Football, basketball… Ultimate Frisbee? We spoke to Thomas Heinrich of sports community BActive, just set up in Bahrain, to find out how we can get involved in all three.
In a nutshell, what is BActive and how did it all start?
BActive Bahrain is a company that organises recreational sports. We have different continuous weekly sports programmes and would like to become a platform for most of the locally demanded recreational sports. There are numerous people who want to be more active and play their favourite sport, or try a new one in a relaxed atmosphere – especially working professionals who had been active while they were in high school or university, but often don’t find the right opportunity to play sports. And this is mainly where the idea for BActive came from. We want to give everyone the opportunity to play their favourite sport, with an emphasis on socialising and getting to know new people. The system is entirely web based, so all information, registration and signing up can be done online at www.bactivebahrain.com.
You’ve started with football, basketball and Ultimate Frisbee – why choose these sports?
Basketball and football are both widely popular team sports, especially here in Bahrain, and therefore perfectly suited to start our venture and get the word about BActive around. Ultimate Frisbee is a relatively new sport that not too many people are familiar with. As it is fun and easy to learn, it’s perfect for everyone wanting to try something new. We would like to be known as an innovative company, and introducing Ultimate Frisbee here is a good start to achieving this status.
If people want to play, how do they get involved? Is it expensive and is there a membership fee?
Well, the easiest thing to do is to visit our website and our Facebook page, which contain the information about all our activities, such as dates, timings, locations and all other details of the programmes. You can either register and sign up for the activity that you are interested in, or you can just drop by. However, we recommend that you do register on our website, so that we can keep you updated (via email or SMS), and also guarantee your participation in case the activity is very crowded. There is a very competitive participation fee for all our activities, but there are no general membership costs. Basically you pay and play.
How many people do you have enrolled so far? What are you seeing is the most popular sport?
We are very pleased with the number of participants so far, and even more about the wide variety of nationalities and ages of the players. We already have more than 100 people attending the sports programmes from all over the world. I think the most popular team sports in Bahrain are without a doubt football and basketball. Ultimate Frisbee is very new to the island, but we have a lot of new people attending every week and believe it could become a very popular sport in Bahrain.
So what is the difference between normal Frisbee and Ultimate Frisbee?
If you think about normal Frisbee, you usually picture two or three guys throwing a Frisbee back and forth, in a park or on the beach. Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport with a lot of movement. You have two teams of around six or seven people. Each point starts with both teams lined up at their end zone. The goal is to bring the Frisbee over to the opponent’s end zone by passing it between your team mates. If the defending team intercepts a pass, the offence immediately becomes the defence. Ultimate emphasises the importance of good sportsmanship, also known as ‘the spirit of the game’, and since it is a non-contact sport it is an ideal activity that men and women can enjoy together.
Do you participate in any of the activities yourself?
I am a huge sports fan and participate in all three of them at the moment. As we are planning to expand our portfolio with many other sports, I am sure even though I would like to, I won’t be able to continue to participate in all of them.
How many staff do you have? Are the people involved all qualified sports professionals?
We have a number of referees, which are all either qualified referees or PE professionals. In Ultimate Frisbee we have an expert on board that plays professionally and helps everybody who is not familiar with the game yet. In the administration I am working very closely with a small team, and as our sports portfolio is growing I am looking forward to our team expanding.
Do you think people need to be more active in Bahrain?
I think that people everywhere can always be more active than they currently are. We just provide them with the opportunity of becoming more active. Choosing the right amount is a personal matter. I feel that being active, especially in sports, is important, because it is fun and good for your health. Even if you only participate once or twice a week in a sporty and social activity, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction and energy.
What do you hope to bring to the Bahrain community as a whole?
We would like to become a platform for most of the locally demanded recreational sports. So if anyone wants to look for a fun and healthy activity, they can just go to our website and choose one of our programmes. A large part of recreational sports is also socialising. Our activities are a great opportunity to get to know new people from all over. Especially in a multi-cultural society like here in Bahrain, it is great to see so many people of different nationalities coming together and enjoying a sport.
What do you have coming up in terms of more sports or events?
We have a growing list of sports that we will introduce soon, such as volleyball and badminton, as well as women’s basketball and football. We are also always open to new ideas, so everyone who is interested in a sport that we do not offer yet is more than welcome to enquire about it.
For more info, go to www.bactivebahrain.com, or email email@example.com