When Cycles Become Horses, It’s Bike Polo

Four-day National-level Bicycle Polo begins at Gangothri Village Hostel

Mysore/Mysuru: For the first time in Mysuru city, a National-level 36th Sub-Junior, 40th Junior Boys and 42nd Men’s Bicycle Polo was launched yesterday at the Village Hostel grounds in Manasagangothri.

The four-day event is being jointly organised by Karnataka Cycle Polo Association, University of Mysore, Karnataka State Open University and Cycle Polo Association of India.

More than 20 teams are participating from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir. Teams from the Indian Army and Indian Air Force too are participating.

Bicycle Polo (also called Cycle Polo, Bike Polo) is similar to traditional polo, except that bicycles are used instead of horses. It is a team game that consists of hitting a ball in the other team’s goal mouth according to the following rules, depending on the country or the tournament and the used ground: Grass or hard-court.

Cycle Polo was conceptualised to make the sport popular among the masses. Polo is generally played on horse backs which is not only inaccessible for the general public but also expensive. So Cycle Polo was introduced as it is a far more    feasible option. In the sport, players ride bicycles with polo sticks in their hands and exhibit skills in passing the ball by simultaneously balancing the bicycle and the polo stick.

India World Champs

According to CEO of Cycle Polo Association of India Gajanana Burude, India has won six gold medals in World Bike Polo Championships and in 2019, the last World Championship was held in Argentina where India emerged as the champion. The 2023-2024 World Bike Polo Championship will be hosted in India, he informed.

The Indian Cycle Polo teams trounced the big names like Argentina, America and Canada in Buenos Aires and emerged as an undisputable World Champion, he added.

The Championship that began at Village Hostel premises was inaugurated by University of Mysore VC Prof. G. Hemantha Kumar who expressed happiness over the fact that such a championship is being hosted for first time in Mysuru and that too in the University campus.

He said that the sport will help youth to be physically active which will also will develop their personality, enabling them to take critical judgments while facing the opposite teams. He recalled the origin of the Polo game and the role played by the Maharajas who ruled India in promoting the game. The game is so attractive that it caught the attention of the British, he added.

 KSOU VC Prof. S. Vidyashankar, former MLC G. Madhusudhan, Cycle Polo National Medal winner R.S. Vaishnavi, life-time member of Cycle Polo Federation of India Raghavendra Singh Dundlod, President Pradeep B. Bapat,  Secretary Dinesh Sarve, Treasurer P.M. Aboobkar, Associate Secretary Sunaina Mishra, Karnataka Cycle Polo Association President N.R. Manjunath, Secretary Dr. Vijayalakshmi A. Patil and  others were present.

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