Hey Spinners fans,

I would like to thank you for your kind donation and share some of the details of my journey to Colombia with you.

Over 3 weeks in Colombia, I traveled to ten small villages that had been displaced, terrorized, and/or threatened by para-military groups during the past 15 years. We taught not only how to play the sport of ultimate, but the importance of respect for the Spirit of the Game. In each remote town, we had a group of 20 to 60 people learning to play ultimate in the rain and the dead heat of the day. I gave out new shirts and discs to children who never dreamed of having a disc of their very own. Without you, this would not have been possible!

ESSER1

Photo courtesy of Ultimate Frisbee de Montes de Maria

The biggest success of the trip was not my incredible journey to these villages, but the experience we were able to provide for kids from all over the area to come together for a tournament. With your support, we provided transportation for over 100 kids to travel up to 100km to play in a two day tournament.

Let me tell you a little about the travel these teams went through.

I had the opportunity to travel with one of the teams; it started off with a 45 minute ride on the back of motorcycles, we then boarded 3 different boats to take us through many different lakes, and then embarked on a 3-hour jungle hike through the mountains. Many of the players did not have shoes, so I lent my cleats, crocks, and flip-flops. After the tiring hike, we piled 20 people into a small off-road jeep and navigated small paths and dried up riverbeds (not without getting stuck a few times)! We finally arrived, after a full day of travel, at the dirt patch and palm tree leaf shed we would call home for the next 3 days.

The majority of your donations paid for individual transportation to the tournament, food for all of the athletes, sleeping facilities, and the field. The tournament offered a great experience for kids from different villages to become friends and share in the competitive yet spirited sport of Ultimate.

Thank you very much for helping provide these athletes with the opportunity to enjoy Ultimate, build relationships with distant peers, and spread the love and sportsmanship that Ultimate represents.

I, and the hundreds of people this excursion helped, thank you!

-Matt Esser

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