It has long been perceived as “The Sport of Kings”, and for the elite, but former Australian polo captain Andrew Williams said that is not the case any more.
Williams was in Gunnedah on Friday to conduct a two-day junior clinic.
The current NSW coach, it was the fourth year he has come up to run clinics, and while the second day was washed out, around 20 youngsters got a taste of what the sport is all about.
“I think the biggest thing is to see the sport is accessible to anyone and everyone,” Williams said.
“The perception that gets put with polo is that it’s for the elite.
“It’s not any more, it’s for anyone.”
“There are so many people that play polocrosse and polo, and do campdraft and play polo.
“It’s a love of horses.”
The clinic is part of a push to reinvigorate numbers.
“There’s a huge amount of energy being put into encouraging juniors to take up the sport,” Gunnedah Polo Club committee member Edward Hoddle said.
He remarked about the spread of boys and girls in attendance at the clinic.
“Polo has traditionally been a boys’ sport,” he said.
“The last two years we’ve seen some really trailblazing girls.”
He used Tamworth’s Katrina Osborne as an example. She was last year selected in the Australian inter-schools polo team.
Williams said the key is making it fun and accessible, and highlighted one of the biggest things the sport needs to address as providing opportunities.
Presently there is a dearth of junior competitions.