Unicycle convention converges on Wollongong

If you're out and about in Wollongong over the Easter weekend, you might be forgiven for thinking the circus has come to town.About 80 unicyclists will be taking to the city streets for the Australian Unicycle Convention (Uninats 2009), which runs from today until Easter Monday.But these unicyclists have taken the hobby far beyond a mere circus skill, with activities over the weekend including unicycle hockey, mountain unicycling and even track events such as relay, high jump and long jump.Wollongong unicyclist Scott Griffin is one of the event organisers. He took up the hobby 14 years ago, after receiving a unicycle for his 23rd birthday."It's a fun thing to do and it certainly is a challenge," he said."The first time I sat on a unicycle it felt like an impossible thing to do but you stick with it, you learn to ride it and then you learn other skills as well."Mr Griffin said he had seen the sport grow in popularity over the years."There are more people taking it up but it's like anything these days, it's all influenced by the internet," he said. "Jump on YouTube and you'll see amazing tricks - and you can find out how to do the tricks as well."Unicycling is an interesting thing because it has this family element. Kids try it, then dad gets into it, mum gets into it. "From an outside perspective, it's still got that circus element but people can take it quite seriously."The main venues for the weekend are Smith's Hill High, Beaton Park Leisure Centre and Wollongong Mountain Bike Club.

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