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Flying fun: City's expat frisbee gathering

Matthew Brian Ungar (R), from the U.S., plays against Hamza Saeed Khan (2nd R), from Pakistan, during an ultimate frisbee event at Qianhai Guiwan Park on Saturday morning. Around 20 expats reveled in the joy and camaraderie of the event. Photos by Lin Jianping

Participants pose for a photo.

Polina Miroshnik, from Ukraine, throws a frisbee during a practice session.

A gentle breeze and warm sunlight greeted a group of around 20 foreign sports enthusiasts, who gathered at Qianhai Guiwan Park on Saturday morning for an ultimate frisbee event.

The event, themed “Undefined Frisbee: Fun Game for Expat Talent,” brought together seasoned frisbee players and newcomers brimming with curiosity about the sport.

After receiving instructions from the coach on rules and throwing techniques — as well as several rounds of practice — all players gained a better grasp of the game and refined their throwing skills.

The players were divided into two groups, sporting pink and blue vests, and competed eagerly on the grass. Seasoned players patiently instructed the newcomers, discussing strategy and providing them with opportunities to play.

For Russian Nikita Potrashilin, it was his first time playing frisbee, and he thought that it is a very interesting sport.

“There are rules and all that stuff that you need to learn,” Potrashilin said. He gave a thumbs-up to the coach and his teammates’ instructions, which allowed him to quickly understand how to play.

Andres Raul Brown, from the U.S., is a seasoned player, who leads two frisbee teams that have participated in tournaments in Guangzhou, Thailand, Cambodia, and other places.

“In Shenzhen, the frisbee community is growing, and we are trying to improve the spirit,” Brown said. He added that people who play frisbee are always in high spirits, which helps create a vibrant community.

Before playing frisbee, expats attended an info session at the Qianhai International Talent Hub where they learned about Shenzhen’s sports venues and how to reserve them. Some participants shared their experiences in booking gyms, raised questions, and were provided actionable solutions at the gathering. Shenzhen now has 39,256 sports venues. Residents can make reservations for 10,230 of those venues through the “iShenzhen” app.

Kisha Matthew, from the U.K., has been in Shenzhen for about eight months. She thought that the information shared was very helpful. Though she enjoys swimming, the high cost associated with fitness gym pools has been a barrier. Now, she can find more affordable swimming pools through the app. The event was hosted by the Shenzhen Municipal Science, Technology, and Innovation Bureau, organized by the Qianhai International Talent Hub and EyeShenzhen, and supported by the Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality.

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