Wollongong duo Jono Keyes and Coby Ryan are considered to be at the top echelon of Ultimate Frisbee players in Australia.
This coming weekend the Gong boys will welcome some of the nation's other top Ultimate Frisbee players to their city to prepare for the World Championships in July.
Keyes is co-captain of The Goannas, the Australian Ultimate Frisbee team for the U24 opens.
On the weekend of June 3-4 the team will be in Wollongong for a training camp and showcase game.
With players flying in from all over Australia, this is one of the last chances for the side to train together as a squad before flying to Nottingham, UK, for the World U24 Ultimate Championships running July 1 to 8.
University of Wollongong student Keyes was excited to welcome his team-mates to Wollongong and spread awareness and visibility of the sport.
"Ultimate Frisbee is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia, being recognised by the International Olympic Committee since 2015," the 22-year-old said.
"I'm looking forward to having some of the nation's best players in my own backyard so to speak.
"It's an important training camp also as we are preparing for a very important tournament. It will be great to catch up with all the guys and prepare for the World Championships."
Keyes was a part of the Goannas team at the last World Championships in 2019 which was held in Heidelberg, Germany, in which the Australian team came fifth.
With 15 nations taking part this time around, the Goannas like their chances of winning it all in 2023.
"We are keen to do better this year and have set our sights on winning it all," Keyes said.
"It's not going to be easy obviously. USA are very good side, they live for the game and have a very good Frisbee community."
Frisbee is considered a university-based sport but Keyes and good mate Ryan picked up the sport while in high school.
"We just used to throw a Frisbee at each other at the beach and one day found out it was a game people actually played competitively," Keyes said.
"We wandered down to the uni and started playing there and got picked on a few rep teams. Now I devote my life to it and I've been able to travel the world and meet some incredible people and represent my country a number of times. It's been a great journey."
Keyes and Ryan are heavily involved with the UOW Ultimate Frisbee Club.
"We'll be going to Uni Games later this year hoping to win," Keyes said.
"We we're building a pretty special community here in Wollongong with Frisbee and it's growing very rapidly over the last few years, and you can see that in our results, we are very much growing on the national scene of Frisbee."
Keyes added Frisbee was becoming more popular because it was an easy sport to take up.
"I think the draw card is that it's so inclusive," he said.
"Primarily the highest level of Frisbee is mixed-gender, so if it was to be in the Olympics it would be mixed-gender.
"Also Frisbee is self-refereed. There's actually no umpires or referees involved, even when we go and play at worlds.
"There's observers there that can offer their perspective but it is the players that actually referee the sport. And that kind of means that the spirit of the game is unmatched.
"I've played rep cricket and footy and mainstream sports all my life, but the spirit and sportsmanship you see in Frisbee is like none other."
Meantime the showcase match between the Goannas and the open age Australian Dingoes side will take place on Sunday, June 4 at UOW Oval from 11am.
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