Thursday, 25 September 2014

Beginners' bike polo day, Bristol UK


Bristol Bike Polo, is organising a Beginners day on Sunday, 12th October 12:00pm - 6:00pm at Dean Lane Skate Park. 

The schedule is

12 pm: learn how to ride your bike and handle a mallet at the same time
2 pm Demo game: check out our players
3 pm This is your time to show what you learned. We shuffle teams and you can give it a go!

...with an all day long BBQ! Sounds pure awesomeness!

The event is free and open to everyone 

Bristol Bike Polo can provide all the equipment (bikes, mallets, helmets, pads), so no excuses not to make it down! 

More info here

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Hanging out at the Girls' Shuffle Tourney, in Birmingham...

Between Jo’s funny shout outs to Alison, and Fuchsia spilling the beer, my eye caught Lizzy smiling with eyes glowing - the sort of glow that proud parents have, or that sort of smile that children have when they are just about to do something naughty. I left my half-spilled beer and joined Lizzy  by the sideline, as she watched the polo games; smiling and glowing because this was one of the very few polo tournaments that included 25 women...
Lizzy on the right

Meet Lizzy,  the *only active female bike polo player in Scotland 

(*update: following this post, we were told that Glasgow now has two female players: Lizzy and leftie Heather - hi to both :-) )

Name: Lizzy Sime
Occupation: English teacher/Ski instructor
City: Glasgow

Club: GHBP
Number of members: currently about 10

Where and when do you play?
We play at The Barn in the Gorbals on Sundays and at Mansfield Park in Partick on Wednesday nights

When did you start playing bike polo?
I started playing two and a half years ago  but with 5 month gaps as I spent winters in the Austrian Alps. Alps in winter not great for polo…

What's the best thing about bike polo?
hmmm.. It is stupidly addictive! So much fun! But as well as that, for me, it's the people who make polo. I love my polo pals here in Glasgow and the further afield I travel to play the more amazing people I meet.

What's your best polo adventure?
The Girls' Throwin Tourney in Birmingham! I have enjoyed all the tournaments that I have played in but this one was different as it was the first all-female tournament that I have been to. One of the things I love about polo is that girls and guys play together as equals but it was amazing to see so many girls playing, and playing so well! For me, a big part of the huge success of this tournament was that the teams were thrownin every round. This meant that we all mixed and got to know each other resulting in a fantastic atmosphere, which was especially important for people like me who only knew a couple of people there.

How do you think we can encourage more girls to try out bike polo?
I don't know really. Team sport for those who maybe traditionally don't like 'team sports'! Age, gender etc doesn't matter in polo...the social side - beer is equally important as the polo... Hot girls/guys in face-cages…

What’s your advice to new players?
Stick at it and do a bit of Solo Polo practice. It seems really hard at first. I genuinely just rode in wobbly circles and didn't touch the ball for weeks! But you improve really quickly.

Would you walk 500 hundred miles and would you walk 500 more for bike polo
Not sure I'd walk 500 miles.... but I'd definitely cycle it and more for polo...I have actually driven it. [Lizzy drove from Glasgow to Birmingham for the tournament]

Last thoughts?
i am super excited about Hell's Belles! [Hell's Belles is the biggest female european bike polo event. This year it will be in Geneva, 15-16 November 2014]


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Birmingham, Bike Polo Shuffle Tourney

25 girls from 7 cities all over the UK gathered in Highgate Park, Birmingham for a one day  turney.
The tournament started as a shuffle tournament, and then placed players in fixed teams with the purpose to keep teams at equal levels, for  knock-out rounds (the losing team stayed out, the winning team continued). Games were ten or twelve minutes long and score draws were dealt with a golden goal to determine the winners. 

I was lucky enough to be placed in a team with Jo (one of Cambridge's finest player) who was the tournament's top scorer. She had the aura of a top player: excellent ball control, smooth bike manoeuvring, strong shots at all angles; all these blended with a calm, no-need-to-show-off personality and a sweet encouraging positivity that a typically older sister has.

My other team mate, was London's Aleksandra who i have got to know the past year; she brought to the table youthful enthousiasm and spirit and some tough battles against our opponents. Our team, Destiny's Wild reached 3rd position after losing (the golden goal) and staying out from the finals. I will be honest with you; i was gutted especially because our best player had to change bikes halfway, so i was left with the thoughts of "if she had her own bike maybe the golden goal would have been hers". But in sports there are no "ifs", especially as this whole tournament had an element of fate and luck. Despite the result, it was my favourite team. (sending big-ups to Jo and Alex!)

The winning team "Rubbish with Names" (but obviously pretty good with bike polo) , indeed, deserved the win; the team which was Leah (Bristol), Sylwia (Manchester) and Ana (London) worked hard for it with good passes and a focus in a game that was played at the opponents goals the most.

i chatted with Leah (Bristol) briefly during the tournament, who admitted comptetitiveness and having only one thought: winning. Manchester's Sylwia, had a much more relaxed style, encouraging all players, radiating posisitvity and at the same time focusing in her own game. Sylwia's skills and positive nature in the polo world seemed to be also recognised from others and went on to win Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tourney.

I joked with Sylwia, as she was a playful, fun character during our trip to Birmingham via our facebook pages, and asked her "How do you feel being once again the Most Valuable Party-monster and champion of the polo queens?" her reply brought to the surface her sportspersonship:

"on a serious note.. I feel proud to have had such a great team! Ana Sanches phenomenal in the goal and on the court! Making great decisions in a split second! You got that something gir! Leah was a pure badass on the court! Tackling like a pro, not letting go for a moment! Love your spirit girl! Keep it up! Oh and that chin shot!! It was pure pleasure to play with you gals and I hope there will be more tournaments to come where I get to do so again!" 

On our train journey back to London, I pretended to be interviewing Ana with an imaginary microphone and asked how she felt being a champion; Ana was slightly less chatty about the win and simply said that she felt "tired". Knowing her quite well it was obviously true that she was tired but also her answer seemed to be a way of avoiding attention, being modest and lets face it, she probably knew that i was going to quote her on this blog; she kept her reply minimal. During the games she had a focus and determination that i had never seen before in her.  More inline with her usual self, she was the first to open and share the bottle of prosecco for the celebrations.

There were 25 players worth a mention: 

1- Mya (bhm): strong, fast and fearless AND fierce too! A hard worker when it comes to the polo community
2- Kat (bhm): excellent hostess and the driving force of the tourney! Thanks!
3- Viki (bhm): had the most yellow stripes on her mallet, meaning pure wins during the shuffle tourney
4- Alice (bhm):another new player from Birmingham; promising and ready to take you on!
5- Irial (bhm): fresh moves, quiet and focused
6- Fuchsia (Lndn): must say she had the best goal celebrations ever
7- Nik (Lndn): one of the best players, in my opinion, and most fun person in the polo world
8- Sylwia (mcr): MVP MVP MVP!
9- Zsófia (bristol): strong player and tiredless organiser, natural coach
10- Ana (Lndn): blood in her eyes, prosecco on her lips
11- Io (Lndn): that's me; aspiring sandbagger.
12- Peixe (Lndn): all the way from Sao Paulo! que legal! Beleza!
13- Ali (Cambo): Ali is awesome! best facial expressions on achievements! experienced and talented player.
14- Jo (Cambo): Jo, such a great team mate!one of the best players!
15 - Rita (Sheffield): she can take you down; she can speed up and get you.
16 - Jackie (Lndn): fearless. She will take you down.
17- Aleks (Lndn): ball control, positioning - she is the one!
18 - Lizzy (Glasgee):  strong and committed!
19-  Josie (Brtn): Agile and smooth; strong shots, be warned!
20 - Maddie (Lndn): experienced player, experienced heckler
21 - Tabs (brs): another awesome player from Bristol; share the secrets!
22 - Leah (brs): she had one thing is her head; to win; and she did.
23- Violeta (Lndn): pure skill, dynamite shots.
24. Lilly (Mcr): who received just praise from Nik for stepping it up
25. Rosie: the new promising leftie

Big-ups to Phil from London, coming all the way with chilled beer to support the tourney, and ofcourse to the Birmingham boys for reffing and helping with organising.

Micro-pigs (ask Sylwia why!) Pic adapted by Luiza Peixe

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Bike Polo Tournament, Birmingham, Sunday 14th September

Girls only bike polo tournament
Shuffle tournament with tape. 
 Number of rounds tbc based on number of players.
Those coming from the south, London Midland and Chiltern have cheap off-peak returns and are good for bikes.
"We're hoping to encourage lots of new female players, so please bring anyone with you who'd like to have a go. We can provide some mallets and other equipment if needed.
Guys are welcome too, but girls only on court!"
From Kat & Mya

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Bike Polo Wheel Covers Exhibition 4th September - 4th October 2014

An exhibition and silent auction of bike polo wheel covers produced by London creatives.

Hosted by Quoc Pham Cycling Shoes

All auction proceedings donated to Re-Cycle

Opening Night 4 September 2014
Polo raffle

Exhibition running from 4th September - 4th October 2014

Look Mum No Hands
125—127 Mare Street
London E8 3RH

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

London Open Bike Polo Tourney

London Open bike tourney 16th and 17th August 

34 teams with  poloistas from the USA, Australia, Japan, France and of course UK
Three large courts in Highbury Fields
Party by the canal in east london on saturday
Good times

Want to see some awesome pics from the London Open? 
by Paul Kubalek here and 
by Will Melling here on his Flickr

Monday, 31 March 2014

Spin London

28th March-30th March 2014, brought us Spin, London's cycle show, which was much more  exciting as this year it featured a bit of bike polo from the London Hardcourt Bike Polo Association.  A tiny court was built from a small team of six or seven poloistas on Thursday afternoon, ready for the weekend for people to try out polo and players to show off their skills.
measure once, cut twice

building the court's walls

the final touches