The bike polo programs at Bike Works was profiled by 321 Polo! last month. The site, which documents everything bike polo from around the world, was impressed by the opportunity kids in Seattle have to learn polo from some Seattle all-stars:
They have lots of cool programs, but the coolest by far is the Earn-a-bike classes that graduate to mechanics classes where they can earn polo gear that either companies have donated, or other more traditional materials like old ski poles and gas pipe. Bike polo at Bike Works started way back in September of 2006 on select Saturdays. However in recent years it’s grown to be a more involved part of the Bike Works program with roughly 20 kids not only creating teams among them, but some of them even actively pursuing the creation of a proper youth polo league. The kids have had some great moments so far, including an exhibition match during halftime during the 2009 north american hardcore championships in Seattle. In 2010 the kids had their own team playing in the Emerald City open, and this year they are planning on having an exhibition match at the Worlds that will be Held in Seattle.
For the day to day mentoring, Bike Works staff members are involved with polo with the youth, but they also do a summer camp. The list of polo players that donate their time to mentor at the camp should be pretty familiar to you if you follow the tournament circuit, or have any knowledge of how Hardcourt polo got it’s start. Seattle Bike Polo players, Seabass Michel-Hart, Wade Atkinson, Leslie DeLorenzo, Liza Bee Hodkins, Andre Ramseur, Kelly Beile, Kelsey Letcher, & Matt Messenger (who also works with the Cascade Bicycle Club doing polo) were all involved in this 5 day camp running drills and pick up games with the attending youth. They even got to do a tournament with all youth, Seattle Bike Polo players, and Staff members challenging each other.
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Speaking of polo, 206 Bike Polo is hosting a demo at Westlake Park August 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to get people ready for the 2011 World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships, which will be hosted in our very own Magnuson Park in September.
From 206 Bike Polo:
The event is free to the public to watch. Many of the athletes playing in the demo will also be competing in the world championship tourney as well. We are expecting players from Olympia, Portland, Tacoma, Pullman, British Columbia, and perhaps Eugene.