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Around the World on a Disc - National Level Frisbee Player Jagan's Journey

Saturday, June 8, 2019 • Common Sport News Comments

Hariharan Kumar who goes by the name Jagan is sure to be an inspiration to youngsters. This 25-year-old man has travelled the world on a disc. A national level player of Ultimate Frisbee, Jagan shares his experiences playing the game and how it has changed his life.

How did you get introduced to the sport?

Jagan said he first started playing Frisbee around 7 years ago in 2012. His cricket buddy Murugan Anna was the one who handed him the disc for the first time. He has been playing for the Chennai based team Fly! Wild under his mentor Ramkumar (Boon). From then on it’s been almost only upwards for the player who is a crucial part of his team.

About your Team… 

'I play for the team Fly! Wild. We have a lot of young players of my age, and younger ones who are studying in school and college. Most of them are from Urur Olcott Kuppam. My team is like a family to me. We meet every day at the beach.' He was also happy to share that the team has been one of the best in Tamil Nadu and all over India. 

How has Frisbee changed your life?

When asked this, the first thing Jagan said without any hesitation was the number of friends he’s been able to make playing the game. He also mentioned that his communication skills and English have improved due to the sport, meeting new people and taking on different roles in the team. In addition, he has become a more confident, responsible and disciplined person due to being involved in Frisbee. He was able to not only learn the game Frisbee but he also learnt how to navigate his way through the game called ‘Life' from his seniors.

Who is your role model?

Jagan names Ramkumar (Boon), the player who started the team Fly!Wild, as his role model. He did not only teach him Frisbee, Boon also focused a lot of attention on his team’s life outside the field, teaching them the importance of having a good balance between education/work and the sport. Talking about his mentor, Jagan says 'He taught me life through Frisbee.'

What is your most memorable moment?

'My most memorable moment is when they conducted selections for the Indian team for the first time. Before that, only those who could afford to go would take part in international tournaments. Then told us that a process of selection would be put in place and anyone could get selected and be sponsored to play in London. Out of 400 people, I was one of the 22 who were selected. That was one of the happiest moments for me.' 

How do your parents respond to your involvement in Frisbee?

'Initially I used to go for a few tournaments close by so my parents were happy. When I picked up the game and began to play regularly, I had to attend a lot of games. I had to take care of the travel costs and had to take a lot of leave from college which they were not pleased with. They wanted me to pick one over the other, education or Frisbee. After I was selected in the Indian team they were quite happy.' Though they have some reservations, they are definitely proud of their son and take time to come see him play. 

Where has your talent taken you till date? 

Jagan has gone to cities such as Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Mumbai across India to play in several tournaments organized by the UPAI. He has also represented the Indian team in tournaments in Dubai, London and Australia. The avid Dhoni fan who has a mandatory number 7 jersey, is all set to leave for Osaka, Japan on national duty. He will be playing in the Mixed Divison in the Asia Oceanic Beach Ultimate Championships starting on 13th June. 

What would you say is the best thing you learned from Frisbee?

The best thing that the game has taught him is to be persistent and keep his positivity up. He said 'I have learned how to take things positively. This helps me deal with even the most difficult situation. I am able to look at the good side of things. I have the confidence to deal with situations.'

Frisbee has also provided Jagan with a livelihood. In times where people are forced to opt for jobs they don’t like, he has the privilege of pursuing his dream. He works as a Physical Education Trainer in a school and is also a Frisbee coach. Here’s wishing the super talented sportsman all the best for the tournament. Hope that his story will inspire many more to fly as high as him. 

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