East Vancouver bike-polo court is a world first

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      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.”



      Lisa Moffatt

      Jan 27, 2011 at 12:01pm

      Huge thanks to the world bike polo community for helping us make this a reality.

      Also, enormous thanks to David Yurkovich and Parks Board Commissioners Sarah Blythe and Constance Barnes for being so open to the idea and expressing almost equal excitement as us for this world first.


      Jan 27, 2011 at 12:20pm

      I can't wait to play on it. Miss Moffatt is a pillar of the community, although my hand has never fully recovered from the time she whacked me on the hand with her polo mallet.

      robbie e taylor aka robbie boardz

      Jan 27, 2011 at 1:01pm

      as a ex homeless person i am proud of this

      Cara Fisher

      Jan 27, 2011 at 4:33pm

      Wow! Great work East Van Bike Polo and Parks Board. I hope I can make the opening of the court.

      Andrew Fleming

      Jan 27, 2011 at 5:42pm

      Hell. Is this the court they're building on the SE corner? I was hoping it would be a ball hockey court with nets.


      Jan 27, 2011 at 6:45pm

      is that bird?

      John S

      Jan 27, 2011 at 7:28pm

      Awesome. Who needs housing when we have BIKE POLO!

      What the heck is bike polo !?

      Jan 28, 2011 at 9:41am

      If this sport is so popular, why is there no other bike polo court in existence anywhere in the world? Why does Gregor always manage to scrape up the cash, even though the city is currently bankrupt, so long as it has something to do with bikes?


      Jan 28, 2011 at 10:26am

      The sport court, already inlcluded in the re development of the park will be for a variety of different sports, we just adjusted it to also include Bike Polo.

      Thanks Lisa, happy to support you guys. Looking forward to planning something fun for the opening...


      Jan 28, 2011 at 10:45am

      Seems like Gregor's on a mad sprending spree, trying to get all his bike-related stuff done before he gets dethroned. Very irresponsible. Ugh. It just makes me sick to my stomach to watch this guy destroy Vancouver.