When a multi-use court designed to accommodate bicycle polo opens this June in Grandview Park, it won’t just attract the “hundreds” playing the sport in this region, one local enthusiast says.
“You will have people drive from Portland and Calgary when this place opens just to play here on opening weekend,” Lisa Moffatt, a member of the group East Van Bike Polo, told the Straight in an interview on the court.
Moffatt, an elected regional representative of North American Hardcourt Bike Polo, also claimed that the court will be a worldwide first, as it is built to bike-polo specifications.
“Well, it’s built to dimensions that we prefer to play on,” Moffatt explained. “This is actually bigger than any court we’ve played on in East Van, but we went out and talked to the community and figured out what their ideal court size was. So we’re working with that. The fencing that’s going to come up here is going to be flush with the wall, so there would be no issue with getting caught in the fence or anything. The concrete is higher than what you would be when you’re in the upstroke of your pedals, so you’re not going to get your foot caught in the wall or in the fence.”
Plus, there is “great seating that we didn’t have before”, Moffatt added.
The total cost of building the court—including the concrete walls, drainage, paving, seating, and fencing—is $90,000, according to park board landscape designer David Yurkovich, who was interviewed with Moffatt. He said the court dimensions are 38 metres by 20 metres. Yurkovich added that locals are “quite anxious” to get back into the park space, which closed down last July for the $2-million overall renovations.
“The orientation has shifted,” Yurkovich said of the court. “It’s now north-south, but it used to go right up towards those trees there [toward Commercial Drive]. We now have this quite large open grass area that will be a part of the park feature. That’s quite a benefit, I think.”
Stephanie Maingot, a member of Friends of Grandview Park, said some local residents favoured creating green space instead of the new court. However, she praised advocates like Moffatt for conducting themselves professionally throughout the public process ahead of the renovations.
“My point is, they came out to every single consultation meeting,” Maingot told the Straight by phone. “They introduced themselves to me.”¦I think they are sort of an alternative group, and it is an excellent example of what happens when a group can actually consult with the city. And they actually got their court.”