Auckland Bike polo started in July 2008 when a couple of people (Jenna and Max) came back from the World messenger champs and saw it being played there. It had reasonable success with the fixed gear riders with regular games happening on Sunday afternoons. Mallets were made from the traditional ski poles and ABS piping kindly donated by a local construction site. Cones for goals were donated from the nice old park guy until he forgot he told us we could use them. (He’s still there listening to his radio). After that the little mini cones were used instead. Early experiments were done on the bikes, with people converting any old thing into a polo bike and then throwing on small gears. As it was back then, still today people played on anything, a child’s tricycle, if you like. From fixed gears with synergy wheel sets to full downhill mountain bikes. We had a lot of fun and a lot was learnt. Sadly, people gradually moved on and the numbers soon dropped and the games ended.
Some time later Tabs arrived in NZ and began to restart bike polo. She collected the old mallets floating around and workedon her home brew cider in the meantime to bring to the weekly games. This was quite a different crowd from the original group that started playing as mentioned earlier. This new group had only a couple of players from the orignal crew joining in. It was highly popular and eventually expanded from being played on Sundays afternoon to include Wednesday evenings also. The Wednesday evening games were proving popular for as hordes of people came along for the food afterwards. Mikey is yet to do his 100 dumpling challenge but I’m sure this can be revised.
Eventually, Tabs headed off home to the UK but the polo continued on with Auckland sending two teams down to Christchurch for the first tournament in NZ. Winter Whack was a phenomenal success and everyone there had a great time, including the organisers, who I am sure practiced very hard to make sure they took home 1st and 2nd prize, and the famed golden mallets. Lessons were learned, ideas shared and ribs cracked. Tournaments, as the crew soon realised, are a bit more intense but are great fun.
Currently there is still a core group playing and we will be organising the first tournament in Auckland to be held on 19th March. King of the Kage is set to be expand with connections through NZ with Taupo sending players up to compete.
Bring it on.