Visvesha Murthy: Embracing the Ashoka University Spirit

Sports are a favorite pastime for Ashokans. Although quite competitive, they create a friendly atmosphere around campus. Frisbee is said to be the ‘spirit’ sport of Ashoka since men and women must play together. Visvesha Murthy, the spirit captain of the Frisbee team opens up about her life at Ashoka University, leadership lessons, and her personal life:

Q: Why did you choose to play Frisbee over other sports in Ashoka University?

A: I like that gender equality exists in Frisbee. Since we play as equals with guys, it promotes a great sense of camaraderie. In the beginning, I played football at Ashoka and it was fun, but it was a completely different atmosphere. With both girls and guys playing, the atmosphere somehow seemed friendlier and less competitive in Frisbee.

Q: What is the male to female ratio in Frisbee?

A: It depends on the line, but it is usually either 4:3 or 3:4.

Q: What are the responsibilities of the spirit captain?

A: The spirit captain depicts the spirit of the game. It is not to be confused with a captain, who generally takes on major responsibilities like decision-making. The spirit captain is in charge of ensuring bonding between the members of the team and the creation of a friendly atmosphere. As the spirit captain, I need to know all the rules and the calls. I am kind of referee for the game. People may get competitive and make calls because of ego issues, so I have to keep the spirit of the game friendly.

Ashoka University's Ultimate Frisbee Team 2017

Q: Is it difficult to make men in the team listen to what you're saying?

A: I think that the men in Frisbee are polite and considerate. Everyone is humble and agreeable so it isn’t difficult to make them listen to you. Of course, sometimes when people get excited, you have to get them to calm down. I generally try to make a bond with everyone, but now with so many new faces, it is a little difficult. However, usually, when we go for tournaments, we get to chat with everyone.

Q: If your boyfriend did not play Frisbee, what would you do?

A: I would definitely teach him.

Q: What is your favorite food outlet on campus?

A: Hummus roll at the Hunger cycle.

Q: Do you maintain some diet pattern so that you can play better?

A: Not a diet pattern exactly, but I have a fitness regime. For example, if I don’t play Frisbee then I exercise at the gym every day.

Q: What do you think of the sports environment at Ashoka University?

A: I think there are a lot of sports which are played but the range of sports can definitely be expanded. Most of the sports played are conventional. For example, there's just one kind of football being played on the field, not like indoor football or Futsal.

Q: What did you get to learn through Frisbee?

A: Frisbee taught me to interact with new people. I was in my third month of college when we went to Lucknow for my first big tournament. I didn’t know anyone from the team then. At the tournament, the guys and girls were staying in a room each. We had dinner together, played games, and bonded. After that, I wanted to continue the game and be with the people.

Q: Do you face challenges as a woman when you’re playing during your period?

A: I think playing is a distraction from the pain. When you’re playing tournaments, it’s a little difficult because you’re playing all day long, but if you have caring people around you, then it gets easy.

Spot Visvesha (center) catching the disc

Q: Why Ashoka University?

A: It was a hasty decision, yes, but I liked the culture it said to have on the website. People are academically oriented, open-minded, creative and everyone has something to contribute.

Q: Favourite Frisbee move?

A: I like short passes instead of hucks.

Ultimate Frisbee allows men and women to play together which has taught Visvesha a lot. Her journey as the spirit captain has helped us all realize how amazing a role it is to have! It makes me want to see spirit captains in other sports as well. Her team spirit has motivated me and I can’t wait to try the sport out for myself. See you in the field, Visvesha!

All images are courtesy of our high-spirited interviewee Visvesha Murthy!