5TIX A short documentary film of the 5th hardcourt bike polo championships. WHBPC2013
The picture in the mirror.
I believe that our sport is growing out of childhood, and is becoming self aware of its image. That is good since it coincides with its slow embrace of the world of media. In the recent years, we have seen teams creating their blogs and facebook page and managing their image, with Cosmic leading the pack. We have seen brands evolve and logo design blossom. We have seen the explosion of post-tournament videos, a few movies and more recently the advent of real time game broadcasting, thanks to MrDo and the Stream Team. We even have seen brands that exist outside of polo starting to appropriate our image. In the midst of all that change, that violent growing, I believe that it is EXTREMELY important to mind the demographic that we are displaying and make sure we don’t leave some behind.
As of today, the message is pretty clear: to be sponsored, you have to be a man, and you most probably have to be white.
I know very well that we are not doing this by design, and that affirmative action has its drawback but we need to think about what kind of image we are collectively crafting. Because whether we do or not, our image is being crafted. It’s an old and boring problem, I concur, but we are starting fresh, so we have the tools to be mindful about it. White male IS the vast majority of the community, fair enough, but let’s give an extra push not to make it the ONLY representation we have.
Look around and think. How often do you see women represented ? What’s the last game you watched with a female player ? There are kick-ass women out there but if I was a teenage girl (or any other minority in the sport) looking into the sport, I would struggle to find role models to look up to that reflect who I am. We recently had the Mygirls campaign by adidas and our community is still confused about it. On one hand it provides fantastic exposure, on the other it is confined to the realm of fashion and dips our sport into big business’ exploitation of trends. I would love to see Jesse, Erin and Nik’s story about how it went down.
When we write on our blogs, when we give sponsorships, when we broadcast games, we create fame and we create dreams. Let’s make sure we allow everyone to have a slice of that dream.
There are lots that are being done, and I can’t be writing this without giving due credits to Charlotte, her dedication and her blog, to the London Ladies and their incredible work, to Virginia @ GOALHOLE, to all those who make Hell’s Bells and Ladies Army possible and to all the girls that keep pushing themselves out there. I must give credit to Crusher @ Lancaster Polo as well, whose relentless writing’s pushing the limits and made it so that within one week, two major blog hired a female writer. That’s a pretty good step but not a definitive one.
PS: If any of that resonates with you, you might want to check Jean Kilbourne’s work, for example Killing Us softly
PPS: Not to shame us but if you google “female bike polo player”, the top of page 2 reads:
This shit is not the end of the world but it sure counts. Let’s work to make it go to page 20.
Se adelantó la noche de #reclutamiento , esperamos que todos sigan viniendo :)
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