July 23 2014 Latest news:
by Ajay Nair, Reporter
Thursday, July 10, 2014
A school has been crowned bike polo champions.
The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, Upminster, saw off competition at the tournament last week, beating Redden Court School, Harold Wood, 12-3 in the final.
There were 12 schools challenging for the title at the Havering Council Inter-Borough Bike Polo Tournament held in Fairlop, Hainault.
Pupils got into the spirit by customising and creating artwork for their wheel protectors.
Cabinet member for regulatory services and community safety, Cllr Osman Dervish, who was at the final, said: “What an outstanding achievement for both schools. They are a fine example of how hard work and training can really pay off.”
Bike polo is gaining popularity and is not too different from the standard form of the game with players swapping steeds for cycles in 10-minute matches.
Cllr Dervish added: “We already have a big cycling community in Havering and I hope that this tournament will encourage even more young people to get on their bikes and enjoy cycling, especially with the summer holidays coming up.”
The bike polo games involved mixed, three-a-side teams of children aged 12-13 and was played on specially adapted polo cycles. Players who let their feet touch the ground incurred penalties.
Coopers’ Company site and service manager Lee Hanford, who coached pupils, said: “It’s fantastic – we’re really excited and proud of the team.”
Mr Hanford said of the sport: “I think it’s fast, it’s active, it’s something that they can really get their teeth into.”
The Coopers’ Company children have been training hard outside of school hours to perfect their technique.
Cllr Dervish said: “These two schools [Coopers’ Company and Redden Court] have really done us proud!”