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October 2011
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2013 Australasian Championships
In Timaru, NZ | March/April 2013

The Vision:

With Christchurch unable to host due to earthquakes, and AHBPC due for a go in NZ, we concluded there could be nowhere better than sunny Timaru to host the 2013 Australasian Champs. A town founded to host a Polo tournament. Its courts are surrounded by; accommodation, restaurants & bars, a beach, and the centre of town... everything you need is a walk or bike ride away. With a highly supportive council and business community for an event such as this, and a passionate group of Timaru Polo players, AHBPC 2013 in Timaru, NZ will be a great experience for all... READ ON TO SEE WHY.

The Venue - Caroline Bay
Check out these images: http://bikepolonz.blogspot.co.nz/p/photos.html


- Three courts, 36m x 18m
- 1.2m board surrounds - sponsorship here we come!!!!!
- Perfect asphalt for Polo - fast and smooth
- Viewing room around courts

Venue Facilities and Services available/provided
- Public Toilets (plus porta-loos if needed)
- First Aid onsite
- Bike repair and parts available at the venue (See Bike Inc/Cyclery message below)
- Full bar facilities right by the courts - at great prices
- Coffee Cart onsite
- Food available for purchase + BBQ’s to cook on.

Tournament Format & Numbers

We would open this up to Austrailasian discussions and would be flexible based on confirmed numbers, we are open to a 3 day tournament if needed, something about starting at Friday lunchtime sounds pretty great don’t you think?
Here is some things that we would look to guarantee:
- Large Round Robin phase, probably swiss round, as this seems to becoming the standard for Polo
- use software like http://hardcourtpodium.com/ to make sure rankings are worked out real sweet
- have a super strict time schedule to make sure we get through all scheduled games (as well are being realistic about time between games)
- Cities seed their teams before the tournament so pools are appropriately balanced
- Plate and Bowl final system (think ‘Hong Kong Rugby 7’s’)
- There will be a referee and a scorekeeper/timekeeper assigned to each court
- Non-playing tournament organiser onsite
- The schedule would be made so that teams had their games fairly close together so you aren’t forced to wait around all day. We’ll look at possibly spliting the round robin phase into morning and afternoon brackets.


Timaru’s top motels, backpackers, and holiday park are all within 5 minutes of courts. We will obviously work hard to ensure everyone finds suitable accommodation. We are too small a Polo scene to billet players, however there is a massive camping ground nearby as well as many affordable motels. We have strong links with the Timaru i-SITE who will help with accommodation booking also.

Getting here

Christchurch International Airport to Timaru is a delightful 2 hour drive. Direct flights to Christchurch from Melb/Syd/Bris/Auck/Wel are pretty affordable. We will organize group transport options from chch (bus or mini-van with trailer) for those arriving at the most popular times.

Marky Penrice reckons: “CHC Polo (I.e me and anyone who ever wants to help) could organise getting everyone down there as long as visiting people were willing to split some petrol costs or pay towards a minibus or whatever.”
We will arrange sponsorship money to cover travel from Chch to Timaru.

Why Timaru, NZ

Check out our contribution to a local short film fest. The topic was Earth Hour and bike polo was the core theme for the video of making the most of Timaru’s free, non powered, sport offerings.

- convenience once in Timaru - EVERYTHING IS REALLY CLOSE!!!!
- closeness will help create a great festival vibe
- support from whole city including council and businesses ie.SPONSORSHIP!$$$$$!!
- Timaru has carved a bit of a niche market for hosting sports events and tournaments, with amenities, venue, accommodation, downtown, and the beach all in short walking distance.

Optional Pre-Tourney Polo Tour

This is your chance to see the South Island in style - Hardcourt Bike Polo style. Come to NZ a week early and travel with fellow Polo enthusiasts and play shuffle games in each of these famous spots:
Christchurch - Tekapo (Mt Cook) - Wanaka - Queenstown - Timaru
This would depend on numbers, we would release a full itinerary, and costs, in heaps of time for people to decide if it is for them and then book accordingly.

Media Coverage

NZ Free to air channel “U” https://www.facebook.com/tvnzu have indicated they will send a film crew down. [see their message of support below]
- Channel U is a very popular channel that focuses on Music and Freesports.

Radio Network DJ
- Regular casual player Sam Wilson is a DJ for a local radio, plays live music and will MC for the event.

Local paper and radio
- We have already built strong relationships with the local papers and have been in all 3 since we started playing. They are all willing to help with the advertising and will be take photos at the event.

Social media
- Timaru Bike Polo has a fairly strong Facebook following and obviously we’d use all the usual facebook, blogs etc for running a good event and making info available

Messages of Support

Timaru District Council

Hi Ash,

Thank you for your enquiry about the courts.

We would be happy to make courts available for this event. If you are successful I would like to discuss the event with you so that everything goes smoothly. Good luck with the application!


Bill Steans
Parks and Recreation Manager
Timaru District Council

The Cyclery - Biggest bike shop in town
Hi Sam

The Cyclery agrees in principle to sponsor this event in the form of a bike mechanic at the courts and help with transporting bikes if needed. We are really excited to see Bike Polo at its highest level played here in Timaru, all the best for your bid.

James Smith
The Cyclery

Bike Inc - Another most excellent bike shop
Hey Ash

Being involved from the start of it all, of course we (BIKE INC.) will be more than happy to support you (TIMARU BIKE POLO) in any we can.

Let us know if we can be of any assistance at all…
Good luck


Economic & Tourism Development Agency for Timaru District
Dear Sam

Congratulations on choosing to bid for Timaru to host the 2013 Australasian Bike Polo Championships. Timaru is ideally suited to hosting sporting events like this and Aoraki Development Business & Tourism would be glad to support your bid and, if successful, assist your planning for the event.

Timaru has two sport venue hubs with suitable asphalt for your sport, Caroline Bay with its wonderful beach, tennis courts and brand new Aquatic Centre and roller skating rink and the SBS Events Centre with a full range of sports facilities and amenities. Each of these are in close proximity to a full range of accommodation options.

We are more than happy to put you in touch with the right people for access to courts, accommodation and businesses for sponsorship opportunities.

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Smith
Chief Executive
Aoraki Development Business & Tourism

Polo in Timaru - the background

Polo started in Timaru as recently as October 2011, since then we have enjoyed the following:

How many how often:
- 8 super regular players and another 10 who play every other week (more so in summer)
- 2 polo sessions a week (Sunday and Monday)
Involvement in tournaments:
- Chch players have come down and played in Timaru
- Timaru players have been to Chch for a shuffle tournament
- We have 3 teams entered in WWIII
Growth and promotion of Polo:
- As we play in Timaru’s fave hangout spot (Caroline Bay), there is plenty of interest from the locals stopping by for a watch
- Have taken a demo day for polytechnic (tertiary) students where all players enjoyed the game
- Are booked in for an upcoming demo day / lesson at a primary school
- Have had articles in all 3 local papers about our Poloing exploits
- Have Incorporated as a charitable society (nearly)

We really love our Bike Polo and are keen to grow the sport in NZ - hosting AHBPC will be significant for this.

Timaru’s Polo People

We are lucky to have in our polo playing circle people who are sufficiently well placed to help make running AHBPC 2013 sweet as! Players include:
[Officially Best] Bar owner (Rich)
[Best] Cafe owner (Ash M)
Energy company [biggest sports funder in region] Project Manager (Ash R)
Economic & Tourism Development Manager (Sam C)
Radio DJ (Sam W)
Man of God & Physio (Dave)
Heavy Industrial Engineer (Roy)
Environment Canterbury staffer (Rob)
Fireman & Farm contractor (Leighton)
Volkswagen Restorer (Marc)
Graphic Designer (Jamie)
Chefs (Mark/Kerina)
Photographer (Rach)
Baker & cocktail genius (Ally)

Previous Event Organising Experience

In case you're wondering if this small group of Timaruvians can pull of a tourney of this scale, here are a few events Timaru Polo players have been significantly involved in:
Movember - TiMOru http://nz.movember.com/mospace/network/timoru
Timaru became the NZ capital of Movember in 2011 with over $15K raised. It involved multiple events throughout the month including The ‘NZ Man of Movember Gala Party’ in Timaru as the NZ Movember finale. Good on you Rich!
The Undie 700 http://theundie700.co.nz/
Awesome fundraising event. These crazy cats, led by Leighton, drive 50cc scooters from Timaru to Nelson (570km) - She’s a well run event we can assure you which runs annually.
Tornados 40th Anniversary Hot Rod run
Ash R played a major part in the organisation of the highly successful 40th Anniversary Hot Rod weekend attended by hundreds of enthusiasts. Run by implementing work related project management skills to the organising of the event.
South Canterbury Business Excellence Awards http://www.southcanterbury.org.nz/awards
Annual Gala Awards, a big event for Timaru celebrating business success, 400 odd punters for a full meal, entertainment etc. Its a big gig to organise but Sam C sees it as all in a days work... cos it's his work.

We would love to host Australasia Hardcourt Bike Polo in all its glory here in Timaru. Give us the chance by having a word to your rep on the ‘Jedi Council’ asking them to vote Timaru, NZ!!!!!!!!

Sam Callander
Timaru, New Zealand

Hey Guys. New Members are always welcome.
We play at the Caroline Bay Courts every sunday at 2.30pm and Mondays if everyone is around.
Check out our Facebook page "Timaru Bike Polo" or drop into BikeInc on Church Street & talk to Darren.