Polo has been very active in Australia last year. The sport is growing at an excellent rate, thanks to the increasing number of women trying the sport and the more than 40 active clubs present in the country.
Some of the clubs making it possible are just a short drive away from Sydney. With stunning rivers and lush national parks, the Hawkesbury Valley boasts some of the best polo fields. Various regional and international tournaments are held here throughout the year.
Nestled in the basin of the valley is Riverlands Polo. The club offers a huge range of services, from instructional chukkas to corporate days and bespoke coaching clinics, as well as polo team and pony management. Besides being an active coaching facility, they also have a shop where they sell polo merchandise like shirts, polo mallets, polo gloves, knee pads, and belts.
The club was founded in 1999 with a philosophy that polo can be enjoyed at any level. “We pride ourselves in providing a safe and comfortable environment to try the sport. We have ponies for all levels of players, and our coaching ensures the players enjoy the experience. It makes us feel proud when we witness the growth of our players from beginner to advanced,” says club manager Nicola Cole.
As a true beginner’s haven, Riverlands Polo maintains an informative blog for players who want to know more about the sport. One can read about the rules of the game, polo gears, polo drills, tournament guides, and even a guide to buying your first polo pony on the website.
Apart from Nicola, a few of the lady members are also involved in running the club and its facilities, which explains why the club is a favorite amongst women. Nearly 50% of their members are females who grew up riding horses and want to try something more challenging.
“Polo is a sport that has it all—glamour, adrenaline, bravery, horsemanship, and teamwork. It’s a game where a player never stops learning. It’s so good to see women and men playing in the same grades at all levels, as well as women-only polo,” Nicola explains.
One of the club’s most popular programs is their women-only weekday chukkas, which allows women to play and practice amongst themselves. Apart from this, they organize a special ladies-only tournament annually. Its popularity grows each year with women participating from all over the world.
Riverlands Polo is has branched out to introduce polo to new riders and give more players access to the sport. Their new school is located in Werribee, Victoria.
“Our regular players really miss playing polo during the off season, so during the break this year, we branched out and did some short polo holidays, which gave players a chance to play a bit of ‘paddock polo,’ do some amazing trail rides, and even try some jumping,” Nicola ends.