Experiences of Flinta spaces in clubs?

Hello dear inhabitants of this Poloverse!

Apparently the numbers are clear about mixity, and for this topic mainly about flinta, in Bike Polo in Europe. I and I guess many of us would like to have a more balanced representation on the court, whether on tournaments as in clubs in general.

It’s positive to have more and more mixed and flinta tournaments, as a means to change this. But to encourage more within a club I’m wondering what the experiences are in clubs in Europe. Apparently more and more clubs organize flinta spaces. Therefor I’m wondering what the experiences and succeses are of…

… flinta introduction only to bike polo
… regular flinta trainings

Also I wonder what experiences you had when proposing these activities within the club. Did other members of the club react in a negative way about it? Because ‘bike polo is an inclusive sport’ right? How did this evolve later on? Or how was it countered even?

And maybe in the other side, are there experiences where flinta trainings really divided a club? Or does it really lead to more mixity in the general trainings?

Glad to read different experiences and motivations, in order to estimate the effect of these… and as an inspiration for clubs all over Europe.


As far as I know, there were major discussion when I started polo. By now the topic sometimes shows up but not to a big extent.

Thanks to mainly shaki (and the lumber janes) and Connys, Engagement for flinta* spaces in our club we are 50:50 by now (maybe even a slightly flinta* majority). Now it became more or less a self runner. (We are ~20-25 more or less active players)

I think (from what I experienced) regular flinta* trainings are essential to grow a mixed club.

For me it was the different (and empowering) approach to sport that I experienced more in these spaces. Still competitive but without the slurs and being mean, shaming others for mistakes.
I think these things became more ,normal‘ due to changes, fluctuation within the club and especially due to more flinta* participation.

Edit: it think what helped was funding we got for flinta* training which kind of expanded training time for everyone

Edit II: being more people made it also easier to call out and/or discuss shitty behavior. More discussions raised awareness for certain topics

Btw. This is a flinta* perspective :grin: I am always wondering about the non-flinta* thoughts within our club.


i would add that also at least a few cis male allies that do understand the need of flinta spaces in sports (but also in general) are important to create and maintain a club structure where it is possible for everyone to learn and practice polo.

i know that for some flinta persons it is not so easy to try something new in a heteronormative space, wheter it is of the socialisation in sports (which is gendered) or because of bad experiences.
creating a safer space can empower and give a feeling of belonging from whereas we can move on to a more inclusive space in a club as a whole.

i hope that it does not happen that it divides a club or the sport. discussing, reflecting, analyzing and listening to each other should hopefully prevent that.

since we all grew up in a society that is not inclusive for everyone, saying that bikepolo is an inclusive sport is not enough to overcome the socialisation that we carry with us. it needs active dealing with sexism, racism, ableism, etc. and will not be solved only with mixed tournaments and flinta trainings.


I heard that Paris Bike Polo is doing a first flinta beginners day on sunday! So happy that more clubs are doing those! I am convinced that it is really important if we want to make the sport more welcoming and diverse to create this safe and empowering spaces for Flinta*.

Here in Bordeaux when we first came up with the idea, we faced some reluctance from within the clubs, including from one flinta player. But we also got a lot of support, some people lending their bikes every time, etc. Now we are doing Flinta beginner nights 3-4 times a year, and it became normal. We are not enough flinta* players to make regular flinta* trainings, so the question never really came up.

I started polo by coming for a regular training, with another flinta friend. It was all guys, there were no other beginners that night, and even if they were nice, we both loved the sport but it was soooo scary. It wasn’t easy to fit in, both as a beginner and as a flinta player, as there was only one flinta active in the club at that time, and very few beginners. We didn’t come back for another year.

We originally came with the idea of doing a flinta beginners night, because i am part of a local feminist bike gang. So we organized a first flinta beginners night with that bike gang and it was amazing, lots of people showed up, and that’s how I got hooked up with Bike polo! Now we generally have a lot of people coming to try out during those flinta beginner nights, but it is always a bit difficult to convert those into regular players.

It is a good first step to make a safe space to try the sport but it is not enough to make the club more mixed. The whole club has to be involved in making the space nice for everyone, being careful/play slower when beginners are on the court, helping/explaining/coaching, making passes instead of shooting, etc… Having loaner bikes and helmets that are well maintained, and small enough for everyone for example. Sound stupid but we always struggle to have enough equipment (bike, helmets) for people under 1m70, as most of the loaner equipment is ‘old’ equipment from the local current players or ex-players that are mostly guys, and taller than that.

I believe we really have to put in the efforts if we want to be as inclusive as we pretend, not only mixed in gender, but also welcoming for people of colors, fat people, … Organizing flinta nights, and mixed tournament is a good start, but there are lots of other things we can do, maintaining proper loaner equipment, in all sizes, so that you don’t need to buy a lot of pricey equipment when you start, coming up with scholarship or ‘pay what you can’ system to ease the access to tournaments for lower income etc.