Junior Polo in the UK started in 1959 when the Pony Club first introduced the Pony Club Polo Championships. In the last ten years British Polo has seen a massive growth in the amount of new players coming into the sport, not only from across the social divide but also from both gender and age groups.
The British Pony Club has seen an explosion in interest in polo and has, with the help of many dedicated parents and volunteers, done great work to encourage young players.
Junior Polo has always been a key feature within Hurtwood Park annually hosting Pony Club activities and weekly coaching sessions with Australian Captain Glen Gilmore.
As interest in Junior Polo continues to increase, clubs and professionals have created different properties aimed at the development of youth talent.
The HPA now officially recognises the importance of Junior Polo, recently appointing Simon Tomlinson to head its youth development committee. Despite many new initiatives, Junior Polo still lacks one definitive programme which is recognised throughout the country.
Hurtwood’s aim is to create a platform through which many of the different initiatives can come together under one umbrella to deliver an integrated development programme for junior players. The purpose of this programme is not to replicate what is already operational and successful, but simply to collate each of the activities and bring them together in order to give Junior Polo recognition, scale and credibility.
In creating a programme with scale, the principle aim is to make polo accessible to all children under the ages of 19 regardless of their background and wealth.
This will ensure that polo talent can be identified and nurtured regardless of its provenance, which will in time provide the building blocks for a stronger national sport.
Hurtwood Park Polo Club