Editor’s Note: this is the very first post of Caroline (who’s nickname is Tigerlily)–she answered my call for women writers and is the first to send me content, so I’m happy and honored to feature her here. Look for more from Tigerlily (and from other great voices in our sport) in the future!
Some newbies buy themselves an expensive imported frame to show their commitment to the sport, I decided to become a blogger. I’d say it’s just as committing, but it’s also definitely far more sensible (for now and for my bank account). The great part about starting bike polo is that you don’t really need much in terms of gear. Most teams are so stoked to see potential addition to the family that everyone throws their stuff together to get a newbie kitted out for the first few rounds.
I’d been watching polo for about a year, more out of obligation and loyalty to my boyfriend than out of personal interest. To be honest though, it may have been a bit of a farce and I chose not to be interested just to have “one night off” a week to do my own thing. Well, that all crumbled sometime in August when I decided to join my Augsburg lads in Nürnberg to watch a tournament. The guys were fine with taking me along, mainly because the logistics were easy to deal with – three people, two bikes and one camera. I spent the weekend taking shots of the action, and by Sunday afternoon I could no longer resist, I swapped my camera for a bike and started dribbling a ball around behind the courts and out of view.
I had spent a year telling everyone I wasn’t going to play polo because it’s just too rough a sport for me (conveniently leaving out the fact, I used to play rugby in school). After watching for 3 full days I realised my argument wasn’t going to cut it any longer for me. The few polo induced bumps and bruises were just not enough to be calling this sport seriously dangerous.
So after we got back, I invested. I geared myself up with the basics I needed to feel “safe” – hockey helmet, knee and shin-guards, gloves and super snazzy inline-skater elbow guards that I scored for 50 cents at the local second hand charity store. Since then, I’ve been hooked. So to make sure you all know I’m serious about this, I’m going to keep track of my progress and observations here. Watch this space.