COMMONWEALTH GAMES

A.D.H.Donnie —  July 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

Fauxlympics

Sadly Bike Polo is not one of the Commonwealth Games (yet) however, we will be playing regularly throughout the next couple of weeks with only limited disruption.

If you would like to play we will be at The Barn Youth Centre, 37 Abbotsford Place, Gorbals, Glasgow, G5 9QS
Wednesdays 19:00 & Sundays 11:00 (times may vary due to hangovers)

Polo Makes Glasgow

 

Friday:

We were hurtling towards Sheffield in a fully packed Volvo that seemed to be wearing a big hat covered in dead flies. Our driver was suffering from a rare eye-death disease which meant he looked like a junkie Basset hound.

IMG_0021

As I had left the travel Othello in my bag which was trapped amongst the tangle of scrap metal pile of polo bikes in the boot, Clem downloaded the digital version so that we could have a backseat Othello showdown.
Meanwhile Glasgow Bike Polo’s WhatsApp conversation, which had been mainly travel and roadside eatery updates quickly descended into Ally (who sadly couldn’t come to the tourney) sending us more and more lurid photoshopped images of various members of GHBP.

CENSORED

The first people we really spoke to in Sheffield were Andre and Ady from Bristol, who nearly talked us into going clubbing with them despite their disappointment that we didn’t have any heroin with us (“But you’re from Glasgow…?”).

Saturday:

After taking a long time rebuilding our bikes and a ‘spoons breakfast (or two for Brickman) we arrived at the Cliffhanger Festival.
Our court for the weekend was a lovely smooth tarmac number, slightly thinner than most of us were used to. With a nice elevated grassy area for spectators/hecklers.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just my own fair team of ex pornstars who had a bit of a wobbly start as we stepped out onto the court, which seemed to have been preheated to 200*C.
The sun was relentless all day but nobody got too badly Zoidberged and there was plenty of refreshments, including team Banana Space Rockets making actual Banana Space Rocket cocktails! More teams should come replete with cocktails, no, ALL teams should!!

IMG_0034

I’m afraid I can’t comment too much on what happened in the Saturday games. My memory is a mess of icecream, suncream & sweat. (which would be an applicable cocktail for my own team!)
I know that I very much enjoyed Saturday and I can gladly say that in total there were more Lolz than goals. Which is what Polo is all about.

Brickman enjoying a good old chin-wag with Rob Stoner

Brickman enjoying a good old chin-wag with Rob Stoner

Later on, showered and burritoed we arrived at the Red Deer for some apres polo drinks, Jenga & a pub quiz. the banter was mostly of a highly quality and the band were pretty good (despite only doing one Disney song) and I was introduced to Apple and Passionfruit cider from a company in Edinburgh, which is hopefully going to be the main sponsor at our next tourney.

Sunday:

You don’t get much sleep at tourneys as a general rule but it really doesn’t help if the Friday and Saturday nights are the shortest nights of the year. The combination of sleep deprivation, sunstroke, hangover & dehydration made the event look a bit more like a Worst Dressed Zombie contest.

Photo by Andrew King

Photo by Andrew King

Despite this fact, the polo was good. The polo was very good. Goals were as numerous as smiles and thankfully (almost all) ego was left on the court.
If there had been a prize for Best Crash, our Colin would have won, hands down. Or rather hands, arms, head and torso down, on the ground, outside the court after being shouldershoved through the court’s gate leaving just his bike and his legs from the knee down on the right side of the boards. Despite cracking his helmet (the one on his head) he still bounded back onto the court in his spaniel-esque way and played his heart out.

A number of the knock out games turned into golden goal situations (as if the weather wasn’t face-melty enough) and the heckles were thrown with great love and admiration by the spectators.
The Losers Bracket was hard fought and an amazing marathonic effort by Barrymore’s Boys was only just thwarted by a hat-trick of goals from an Adonis, a Cadillac of men (if you will) from the team We’re Not Pornstars… Anymore. A team who are now officially ‘Reet Good’.

Certificate of Reet Goodness

Certificate of Reet Goodness

The “proper” final was between Glasgow’s own GoreBalls and Liverbirds. It was fittingly close and very exciting. The Glaswegians made us proud with lots of near misses and some amazing saves but the Liverbirds eventually muscled in to take the win 2-0.
It was a close game but eventually Chris, Chan & Chris were crowned “Champion” and there was much rejoicing.

Accolades also went to:
Glasgow’s Lizzy who shared MVP in the Loser’s Bracket
Glasgow’s Clem who shared MVP with Killer Joe in the Winner’s Bracket
Team GoreBalls were (not just in my biased eyes) People’s Champions.
But the real winner, my friends, was Polo…

Many thanks and kind regards go out to our hosts Rita and Gav for their hospitality.
And much appreciation goes out to the organisers and event staff!

p.s. Can I please request a scoreboard is used next time?  Since someone being able to goal ref doesn’t necessarily mean that they can also count!

Winter…

literallyoverthemoon —  February 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

 

waterpoloI don’t think there’s been a week this season where we haven’t managed to brave the pishy weather and play at least once.

But still, the seas are rough out there.

Euan’s edit of the day’s games.

 

As part of our S.H.I.T. weekend (Scottish Hardcourt Intercity Tournament) Glasgow Bike Polo held its first alleycat through the streets of Glasgow. As you’ll see in Euan’s video, we had a beautiful night for it, and really appreciate everyone who came down to ride in it. Thanks guys, see you at the next one!

S.H.I.T. VII

literallyoverthemoon —  September 16, 2013 — Leave a comment

IMG_0195Mediocre Polo, Epic Fun? Mediocre was a bit unfair, but epic was a huge understatement!

Friday night, while players from Manchester, Sheffield, Aberdeen and Edinburgh were making their way across the country in cars and trains, and as the sun set (quite beautifully) in Glasgow, the Growel in yer Bowel alleycat got underway. Aaron’s sub-10 mile route took us from our polo court in the West End right across town to the Merchant City, before heading back west to the final checkpoint/pub. Clues led us to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, a few of GBP’s favourite local businesses, and a quick chance for riders to have a go showing off their polo skills, scoring a goal with the help of/against Clem. Balloons, padlocks, pens to the face, pubs, squiggly bridges, a Tall ship, polo, a TARDIS, a big mad guy on a horse who can’t spell Afghanistan, and some IPA. The alleycat’s results are below, and each racer received some prizes donated by our sponsors, topping off a brilliant wee evening.

IMG_9908

1st – Brickman
2nd – Ally
3rd – Ali
4th – Stuart
5th – Dunc
6th – Matt

Not long after the Alleycat wrapped up, Manchester blasted into town and we got down to some well earned catching up and beer quoffing. Then bed.

imageGlasgow, in September? And the sun was shining?! Yup, the weatherman brought us a bucket load of sunshine that lasted the whole day, which might have had something to do with the number of spectators we attracted throughout the day, who joined us for a chat or just sat on the grass and watched.

After sweeping the court and getting our new goals built up, we kicked off the tournament at a decent hour and played four swiss rounds, which seeded teams for the double-elim knockout. The Manchester guys were instrumental in organising the format, and games were switched over quickly and efficiently. As well as everything going exactly as according to plan, the atmosphere courtside was really relaxed and fun, and it was really nice seeing old old faces and new, and gabbing away in between games while munching a tonne of Tunnocks.

image

On the court there was some damn good polo being played, and an equally friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere. You could tell we all loved playing our polo.

Every team got at least seven games, which aint half bad for a one day, one court, ten team tournament, and due to a team having to pull out last minute, three players who hadn’t previously had a team got together and got a chance to play. (And their result wasn’t too shabby!)

In the end, Team Skuid of Edinburgh took home the much coveted, golden S.H.I.T. VII trophy. Congratulations to the guys! The full results are below.

IMG_0180WINNERS – Skuid.

2nd – Spokey Dokeys
3rd – Flowery Tw*ts
4th – Manchester B-Team
5th – Multiple Scoreg*sms
5th – The Beard’s Last Stand
7th – Lock Up Your Sisters
7th – Shuffle!
9th – Septic Tanks
DFL – Stevie’s Bearded Wonders

But the day was still not done; after trophy giving came the prizes, and thanks to the massive generosity of our sponsors (who you can see on our poster below), EVERY player went home with something, with teams winning cycling equipment from local and national businesses, and polo equipment from both Throw in Polo Co and Magic Bike Polo. It might not seem like much, but being able to thank players for traveling hundreds of miles and playing their hearts out with a mallet head, or a cycling cap, or a tshirt, is hugely appreciated, and really added to a great weekend.

Then of course we had a tap-out game by way of farewell to two of our Glasgow players; Trish, who joined us earlier in the year and will be missed when she leaves in October, and James, one of Glasgow’s founding players who has been guiding us through the beardy hallways of polo since 2008. This will be his last tournament as a Glasgow resident, and I hope we did him proud.

After we packed up, where did we go? Aye, where else?

image[1]We got the mezzanine booked off in Coopers up the road, and made sure we were properly fed and watered. It was an absolute pleasure spending the evening with such a great bunch of folk. Then, clad in glad rags, we hit the dancing.

1208574_10151602069110810_844769239_nimage[2] classic grandUnfortunately, the weather was just too damn Scottish for us to do our planned Polo BBQ the next morning, but we poured ourselves out of bed and headed down to our friends Siempre for some all day breakfast and great coffee.

image[1] image[4]The day just wasn’t long enough, and soon we said our farewells as teams had to head off home. But what a weekend we had.

Thank you to everyone who put it together, including the weatherman, all our sponsors, and to everyone who came to play polo with us. I hope you had as much fun as we did. It was absolutely awesome, and you’ll always be welcome in Glasgow. There will be even more photos on their way, and a video is being edited together for your pleasure as we speak. If you have any snaps, share them on the facebook page!

See you all at S.H.I.T. VIII!

Love from Glasgow.

SHITVIIFINALabc

#morepolo

literallyoverthemoon —  August 22, 2013 — Leave a comment
I’m not really one for public writing and have always struggled grouping my thoughts so forgive me if this is a bit messy but it had to happen!

I guess my first post on the blog is way overdue but what better time to do it just as i come up to roughly one year of playing bike polo.

Hell, I’ll save you all the boring ‘how i got into it through fixed gear’ crap and how i started on an old early 90s Dawes mountain bike with no brakes.

I will however take you back a few years to my school days. I captained the boys volleyball team, the football b team and was the 1st choice goalkeeper for the field hockey squad. I was also selected to train with the Malawi national pool team after a string of impressive performances in an amateur pool league.

I left home and saw my relationship with sports completely disintegrate. The occasional 5-a-side match with the lads from work, pool in the pub and frisbee in the park was about as close I came to sports.

clem

Showing up at polo to watch was incredible. My passion for riding bikes had recently been restored and was fresh. The idea I could channel passion and sport together was incredible. I caught on pretty quick and everyone was so welcoming that it was easy to just slot in and get playing week in week out.

I got my first tournament under my belt and that only drove me on. Desire to improve, to get a new bike and to get to more tournaments just kept growing. I can imagine its the same for everyone. Since then i have been present at every tournament Glasgow Bike Polo have been at. I also have a custom built bike and all the fancy gear.  I must add my thanks to Brickman due to his driving skills and legendary kindness to offer to take many of us round the country in his little car. Epic times.

I have considered what to talk about in this post. Whether or not i reflect on the past year and all the good times. The birthday bash, Jo and Slywia in Manchester, the Jamesie zone, #brickman, I’m Braw, Brickmans Skid Skid Kids, Team Glasgow, boring! and all the good times at throwins but i figured what i look forward to the most is the future of Glasgow Bike Polo and all the great things to come; so my post is going to move onwards and upwards.

I guess the main event is going to be the sad departure of our president James. Glasgow Bike Polo is his legacy and he will always be one of the first founders of it in this city. He has seen it grow and I believe the only way we can carry his legacy on is to help it continue to grow for our own benefit but also to make our beardy friend proud. Don’t go James!

james

Next up is the upcoming Scottish Hardcourt Intercity Tournament: S.H.I.T VII which is bound to be epic. Lots planned and hopefully its going to be a lot of fun. We cant wait to welcome all our guests and play some FUN polo.

The London open in two weeks is one of the worlds biggest polo tournaments in the world. Dan, Brickman and myself will be playing again and hoping to do Glasgow proud. At the UK Champs, someone watching a match of ours shouted: “Glasgow are shit!!!” That really got to some of us and we are really going out there to prove them wrong. I’ve learned a hell of a lot since the last tournament and I’m out to really change people’s opinion of the standard of polo up in Glasgow and Scotland. We know a lot of you will be supporting us and trying your best to follow our progress and we really appreciate all the messages of support we get from you guys. We only we wish we had a polo bus to take you down with us to heckle all our opponents.

Uni is about to start up again and I’m planning to target students to try and come and play bike polo. We need new recruits and after a summer that has been full of some fantastic throw-in sessions i feel its important to get some new folk to keep the momentum up through the winter as well just generally getting the word out about bike polo.

2014 and the Commonwealth Games are being held in Glasgow. Its going to be amazing. We have big plans!!! Whether or not we can pull it off remains to be seen  but if we do it could be legen…. wait for it…. dary. That’s all I can say really, don’t want to give too much away.

brickman

What excites me the most though is the dawn of a second year playing polo with people i absolutely love.

I guess everyone knows how keen i am about polo and i know i take it too far sometimes but you guys have encouraged me and supported me and totally understood my approach and have got used to it and respected it. All the advice and help has been immense, especially James’ pep talk at the UK Champs!!!

I guess i had no idea what i was getting myself into when I started and never dreamed it would be anything like this and if your reading this as someone who has never played but is considering it, stop considering! Just do it! Be part of something great in your community and country. Help the sport grow and push yourself and your personal boundaries.

#morepolo

 

 

-Clemmorepolo2