More than chocolates and cheese, Switzerland captivates hearts with its heavenly alpine scenery. One-third of its surface is covered in mountains, making it a wonderful place for big adventures. Her adventurous spirit combined with the love she had for her then-boyfriend made Morgan van Overbroek give up everything in Belgium and start a new life in this country.
This big move changed Morgan’s life for the better. Not only did she find her true love, but she also discovered the sport that’s going to change her life.
“It came to me as a gift of life,” Morgan reveals. It was almost eight years ago when she attended a discovery class at Polo Park Zürich with her husband, Sébastien Le Page. They both fell in love with it after the first try and even bought their first horse the next month. The inevitable beginners trip to Argentina, where they purchased their second horse, also took place. Little by little, they were sucked into the “polo maelström” and the sport became a part of their life.
Although she has always loved horses, it took the woman polo player a long time to realize polo is something she wanted to do. Like most beginners, her mind was clouded with self-doubts. “I had not a single ounce of talent and was not a good rider. I had no understanding of the game nor the tactics and had no horse knowledge,” she narrates.
Morgan also noted that she wasn’t in good physical condition. It wasn’t until 2019 when she gave herself the chance to take part in a life-changing health program that improved her polo. After a couple of months, she noticed the difference in her game and realized that she really wants to play, and she would do her absolute best to improve.
“Polo is a devouring passion; an entire world with so many connections that will require a lifetime to simply scratch the surface. You will discover so much about yourself, about horses, the players, the techniques,” the dedicated polo lady explains, adding that “every aspect of the sport is important.”
Albeit a challenging sport, she acknowledges that every player makes his personal journey. There is nobody untalented because everyone starts from the beginning. On describing herself as a polo player, “I am a worker. I help the team and do whatever they ask me to do. You can count on me, on and off the field.”
The Future Is Bright
Switzerland is only one of the few countries where you could play polo all season. With nine polo clubs, players could enjoy three playing surfaces: arena, grass, and snow. Tournaments are usually held in flagship venues such as Ascona, Geneva, Gstaad, St. Moritz, and Zürich. The most impressive thing is that although it is a small country, it offers some of the biggest tournaments for all playing levels in the European region.
The future of the sport in Switzerland seems to be more promising after Morgan stepped in as the first female president of the Swiss Polo Association (SPA) in October 2020. Being the first woman in the world to hold such a high position could be terrifying, but not for this woman polo player. “I feel more excited as I have a great team behind me and have great confidence about what we can accomplish together,” she expresses.
Commitment and persistence are parts of her core values, so it is not strange for Morgan to aim for more harmony within the association. She wants everyone to feel welcome at the table, no matter the size or importance of the club. She further elaborates that “Vice-president Jobst Wagner and I represent the country before our own clubs, and it is important that all members realize this. I speak in their name, not in my club’s name. The Swiss Polo Association is a family and all the clubs can count on me. I want to federate national partnerships between clubs, so we can share resources and save costs.”
In addition to this goal, she also aims to make Swiss polo more visible globally. Apart from having one of the highest numbers of polo players per capita and their participation with the Federation of International Polo (FIP), Polo Park Zürich also sponsored teams in the Argentine Open last year.
The Swiss national team players selection is bigger than ever, with players based all over the world. Morgan plans to bring them together to foster camaraderie that will eventually help them get on an international track.
Ladies should not feel left behind because she is optimistic that the number of women polo players will keep growing. At the moment, approximately 45% of Swiss players are female. “They are at an early stage of their polo career. Step by step, they are becoming more and more passionate about the sport.” the president proudly says.
Morgan is indeed a catalyst in the polo world and her name is already etched in its long history. It may take years to know the legacy she will be leaving behind, but she wants everyone to remember: “If I can do it, you can do it!”
Photographs by Kathrin Gralla
What's Your Reaction?
Pámela Piedad is a journalist, author, designer, and the Editor-in-Chief of POLO LADY Magazine.