Stall7 is the only club representing India at WUCC in July! So naturally, we wanted to know more about them.
Compared to the rest of the world, Ultimate in India is only in its infancy. We've only seen a handful of Indian representative teams at world level events in the last 5 years, but as the 2018 U23 Mixed team showed in its opening showcase game against Australia, the athleticism and heart that India plays with is already starting to develop.
If you're keen to see more of that (and the below) in Ohio, spare a second and a few bucks to help Stall7 get to Cincinnati via their fundraising page here.
Right now, the Ultimate community is looking at India like you'd look at your team mate's athletic kid who can already throw better than you - with hope, admiration and a hint of trepidation at the potential for excellence that lies within.
We had a quick chat with the team on their goals for the tournament and how far they see Indian Ultimate progressing in the near future.
When was your club formed?
Vishnu Sharma - "Stall7 was formed in January 2009 with a bunch of college students who started playing on the beach in Chennai. We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary next year."
What’s the origins behind the name ‘Stall7’?
Vishnu Das - "It was roughly 3 weeks since me and a couple of friends started playing and we decided to form our own team. I sat down one night to come up with a name for us. At that point there were teams such as Chakraa, Livewires, Blitz, Learning To Fly etc and I didn't know where to start. I started thinking about the various ultimate terms and stall counting popped into my head and since the game is usually played 7 on 7,I decided to add 7 to it. Hence the name Stall7. "
What tournament successes has your club seen?
Raghu Veer - "Two beach nationals , one hard ground tournament and consistent top 5 finish for the past 9 years."
Tell me a little about the culture of your club?
Pooja Damodaren - "Stall 7 comprises of a bunch of enthusiastic athletes who are diverse individuals focussed on maintaining the spirit of the game: a sense of camaraderie and good sportsmanship. Stall 7 as a team exhibits high levels of energy enunciating spirited games on field and build friendships and stronger bonds off field. In summary, Stall 7 plays to win, but even more than that they play to enjoy the game and the camaraderie."
Akhil - "As a club, Stall 7 focuses on improving everyday, individually and as a team. We talk about personal goals and team goals regularly and make sure we bring out our best. Being a goal-oriented club, positivity plays a major role in achieving goals - something our club puts lots of focus on. Seniors are out offering advice regarding every aspect of an individual's game, helping him/her get better.
"Play to win - Stall 7 goes into every game with the simple plan of executing our basics and that we believe will help us win. Apart from that, it's the mindset we bring to the game, the intensity we play with that helps us on the tough days.
According to the video caption, this is what the team's 4AM sessions look like (soooo eeeaaaarrrly)
What are your goals for the WUCC campaign?
Kaushik Sampath - "This will be the first time we are travelling internationally for a tournament. I am really excited about how much time we'll get to spend together as a team and confident that this experience will bring us a lot closer as a team and individuals. Also this tournament is our chance to measure ourselves against what the standards of Ultimate are outside our country and help us dream bigger. Don't have any result oriented goals as such."
Where do you see Indian Ultimate in 10 years?
Manu Karan - "Consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world rankings. Strong Youth and College development programs being the veins pumping blood into competitive Indian Ultimate. A successful professional league helping talented players, fitness trainers and coaches make a sustainable living from the sport they love"
Mrinalini Siddhartha - In ten years, Ultimate in India will be recognised by SAI and there will be a professional Indian Ultimate League. We will have progressed towards attaining gender equity, so much so we will be able to have tournaments with mixed, women's and open's categories, all with strong representation within the country, and therefore internationally too. The sport will gain visibility and spreading widely through schools and colleges, giving importance to fitness as well as personality/character building via Ultimate's core values."