They came. They played. They won. They lost. They fell off a couple of times. They got up again. They scored. And most importantly of all course, they had a fantastic time playing bike polo!
Our first Wild West Beginners’ Bike Polo Tournament over the weekend was a huge success with 16 teams from Canterbury, Manchester, Cambridge and of course, London coming to play under the legendary urban icon that is the Westway.
Although the challenge of winning the tournament was clearly foremost in players’ minds, there was also the challenge of coming up with the best team name and as usual, these players were as creative with that as they were competitive playing the game. Our favourites included Mouldy Kitchen, the Mallet Muppets, We All Play Synth and the intriguingly-named Jean-Claude God Damn!
The combination of beginners with less than a year’s experience and players with a little more experience gave everybody, players and spectators alike, a fantastic tournament to watch over the course of the day. And as usual, where there is a bike polo match, there is a wonderful sense of community with players helping each other out with kit, giving each other advice and of course, going out for a beer after the tournament! And perhaps this whole spirit is best epitomised at the end of each game when all players touch mallets in a sense of sportsmanship and friendliness which seems to have been lost in other more well-known sports these days.
There were also goals aplenty throughout the day – I think the highest-scoring game was 8-0! There were also a few tumbles, cuts & bruises – all part of the game – and a few emergency bike repairs, although fortunately at a bike polo tournament, you are never going to be short of volunteers to fix your bike if anything goes wrong!
However, at the end of the day, there is always a winner and this time, that team was Party Illuminati, who along with everyone in the tournament, put in a an excellent performance throughout the day, but managed to beat Jean-Claude God Damn in a nail-biting final. So, congratulations to them on winning the first Wild West Bike Polo Tournament trophy!
All in all, it was a fantastic day and here at Bikeminded, we would like to thank everybody who helped make the tournament such a tremendous success, especially the London Hardcourt Bike Polo Association with whom we host the event and Bikeworks for their invaluable help. Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/westlondonbikepolo) and check out photos that from the tournament that we will be adding over the coming days.
However, the tournament is indeed over, so remember we now have Open Sessions every Thursday from 7-10pm at the Westway Sports Centre. Come along and get involved. If you get in enough practice at playing bike polo and come up with an appropriately-amusing team name, you could enter next year’s tournament!