Some members of Perth Cycle Polo recently travelled to the town of Kwinana to teach kids how to play bike polo. Our guest reporter, Mike Critch, tells us how it went.
Members of Perth Cycle Polo were invited down to the Town of Kwinana’s Youth Space to host a workshop for the April School Holidays. The 4hr workshop introduced the rapidly growing sport of Hardcourt Bicycle Polo to the young attendees, captivating their imaginations and harnessing their natural abilities through a series of on and off-bike skill sessions. The workshop started off with the basics; ball and mallet control, passing and dribbling and finally shooting at goals and it wasn’t long before the hungry swarm of kids became eager for some actual real polo action. Not to deny their requests, PCP ran through the basics of a polo match from the joust, to tap-ins and the importance of heckling on the sidelines (albeit censored versions for under 12′s).
With their new found ability of everything ball and mallet, the kids got down to business and began dual wield polo: war-hammers in one hand, bike in the other. And they took to this like fish to water. Not satisfied with dribbling a ball between cones and riding, some members of the group grew impatient and started slamming balls into the Goalhole, at their own accord, like it was going out of fashion. To keep the crowd happy, PCP showed the little tackers the game of bottom bracket. Once we were satisfied that there was a reasonable skill level across all the attendees, it was time to have a proper game.
And what a game it was! I don’t know if it was the remarkable coaching, or the natural ability and dexterity kids have on a bike but they were sure impressive for first timers (better than most of our first times!). They were passing, calling for plays and striking like little ANZAC’s, even slipping a couple past one of the PCP members (we won’t mention any names!!) who was sitting in goals making sure there were no ‘cheese sausage’ moves taking place. One kid pulled of a spectacular cross Crandall (some things can’t be taught) which made me hopeful that one day Hardcourt Cycle Polo will indeed become an Olympic sport.
So a great day had by all. The workshop was received well by the Town of Kwinana, the kids attending and was a great experience for Perth Cycle Polo members to share their knowledge. Special thanks go out to Kwinana Youth Space officer Arbie Pattiselanno and PCP members Ned Collins and Alex Forgie, who not only coached like champions but leant out their bikes to the kids to get them used to riding actual polo steeds.
by Mike Critch
Perth Cycle Polo