Cospicua was one of the centres for this year’s European Week of Sport activity as one of its traditional docks became a venue of a canoe polo tournament organised by the canoe polo association in collaboration with SportMalta as part of the #BeActive campaign.
Canoe polo, also known as Kayak polo, is one of the competitive disciplines of canoeing, known simply as “polo” by its aficionados. Polo combines canoeing and ball handling skills with a contact team game, where tactics and positional play are as important as the speed and fitness of the individual athletes.
The game requires excellent teamwork and promotes both general canoeing skills and a range of other techniques unique to the sport. Each team has five players on the pitch (and up to three substitutes), who compete to score in their opponents goal which is suspended two metres above the water. The ball can be thrown by hand, or flicked with the paddle to pass between players and shoot at the goal.
The canoes are specifically designed for polo and are faster and lighter than typical kayaks which give them fantastic manoeuvrability. The blades of a polo paddle have thick rounded edges to prevent injury. Paddles are also very lightweight and designed with both pulling power and ball control in mind. Nose and tail boat bumpers, body protection, helmets and face-guards are all compulsory.
The players fought a very interesting battle and showed also excellent skills for the curiosity of the host people in Cospicua and a number of tourists who passed by the dock.
SportMalta employees gave spectators gadgets and explained in depth the #BeActive campaign. After the event all participants were presented with a commemorative medal and a t-shirt that in itself promoted the campaign.