Spotlight: Q&A with James Hendershott, Founder, bike polo founder
Senior psychology major James Hendershott is the founder of Milledgeville’s own bike polo team, a fast-paced and competitive sport involving the usual rules and equipment of polo — only on bikes. Hendershott explains to The Colonnade what it is like to be a part of such a competitive group, and where he would like to see bike polo in the future.
Q: How did bike polo start in Milledgeville, and how have you had a hand in promoting the sport in the area?
A: I started it on June 1, 2011. I am the founder of bike polo in Milledgeville. As far as promoting the sport, a lot of it is done by word of mouth. We put fliers up in Blackbird and other places downtown. We’re trying to promote it to the college community, but we’re waiting to become a student organization first. We’re in a transition period right now, but we’re very close to being an RSO.
Q: What does the average week look like for a bike polo player?
A: There are no mandatory practices, but Sunday and Tuesday are set days to play. Some of us are taking it to a different level and travelling more and more, so on Wednesdays we go to Athens or Atlanta and play there. On the weekends we are either going to a tournament or playing somewhere else.
Q: How do you organize tournaments with other colleges in the state? Have you ever played a team out of state?
A: We think of it as cities rather than different colleges. Anybody can host a tournament, and it’s word of mouth how we get it out. We also look for sponsors to help get the word out. We played two weekends ago in Tallahassee, Fla., for a tournament. We got ninth place out of 20, which is pretty good.
Q: How large is the average bike polo team?
A: A full team is three people. We can get anywhere from three to 11 people from Milledgeville coming out to play, so it is very hit or miss. Over the last two months we have averaged three or four people. During practices we play three-on-three games. We have a set team that we are trying to get to travel to different tournaments, and we have four tournaments coming up.
Q: Where would you like to see Milledgeville bike polo in five years?
A: I want to be able to come back in five years and be able to play polo. I’d also like to play in other cities. I want to make sure that there is an atmosphere for bike polo in Milledgeville.
Q: How can athletes in the area become more involved in bike polo?
A: Just come out to practice. We play Sundays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the Irwin Street commuter lot. We also play Thursday or Friday; basically when anyone wants to play.