Interview with 2014 Mexico Regional Qualifier Winners, Niño Dios

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Donas, Raul, and Nacho of Niño Dios were kind enough to let me interview them about the tournament, their team, and bike polo in Mexico. I am so excited to feature that interview here! They are going to North Americans this year, and are hoping to go to Worlds as well.

Congratulations! Tell me who you are and what club(s) you come from.

Donas: I´m Yair, people call me  “Donas”

Raul: Hey! My name is Raúl from Bici Polo Tapatío, born and raised in Guadalajara.

Nacho: First of all, thank you Crusher. We three are a team from Guadalajara, Jalisco, México (even the blonde one), and we’ve played together for three and a half years as part of Bici Polo Tapatío.

What was the tournament like? Anything unexpected happen?

D: The tournament was very exciting and fun. Good games and good attitude– that’s all you need to play polo.

R: The tournament was great. I was a little worried about getting the permit to play in that venue but everything worked out well, the courts were amazing!

Also, It was so much fun to have the best players from all around Mexico and a few internationals. I’m glad to see our polo familia grow every year.

N: The tourney was amazing, we as a team were also the main organizers, and I at least  thought that could affect our games, because it’s pretty hard to run an event and compete at the same time, but team work always works. It was nice to hear compliments all the time from my teammates and give it to them back too, I think that’s the key to victory.

niño dios mxq2014 (1)The Mexico region is one of the most up-and-coming regions in NAH–why do you think that is?

D: Cuz we look up to the ones that play better.

RWell, we have great players and the best weather to play year round. And now, some sweeeeeeet courts. Also my club is the best, awesome people having fun and willing to make anyone part of it.

N: Personally, I think the main reason is we all are pretty friendly, and it’s nice to be part of a community like this one, that’s why people wants to participate all the time, and as this time was the very first time we hosted an official NAH’s calendar tourney, the whole “Poloxico” was even more excited.

How do you think your region has been viewed by other regions?

D: I think the other regions are getting much more inters ted in this region, cuz there is good weather, good polo, and nice people.

R: I think before Worlds in Florida last year we were perceived as a weak region, because well, nobody  had seen us play; but I think we’re now succeeding in changing that. We just need more exposure and to be in more tournaments across borders. I hope that after this regional more people from other regions will come to play with us.

N: Since the last world I guess we’re not so unknown, and I hope people start thinking about Mexico as a “Polo must go”, because the scene is constantly growing and there’s a lot of really great players all around the country.

riding in circles (1)What do you think makes your style of play different than other regions’ style of play?

D: We try to keep it as simple as we can, but I don’t think it is that different at all.

R: We’re not that different. Only thing I noticed is that we’re fast and shoot a lot from anywhere on the court.

N: As we are (by now) almost an island, I think we developed our style of play as the kiwis (animals) did it, alone, and I can describe it as rough, team play and fast.

I know almost nothing about bike polo in Mexico–what are some things I should know?

D: We want to be in the podium of worlds.

R:  We are better than you think, hehe.

N: There’s a house for everyone everywhere, the weather is always perfecto for polo and you have to wear a helmet if you don’t want to be dead on the court.

Were there any points where you were really worried that you weren’t going to win?

D: We lost once against  “Hermanos korioto” the first 5 minutes after speaking with my team members I was doubting in being able to beat them, but fortunately we had a better tournament than them At last  we defeat them.

R: When we lost against Hermanos Korioto. They are though to beat! We failed a lot of shots on goal and we weren’t playing as a team. I think we were nervous and distracted, organizing a tournament isn’t easy. But we knew we had what it takes to win, so we had a little talk, relaxed and started having fun. Beating The Means gave us our confidence back too, that was key to our success.

N: I was even more worried about not playing as we can, because at the beginning we lost against Hermanos Koriotos (which is a pretty tough team), and I was not bother because of that, I was bother with ourselves, because we didn’t play as the team we are in that game, but that works as an alarm clock to go back with my teammates and cheer ourselves up and start to play as a true team and make it as good as possible. At the end we won and not only as Niño Dios, we and Hermanos Korioto faced up by Mexico.

Anything you’d like to add?

R: Give Guadalajara a chance, come play polo and have fun with us! you won’t regret it.

N: Mexico is not a dangerous place, try it and you will love it (the polo scene is even better ;) )

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