The smell of burning rubber was in the air as two unicycling sporting goliaths went head to head and wheel to wheel in a unicycle hockey show down.
At RUCCIS, on the quiet Sunday mornings during term, our soft floor mats get pulled up to make way for the unicycle class. Under the guidance of coach Simon Wright, they’ve been building their skills and have formed a fully fledged unicycle hockey team, the RUCCIS Raptors. You only need five people to make a team and RUCCIS has nine very talented unicyclists who can ride circles around the competition!
This term we started a new class focused on training for unicycle hockey (If you can free-mount your unicycle and ride it in a circle, you are eligible to join the class!) They’ve been focusing on agility on the unicycles by riding around cones, learning how to ride backwards and spin on the spot. Mastering these, hockey sticks were added to the equation and they practised passing skills a-top of the one-wheeled wonders and finished each class with a little friendly hockey game.
On Sunday 13 December, the Ruccis Raptors went on an excursion to the Albert Park hockey courts to play with the newly formed Melbourne Infernos unicycle hockey team. After a few drills and intro games, everyone did ‘sticks in’ and were divided into four mixed teams of both the Raptors and the Infernos.
It was a round robin competition and the four teams were very evenly matched, with three of the six games ending in a tie. RUCCIS made a very big impact on the games with everyone amazed out how quick and nimble our Raptors were. And this proved successful with the winning team featuring Ollie, Caleb and Hurley from RUCCIS with only one of the Melbourne team George helping them.
The games went for 11 minutes each which allowed the other teams to rest up in the shade, drink gallons of water and catch their breath on a very warm afternoon.
There was plenty of action and thrills and spills – Michael put a lot of pressure on the opposing team’s goalie constantly taking many shots; Ollie would lead plays and set up people with his precision passes; Seth got stuck in the middle of the action challenging the adults head on; Hurley was a champion coming out of nowhere scoring goals when everyone else had fallen off their unicycles; Simon was a more concerned about being a one-man cheer squad cheering often for both teams; Caleb was cunning, sitting up the back watching play and waiting for the right moment to make a play at goals; Isaac hustled the other player making some critical saves; and Paul was so enthusiastic at zipping after the ball that he accidentally head-butted the wall (lucky he was wearing a helmet!)
Everyone had a great day and as they were riding, playing and falling off their unicycles they were all constantly grinning from ear to ear. Who’s ready for the next match!