Sydney to host Australasian Bike Polo Championships
The largest and most significant hardcourt bike polo event in Asia-Pacific is scheduled for the weekend of March 28-30th when Sydney hosts the 2014 Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships (AHBPC).
The event is scheduled to attract 40 teams consisting of three jockeys each. The regions best players from Australia and New Zealand will gather with special guests from Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe and the USA to compete in the sixth annual, two-day event.
The Perth-based NASFWG has won two-straight Australasian titles, including last year’s championship held in New Zealand (Timaru).
“The sport is for everybody. Some participants come from a sporting or cycling background and then there are some that don’t even ride outside the bike polo world,” said Sydney Bike Polo director Brook Tait-Styles.
Hardcourt Bike Polo is a variation of traditional bike polo played originally on grass. The sport was reinvented in the early 1990’s in Seattle by bike couriers as a way to pass time between deliveries.
Plenty of ‘diy’ is used to create appropriate equipment : plenty of ‘diy’ is used to create appropriate equipmentStephanie Simcox
Using polo mallets, PVC balls and low gear ratio single-speed bikes, bike polo is a fast paced, urban, grassroots, underground sport that has been active in Australia and New Zealand since 2006 and is now established in over 300 cities across America, Europe, South America and Asia.
Tait-Styles says that currently there are approximately 20 clubs across both Australia and New Zealand with clubs ranging from 20-40 members. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane attract the most participation.
“It’s a great social activity and has a fun DIY feel to it,” said Tait-Styles, who also rides for the Sydney team. “It’s quite an underground movement and a lot of people see it as a social gathering as much as it is a sport.
“It’s getting a lot more competitive which has its pros and cons and this event serves as a qualification for the world champs in Europe,” he added. “But at the end of the day, it’s a great low-cost social activity for people that are open to just trying out something new.”