ICUPS 2024 News: event

Posted On 15th Apr 2024
Posted By Kayak
Author Richard Walsh (OCM)
Location Belfast

ICUPS was my very first experience of a polo competition and my first time in Belfast! Although nerve-racking, I was beyond excited, to say the least.

ICUPS Is an inter-college Polo competition, where each college goes head-to-head in tournaments with various divisions. I had played a few matches in the pool before, but this would be an actual test of what we had learned throughout the year. We began our journey on Friday evening and spent the day travelling to Belfast. The trip was long but enjoyable; it was not until late in the evening that we reached the outdoor adventure center "Let's Go Hydro". 

Being new to the sport, I was in the fresher’s division with seven of my fellow club members. This division is all about learning new skills and having fun. Unfortunately, the Saturday games were all cancelled due to strong winds and bad weather conditions. The matches were set to resume on Sunday and would compensate by hosting more matches. We spent Saturday exploring Belfast and seeing what the city had to offer. We even ended up at the ZOO! That was one of my favorite parts of our city adventure.

On Sunday, the weather cleared, and all matches were in place to start. The first of them was set for 9:00 AM. My match was on at 10:40. Nervous and excited at the same time, our team took to the pitch and had our first game. I was the designated sprinter; it was my job to sprint into the middle of the pitch and grab the ball for my team; all I had to do was beat my opponent sprinter to the ball. Happily, I did, and we scored an early goal to begin our first match! When the day was done, our team came second in Division 1. I was over the moon; our team got medals and €60 to spend on new polo gear. I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever Polo competition, and I cannot wait to go back next year!

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