asked why DUCAC provided insufficient funds for DUUFC to purchase essential equipment and tournament fees, Perry comments: “with Ultimate Frisbee’s status in Ireland as a fringe sport, we understand why we get as much as we do”, referring to the “colossal demand” for DUCAC funding among sports clubs.
“We hope that in future, DUCAC will recognise the increasing development of the sport and the huge growth in Trinity, and increase financial support accordingly to make things easier to run”, says Perry. DUUFC are currently making ends meet as a result of their successful bake sale.