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10 November 2014 No comments

Call Me Daddy - The 2014 World Champions of Bike Polo

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Call Me Daddy - The 2014 World Champions of Bike Polo

Hardcourt bike polo is a growing sport that is constantly changing. Last year I was flattered and excited when Will and Paul asked me if I would join their team, Call Me Daddy, for the upcoming season.

This was due to their third member, the well known Greg from Paris, deciding he was going to step back from competitive polo. After three amazing and successful years it was going to be a big pair of boots to fill.

In 2014, we participated in four tournaments this year and I’m glad to write that we won all of them!

At first, it was very difficult to ‘train’ together.  We were spread across the channel with Will living in Paris, Paul in Toulouse, whilst I was living in Cambridge (UK). However, we set up a chat group on a well known social network and the planning began (even if 20% of the messages were jokes!).  Then a change occurred, as Paul moved to Paris in April to manage a bicycle store, and I moved there shortly after to work as a tour guide. This allowed us to play together whenever we wanted and just as importantly we were able to hang out as much as we could. With Will and Paul working five minutes away from each other and me living just as far it was the perfect environment for bonding which looking back was essential in creating our strong team spirit!

The European Championships came around at the end of June, this year in Padova, Italy. We stayed with a lovely old lady, whom we called our ‘nonna’, five minutes from the court.  She made us breakfast every morning and wished us luck before we left.  The weather in Padova was surprising with the heat reaching almost 40°, nevertheless we battled our way through the games. After losing the first final, we triumphed in the second after a game that lasted an hour!  This was a third consecutive victory for the team, yet for Will and Paul the happiness was as though it was the first. Partying ensued and didn’t finish until sometime in late July.

The World Championships were two months after Padova and played on home soil in Montpellier. It was perfect, great weather, the beach, amazing courts and all of our friends from around the world coming together to share the experience.

After the second day of games, it was clear there was only two teams in it, us and The Beavers. A team who, just one year ago, beat Call Me Daddy in the final of the World Championships in Florida. And sure enough it was these guys who we would face in the final, the fourth consecutive World Championships final for our team. It did not start so well with us going down by 3 goals to 1 at the mid point of the match.  It looked like all was lost.  However a rousing team huddle raised our morale and we scored four goals in quick succession in the second half of the match and won the game. The sheer sense of achievement was heightened by the tension of looking defeat so clearly in the face.  The win was an amazing experience, the French fans (or ‘hooligans’ as they like to call themselves) burst onto court and celebrated with us. I lost count how many people gave me a hug that day but it was delightful knowing they were happy for us.

The cherry on top of the cake was winning the French Championships in Perpignan (a fourth consecutive for the team) a month ago. It’s been the greatest year of my life and I would like to thank my teammates for that. Here’s to next year! Follow Call Me Daddy on Facebook to find out more about the team and forthcoming events: https://www.facebook.com/callmedaddybikepolo