Colin Carroll: Adventurous Spirit



Throughout Colin’s schooling he competed in traditional sports like rugby, tennis, badminton, cross-country running and horse-riding.  It was only on finishing school that he began discovering less orthodox sports, competing in an international tretrathlon event comprising shooting,
swimming,riding and running.

While completing a degree in sports science, Colin spent his summer holidays exploring corners of Europe’s sports world, initially coaching tennis in Germany and later setting up sports holiday clubs for Club Intersport in Spain, relying on his array of sports coaching qualifications and fluency in a range of languages.

In his early twenties, Colin broke his back in a freak accident when caught in a storm windsurfing off the Costa Brava in Spain. He underwent extensive back surgery. Once out of intensive care, Colin was moved to the spinal care ward. Surrounded by less-fortunate individuals and unwilling to be defined by his injuries, Colin underwent intensive rehabilitation, learning to walk for the second time in his life.

Once recovered and inspired by his interest in sports Colin produced and presented a half-hour pilot TV programme on marginalised sports called ‘Sports Knight’ which involved Gouren, French wrestling, and kick-boxing.

At 25, Colin disappeared on a one-way ticket to South America. Fuelling his speed-need, he learned to ride a motorbike on the streets of Buenos Aires and continued on a solo bike-ride around the continent, veering off into the Andes to climb numerous 6,000m-plus mountains en route to Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia.


Five years on, Colin could fly an airplane solo, became the inaugural dog track commentator at Curaheen Park, had sailed around the Mediterranean and hitchhiked around the middle-east, camping with the Bedouin in Wadi Rum. Relocated once again to Spain, he played beach rugby for Ireland and became an avid snowboarder.



Elephant Polo


Colin met Graham Little in Zagreb in 2004 and, sharing a unique desire to be Irish Champions in just about anything they adopted the motto “No Prior Experience”.  Their mission statement is simple – think of something they haven’t done before, pronounce themselves experts and go somewhere they haven’t been before to become the champion of it
Since turning their attention to unusual events they have recorded a single in Poland under the guise of an Irish boy band, raced bobsleighs alongside the Russian and Latvian Olympic teams, taken on a select Riga team in full-contact ice hockey and, most notably, competed in the 24th world Elephant Polo Championships.  In 2005, UTV made a documentary about their trek into the Nepali jungle on their successful quest to bring home the Quaiche, the amateur Elephant Polo World Championship.

On arrival in Nepal, Colin confronted Jim Edwards, the founder of Elephant Polo and asserted his right as a left-hander to be allowed play.  Unlike Horse Polo, where a left-hander is forbidden to play, Colin had studied the rulebook and spotted this oversight.  To the surprise of the right-minded polo-playing elephants, Colin went on to become the world’s first left-handed elephant polo player.

Always eager to adopt the traditions and cultures of the country where he finds himself, in the Chitwan National Park in Nepal he was ‘in his element’, living in an electricity-free jungle-land beneath the stars and mingling with a herd of elephants before heading off to spend a week hiking in the Himalayas.







Next Page: Sumo