Joel helps bronzed Aussies pass ultimate test

Melbourne’s Joel Moskovic (pictured in the front row, third from the left) and his teammates won bronze in the 2019 Asia-Pacific Beach Ultimate frisbee championships.

WHILE the sport of ultimate frisbee is not widely known, it is officially recognised as a future Olympic sport and has a rapidly growing player base around the world.

Part of the appeal of ultimate – which is played in more than 30 countries, is part of the World Games and is slated to be included in the 2024 or 2028 Olympic Games – is how it combines elements of netball, touch football and American Football, is free-flowing and fast-paced, and has men’s, women’s and mixed formats.

The beach version of the sport is particularly popular, and the Reef Sharks – Australia’s men’s team – showed what they are made of by winning a bronze medal at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Championships held in Shirohama, Japan, last week.

Australian Reef Sharks player and spirit captain Joel Moskovic.

Melbourne’s Joel Moskovic played a big part in the team’s success, both as a player and a member of its senior leadership team in the new role of “spirit captain”.

The talented defender, who plays in the Ultimate Victorian League, made three goal assists and scored three goals in Australia’s 8 games.

These included big wins against three Japanese local clubs and Singapore B, and a 12-8 quarter-final victory against a Japanese district team called Nomadic.

In a semi-final played in gale force winds, the Aussies faced Japan’s national team and found themselves trailing 1-7, but fought back strongly, eventually losing 4-8.

Determined to return home with medals, they led early in the bronze medal-deciding match against Singapore A on June 16, and held on to win 9-7 to seal third spot overall.

Moskovic, who the coaching staff have described as a hard-working and selfless contributor, both on and off the field, said it was “extremely humbling” to represent Australia for the first time since 2017, this time as a team leader.

“It’s really exciting what we have accomplished,” he said.

SHANE DESIATNIK