WHO Built those Giant Racquets, you ask?
Amy Hamlin is the creator The large rackets. Here is how they came to be! “I have a background in theatrical set design/building and I have a passion for the unexpected and over the top. Ask my family, every b-day, school or church play etc. I got the idea the first year we started playing and Nationals were being held in Harvest…. Oh I had a t-shirt graph designed decoration for the tent, tables and the front gate…..THE RACKETS! I was on a mission it was natural for my brain to run with it. (I find this to be a curse most of the time) But as I found out we weren’t in charge of any of the planning…..so I HAD to let it go for the time being….. until our next tourney. Lol I knew of some very large bamboo in south Alabama near my mother’s so on a visit I got 18 stick, 16 feet long 3-4 ‘ in diameter and tied them to the side of our horse trailer. My boys said we looked some hillbilly’s. Oh well I had a mission. I have made a set 2 years ago but used several small sticks for the racket head, this time I wanted to bend the thick bamboo into the hoop….. after much research and destroying 4 of the beautiful 18 sticks of bamboo, I had to resolve to using a different material, I tried PVC pipe, but when it’s heated with a acetylene torch it will burn not bend, then I tried a propane torch (less heat) nope still burnt. I got some gray electrical conduit pipe…. BINGO it heats up and bends like a hose cool it with water and it hardens again. Faux painted then to match the bamboo, mounted them on a 10’ varnished Bamboo handle added the net and some duct tape for the hand grip and threw in my yoga ball. The plan was to auction them off to help with world cup tryout travel expenses But with the rain just made things go differently.” As for the fun we had in spite of the rain Almost every person stayed. A lot of people took the opportunity to meet people who they might not have if we were playing. The attitude across the entire group was understanding and wanted to make the most of it. Dori Johnson stepped up to the plate and offered a clinic Saturday in the indoor arena, with different times for the separate divisions. Then that night after dinner a group of folks headed back to the indoor just to work horses…. But it turned into a fun game time on horse back, ball passing, rescue pick up race, just how many people can fit on the back of a draft horse….2 medium + 2 small butts that’s how many. Kelly Fisk suggested we plan on playing some chucka Sunday if the rain stopped over in the outdoor sand arena. Many folks from Grand Bay Polox and Dori and her crew stayed a long with the all the TVPC team mates. We managed to play from 9:00-2:00 before the rain hit again! Lol So you see we had some extraordinary people both helping/contributing and also partaking!
Love – Amy
Report from World Cup Squad Member, Dori Johnson:
It rained so much overnight that in the morning…There were ducks camping out on the field!Tennessee Valley’s Tournament was cancelled, but we still had plenty of fun! On Friday afternoon we goofed around with the HUGE rackets Amy Hamlin made to be hung over the entrance gate to Harvest Farms. Then we had a delicious chili dinner served by the U 16 team. After that we had a fun playing around with our racquets on the bounce board. Saturday morning, it was official, the tournament was cancelled.
So plan B began…
Zach Hulbert asked me to give a clinic and I said “Of course!” so we begin putting on the largest Polocrosse clinic I’ve ever given. There were 45 riders and more un-mounted participants. We worked mainly on carrying the ball into the area. Saturday evening we all enjoyed yet another delicious meal. Come Sunday morning, the sun was shining and we decided to go play arena Polocrosse at a local farm, because the fields were still too muddy We mixed up teams and horses and had a blast!
Huge thanks to Zach Hulbert, the Hamlins, and the Fisk Family for making everything possible!! I was so sad we didn’t get to play on your beautiful fields, but thrilled we got to do what we did. It was a great weekend.
Once play was over, we packed up our gear, our horses, and our friends, and began the long journey back to Minnesota.