Danie and Ari started Elevate Ultimate in 2016 with the dream of providing professional coaching to young Ultimate frisbee players, and grow the sport that they both play and love.
Having played ultimate since grade six, Ari Nitikman had developed high level skills and a passion for the game of ultimate. After graduating with a business degree, Ari decided to combine his enjoyment with working with kids, his skill at the game and his new business abilities to form Elevate Ultimate.
Ari brought on Danie Proby to be his co-founder to run the curriculum for elementary, high school and a youth leadership program. Danie, an accomplished Ultimate Frisbee competitor with a degree in Physical Education from UVIC, has always wanted to coach kids, run tournaments and “create good memories for people”.
“Ari gets the business and I keep it,” Danie shared. They divided the responsibilities so that when they do get customers they have the best experience possible.
Elevate Ultimate has a very active site on PlayyOn. “Day one we used Google Forms and E-transfers, then we graduated to PlayyOn. Since then all of our registrations go through PlayyOn. The forms are easy and the transactions are really easy for the parents… it is really easy to see who has registered”. Ari has a fully designed website and uses PlayyOn as his administrative backend for registration forms and payments. He appreciates that PlayyOn manages a lot of the administrative work for him.
Ari and Danie cite many role models around the world who are using ultimate as a tool to do important work. We have been inspired by many leaders on “how to make a business do something important in the world.”
They share their stories of kids who had positive impacts on their program and on other players. They love seeing kids grow their confidence through ultimate and see how ultimate can be an identity for kids that might not succeed at basketball or football. Elevate has put frisbees in the hands of over 5000 youths this year through in-school and after-school programs.
Running the academy has had its challenges, but Ari and Danie love that they are in charge of the curriculum and business. “It’s really hard, but it has always been fun.”