It was back in April last year that we first saw the likes of Robert Melvin on stilts but it was a period that wont be forgotten. It was very obvious from the start that Rob had virtually no fear and we quickly took him to the bay and put him through the paces of just about every trick and challenge we could find.
Sometimes he would fall. Sometimes we would laugh…but Rob would always get back up and do it again.
Within a few months he was front flipping and just before christmas he landed the backflip and I think everyone will agree that Rob’s fun and care-free attitude has really held things together for us this year. Well done Rob.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without us so we’re pleased to be involved at quite a lot of the christmas celebrations in South Wales.
Swansea Christmas Parade – Sunday Nov 18th
Whitchurch Christmas Lights – Sunday Nov 25th
Llandaff North is Thursday Nov 29th
Rhiwbina – Dec 1st 4-8pm
Tongwynlais christmas fayre – Thurs Dec 13th
Caerphilly River of Light Parade – Thurs Dec 20th 6-9pm
When 13 year old Rob first came to a gym session at Pontypool in April we didn’t really think anything special was going on. It was only when he got his balance sorted and we took him to Cardiff Bay and threw pretty much every little challenge we knew at him then we realised this guy had some potential and very little in the way of fear. He got a new pair of Projump Exo Pros for his 14th birthday in July and landed his frontflip as soon as we moved the gym sessions to tongwynlais. But then there was the backflip.
Backflips are always scary for everyone involved because it takes a lot more than ability to do it. You need the guts to go for it properly. So we piled up the crashmats and let Rob loose. The first few he landed on his knees and it looked a little sketchy at first but Rob was determined to land one before the end of the session and that’s exactly what he did
The backflip is quite an elusive trick to learn. It’s the grandaddy trick that everyone wants to do and everyone asks for at events.
It’s the time of year again where we ask our members to nominate and vote on who they think should be awarded the 2012 Bocker of the Year. In the last two years the votes have been very close and infact would have been awarded to a different person if certain nominees had voted for themselves!
This year we have four nominations and they are Rob, Mikey, Myles and Steff.
Steff won it last year but he’s continued to work very hard for the club so it was only right he was nominated again. Rob, Mikey and Myles are the cool kids that only started in April this year but have all shown really great improvement and were a judges favourite during a competition at Capital Bocking in August.
We’ll have the results of the voting in the new year.
On Saturday May 5th we were involved with the official opening celebrations of the Wales Coastal Path. This is a footpath that now goes right the way around the coast of Wales and we were very pleased to be part of the celebrations in Cardiff Bay and Aberystwyth and the NEWC Bockers in Flint Castle.
Thanks to everyone who came down to Cardiff and had a go on the stilts, some of you were walking and jumping in record times. We look forward to seeing some of you at our gym sessions.
Today marks 100 days to go until the big Olympics in London…oh and Cardiff of course.
Co-incidently today Sport Wales also announce a new Community Sport Strategy, spending £9million over 3 years. They talk about working TOGETHER and making sport available for every child with no exception.
Well there are exceptions if those children wanted to do a new, exciting and 21st century sport like, well Powerbocking.
For years the sports council have done their best to ignore us. If you like football, rugby or badminton then great. But what if you fancy something new? What if you like the sound of the alternative, urban sports.
That’s exactly what we are. Time and time again we have been told by Sport Wales that they cannot support us with our club development because they do not recognise us. NOT RECOGNISE US? We’re the guys on the jumping stilts down the bay. You cant bloody miss us
Seriously, we would need an association, a UK Governing Body, Coaching and Qualification development. All good things, right? As a single Community sports club we need help and support to do that. Just like any other evolving sport would.
Last year, for the first time the UK entered the International Powerbocking Championships and we won. This event is traditionally held in France but after overwhelming support we were asked if in 2012 it could be held in the Cardiff. Fantastic, we thought. The year of the Olympics when sport is at the forefront of everyones lives and they want the International Powerbocking Championships held here. Of course, we couldn’t do this on our own either. So we asked the Sports Council and Cardiff Council. We took it straight to Nigel Howells, the executive for Sport, Leisure and Culture at the Council.
They said no.
Last November we won £6000 from the Nat West Community Force scheme. This was an online voting competition and the fact that we won against some big organisations shows that we have some great public supporters. We’re using that money to spend on equipment that should last us a very long time and secure the future of our grass roots community sports club.
But we still get no support on club development, coaching and qualifications. We’re a group of volunteers who are learning by our own mistakes because Sport Wales refuse to support us. That’s not right.
This new strategy by Sport Wales is about providing sport for every child. What they don’t tell you is that such a sport must be one officially recognised by Sport Wales. In fact, according to them Powerbocking isn’t a sport at all. It’s an activity.
The bottom line is that bocking attracts a wide variety of people. A lot of those people are those who have suffered social exclusion in one form or another. They don’t fit in with the football and rugby teams. So if they choose bocking as their “hooked on sport” choice then Sports Wales will do nothing for them.
It’s even more insulting to us that a lot of people’s single vision of the Olympics in Beijing was a huge group of bockers at the closing ceremony. Clearly outlining that China can recognise something good and inspiring while the UK authorities choose to ignore it.
On a sunny Saturday in Birmingham, during the Big Bock Meet we announced the winner of the Bocker of the year 2011 award.
As always, our club members nominate and then vote who they think most deserves the award. For 2010 it was decided by just a single vote and if Ricky had voted for himself he would have won it!
This year it was also decided by just one vote but we’re very pleased to announce that the winner is Steffan Allen, closely beating Nathan Tucker.
Steff has been a committed member of the club since joining in 2009 infact he has only ever missed one event!
For years Capital Bocking has been the biggest event on the bocking calendar. However in 2010 it didn’t happen at all and for the simple reason that nobody was willing to take the initiative and organise it.
This year though we decided to bring capital bocking back to the welsh capital and unfortunately due to festivals and events every weekend during July and August we had to make do with a weekday for CB. So we did and on Tuesday August 16th – exactly 3 years since CB first hit cardiff bay – bockers from all over the country treked over the severn bridge to visit us in the oval basin. At first we worried about the welsh weather but the clouds soon broke and the sun came out.
The numbers were not as big as 2008 but that’s what happens when we have it on a tuesday but everyone had a brilliant time and we got some seriously good bocking done. Professional bockers Joe Legg and Simeon (kiola) gave everyone some real inspiration with their multiple backflip tumbles including backflip full twists. Our veryown Jake Tucker gave them a run for their money with his own 360 backflip and tunnel flips.
We’d like to thank everyone for making the journey to Cardiff and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.
We purchased a slackline early in the summer for the purpose of the crew to play on while we are camping away at festival weekends over the summer while we chilled out in the evenings at the camp site. WRONG!
We got so addicted to this new extreme balance sport that we go slacking a few times each week.
Our new love for slacklining was only amplified when we met up with the Maverick Slackline guys at
Cliffhanger and had a great weekend with them.
We’re now looking at setting up a permanent Cardiff Slackline Club (currently on facebook here) to get more interest and to provide people the chance to try out another extreme sport.
So if you see us out and about on the stilts but fancy a go on a slackline then just ask us as we usually take a line with us wherever we go.
What is Slacklining?
It’s basically taking a specially made 2″ wide piece of webbing and tieing it up between two fixed points, usually trees, and it turns into a very narrow trampoline. At first the fun and addiction just comes from trying to walk the line but this soon turns into trying simple trampoline tricks.
As with bocking, it’s surprising how much of a work out it is and how much fun it is so get slacking now!
On July 2nd and 3rd we featured at the largest outdoors festival for outdoors people – Cliffhanger at Millhouses Park in Sheffield.
The weather was glorious sunshine both days and we were setup in an area we named adrenaline corner, right next to the guys from Maverick Slacklines and Sheffield Parkour Movement.
We were hugely popular with lots of people trying out the stilts of all ages and a few hundred people watching the 2 demonstrations we put on each day.
Cliffhanger is a fantastic festival that we love to be part of and cant wait to go back next year.
See our video of our weekend here: