Canoe Polo Cancer Challenge 2006

Canoe Polo Cancer Challenge 2006

Sponsored by Dave Brown, Family Boat Shop, Hatfield Waterpark & Ferrer Consulting

Event Details

We aim to hold a continuous 26 hour canoe polo game and beat our own previous record for the event. There will be two teams of five players with rolling substitutions so that the game does not stop and the opposition will be constantly changing. Players will volunteer for 15-30 minute sessions and will be subbed off after that time. Hopefully players will participate in several sessions over the 26 hours.

The event will be held from Friday 9th till Sunday 11th June 2006 with an after-party on Saturday night. The whole event will be held at Hatfield Water Park near Doncaster. Click here for directions to Hatfield Water Park and more info.

What is Canoe Polo?

Canoe Polo is basically basketball combined with water polo, played in kayaks (NOT canoes!). To make it even more interesting, it is a contact sport. Five people in kayaks try to get a ball from one end of a pitch to the other and shoot it into a net suspended above the water - without losing the ball or getting pushed in. Games are very fast, frenetic and fun.

Played both in swimming pools and outdoors, the pitch is up to 35 metres long and 25 metres wide. Teams compete to score by shooting into their opponent's goal - a netted frame, one metre high and one and a half metres wide, suspended two metres above the water. The soccer-sized ball is thrown or paddle-flicked between players.

Demanding the ball handling skills of basketball and tactical awareness of 5-a-side soccer, the physical aggression and effort draw comparisons with American Football. (A buoyancy aid, helmet and face-mask provide body protection, whilst the boats are heavily padded at both ends).

BCU Canoe Polo


Event organisation will lie with a committee lead by Ruth Holdway, chairperson, Rob Ferrer, treasurer, and David Knapman, secretary with members drawn from York University Canoe & Canoe Polo Clubs. The rules of Cancer Challenge can be seen on request.

Who can take part?

The more paddlers we can involve the better. The opening and closing sections of the game will be reserved for experienced canoe polo players. There will be a session on Saturday afternoon that will primarily be for junior and less experienced canoe polo players. However there may have to be age and ability restrictions for safety and insurance purposes. Under 18 year olds will need signed parental permission (More details below).

We are advertising for players in the canoeing press, on canoeing bulletin boards and by emailing universities, clubs and individuals. You can now sign up here. We ask that everyone sign up as early as possible, and definately by 2 June, so that we are able to assign suitable times to everyone. It may be possible to sign up on arrival, but we can't guarantee how much playing time you will get (if any!).

There is a minimum sponsorship/donation of £10 (£5 for U-18) for every participant, however we expect people to raise much more and there will be prizes for the most sponsorship raised and most imaginative fundraising.


Cancer Challenge 2006 is being run by York University Canoe Club, an affiliated BCU club, therefore all participants are covered as they would be for any other BCU club event. BCU members and affiliated members automatically have 3rd party insurance, which covers them in case they injure anyone else. Non BCU members will have to take out a day membership of the BCU for £3. This can be arranged on the day of the event with the organisers.

Information for Under 18ís and their Parents

Mum/Dad Sign this!
All under 18-year olds need parental permission to take part. A parent/guardian must sign a participation form, available with the sponsorship forms, which must be handed in at the event. These forms are available to you once you sign up.
Doh! Can't escape the parents for the weekend
A responsible adult is required to supervise their child/club members throughout the weekend and must sign in with their child at Registration.
Early to bed
Sorry, under-16s are not allowed to participate in the polo match at night.
Sorry to be so boring, but until you're 18, your parents are responsible for you.


There are a few forms that need to be completed if you are taking part. They can be found on this website:
Sponsorship Form - For you to get people to pledge their cash!
Participation Statement - Legal stuff - essential
Under 18 Participation statement - Legal stuff for kids - you need your parents to sign it
They are all in PDF format ready for printing.


All polo equipment will be provided, however if you want to bring your own shiny new kit you are most welcome. All personal kit will be subject to scrutineering for safety reasons and to ensure polo rules are adhered to.

Never Played Before?

If you're a competent canoeist but have never played polo before this is not a problem as there will be some crash course coaching sessions run during the day - let us know when you sign up. If you're not a competent canoeist we're afraid that because canoe polo is quite a rough sport we could not let you play. However, there is plenty of time between now and May for you to get yourself down to your local canoe club and learn! Contact the BCU for details.

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