Over 2,000 athletes from over 30 nations will descend on Limerick next summer for the 2022 World Masters Ultimate Club Championships (WMUCC). Taking place at the University of Limerick campus from Saturday 25 June to Saturday 2 July, the international event will see the world’s best Masters Frisbee Club teams compete for world titles.
The 2,000 athletes registered to take part in the WFDF World Masters Ultimate Club Championships and their entourage will be staying in and around the city of Limerick for the week of the tournament, providing a massive economic boost for the region estimated to be worth €1.5 Million. Many participants travelling from the US and Southern Hemisphere are expected to bring their families and stay beyond the 8-day tournament.
Siege Events led the bid for the event to the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) with the support of UL Conference and Sports Campus, Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, Failté Ireland and Limerick City and County Council.
The 2022 Championships will be the first WFDF Master’s championship since 2018 with events planned for Australia in 2020 and then 2021 cancelled due to the pandemic. According to the organisers, approximately 100 teams were expected to register, whereas 200 teams applied such is the pent-up demand to compete and engage in international competition.Ireland as a destination also held appeal.
Ultimate Club is growing in popularity in Ireland year on year. Ireland has performed well at past Championships with the National Women’s team winning in Hungary in 2019.
Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Daniel Butler, said, “Limerick’s ability to attract such a prestigious event reaffirms our stellar reputation for hosting large-scale International sporting events. We have the sporting prowess, outstanding facilities and our Limerick Edge to stage a world class event. The tournament will provide a very welcome boost to the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors in the region. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the successful bid and look forward to seeing Limerick stand up to the occasion.”
Siege Events will act as the local organising committee for the tournament on behalf of the World Flying Disc Federation. It is headed up by Barry Walsh and Liam Grant who previously organised and hosted the annual Siege of Limerick, Ireland’s largest Ultimate Tournament, with great success.
Tournament Director and Siege Events’ lead Liam Grant commented, “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the WFDF 2022 World Masters Ultimate Club Championships. It is a great honour to be trusted with hosting this event. The facilities at the University of Limerick are world-class and we are excited to showcase them to the global community. The modern campus will give the event an Olympic village feel and will allow for a stress-free experience.”
“We have put together an all-star organizing committee and we’re thrilled to have the support from Limerick Council, UL, Failte Ireland and the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau behind us to make this a memorable tournament. The event will have a real positive impact on the Ultimate community here for years to come. We look forward to giving the world’s elite Masters Ultimate players our famous Irish welcome,” he continued.
In making the decision to award the staging of the Championships in Limerick, the governing body for the sport, the World Flying Disc Federation, said UL was “an awesome venue.”
Speaking on behalf of UL Conference & Sports Campus, David Ward said,“I am delighted with the announcement that the University of Limerick will host the WFDF World Masters Ultimate Club Championships in June 2022. The sport of Ultimate is no stranger to Limerick, with the annual Siege of Limerick, and recently, the All-Ireland Finals taking place at UL Sport. The local organising committee know what UL and Limerick have to offer and have underpinned that confidence in bringing the World Championships here. Now the International Ultimate Community will get to experience the wonderful Limerick welcome over 8 days, in what is a significant Sports Tourism boost to Limerick and the wider Shannon Region.”
Karen Brosnahan, General Manager, Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, said “The Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau and Failte Ireland are delighted to have supported the bid to attract such a prestigious event in 2022. Securing this event for Ireland and Limerick is once again a testament to the extensive world class facilities at University of Limerick and the power of local ambassadors from the region involved in Frisbee bidding for this event. Sports Tourism provides a huge economic impact for The Shannon Region annually and, while the pandemic has kept us apart, Limerick has remained front of mind for many sporting federations when looking to place international events as we reconnect.”
During the 8-day tournament, the athletes will compete in either Master Open, Master Women’s, Master Mixed, Grand Master Open, Grand Master Women’s, Grand Master Mixed and Great-Grand-Master open, Great-Grand-Master Women’s and Great-Grand-Master Mixed divisions. The minimum age for athletes playing in the masters’ division of WFDF championships is 33 for men and 30 for women, with the minimum age for grandmasters at 37 for women and 40 for male athletes. Great Grand Master divisions’ ages start at 45 and 48 respectively.