20 April 2005
THE ORIGINS OF CANOE POLO IN THE WORLD
THE EARLY YEARS 1920-1992
Canoe Polo: what a fascinating sport it is. It has all that it takes to make it a great game for both its athletes and spectators alike. It is dynamic and fast, technical and spectacular, easy to learn, and accessible to athletes of all ages and sexes with just minimal canoeing skills.
But what exactly is this game, which is now practised in many countries around the globe but yet unheard of to the public at large, and most of all, how did it all begin?
Although the game of canoe polo is one of the fastest growing team sports in recent worldwide sporting history, it is relatively unknown outside its own sporting discipline. Although many individuals around the globe started practising and spreading the word of this game in their own countries during the last half of the 20th century, little or nothing has been documented to record their efforts.
For many years now, it had been an interesting topic for me to research and document the endeavours of these early pioneers. Who they were, and what motivated them to “invent” or promote an aquatic sport which would be an exciting new discipline, characteristic to the canoeing world on the eve of the 21st century. I have a personal interest in this subject, as I too was a “pioneer” of this great sport, having introduced it in Italy in the late 1970’s.
This article is the end result of my investigations, in trying to source theses persons who like I, introduced the game of canoe polo to their own communities throughout the world.
As of now, it is still an uncertain subject to know with certainty who or which country was the first to introduce this sport in its modern form. There is little documented proof, either on the Internet, or in printed form, to give any positive proof of such an initiative, so I do hope that this article will help those who are interested in this subject and would like to see more light shone on the matter.
Let me try and explain in some more detail...