May 28, 2014 8:03 pm

Bike polo culture is growing in Saskatoon

Watch the video above: Bike polo in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – In order to play polo you need a horse, so that pretty much rules out a lot of urban people in Saskatoon.

But in recent years, a variation of the sport has emerged that is more geared toward the general population.

It’s called bike polo and the rules are similar, but at a fraction of the cost and minus the horse.

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Local enthusiast Daren Mclean first discovered the sport three years ago. Last year his team became the first Saskatoon-based squad to qualify for the World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship.

Mclean’s team ‘Mosquito’ is edging closer to earning a trip back to the big stage after finishing first in their regional qualifier this past weekend.

Next up for the team is the North American Championship. If they finish inside the top ten, team Mosquito will qualify for the World Championship Tournament, which  will be held in France.

“It would be amazing,” said Mclean.

In Saskatoon, there’s been a drastic increase in the amount of women who are picking up the sport.

Local player Andrea Cessna first took up bike polo as a hobby two years ago and now she plays on a competitive team.

“I just thought that it was really great that the sport is co-ed,” says Cessna.

“In most sports women are segregated, men have their own league and in this I feel like it’s an opportunity to really challenge myself, as well as bring together two styles of play that can complement each other.”

The Saskatoon bike polo community prides itself on being extremely welcoming towards newcomers.

“We want people to come out and play,” said Mclean

“All you need is a bike, and we’ll give you a mallet.”

So if you’re interested in trying out a new sport this summer, the Saskatoon Bike Polo League meets on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons at Optimist Park.

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