SUPA Polo Reaches International Heights
The 2008 SUPA International Polo Test Match Series tookplace from 7th to 13th July, where the next generation ofpolo stars from England, France and India were hand selected and invited tocome together for a week long polo extravaganza, culminating in the La MartinaInternational SUPA Festival day, hosted by Cirencester Park Polo Club onSaturday July 12th.
This year was no different in illustrating the success ofsuch an initiative but importantly marked a new era in the history of polo anda significant opportunity for the development of the Festival, SUPA’s overallobjectives and the way in which the larger polo community play a role.
With an increasing crowd of spectators the inevitable polocycle has led to a new breed of Junior Polo supporters. Fathers usually foundon the pitch playing medium and high goal polo took a day out of the poloseason with camera in hand and budding polo playing children in tow.
One particular Father who stood out from the crowd isbetter known for his polo team Cadenza and his support of the CartierInternational Day where the Audi and Cadenza sponsored England team play. Inresponse to the talent displayed during the week-long festival, Tony Pidgleycame forward as a new sponsor of the International Polo Festival with theCadenza Junior Gold Cup and a generous grant. Cadenza now joins LaMartina as an ardent sponsor of the Schools and Universities Polo Association.
The Cadenza Junior Gold Cup was created and will be annuallyawarded to winners of the International Test Match Series. Tony Pidgley,genuinely excited about the opportunities that surround SUPA and the support hecan offer said:
“I am involved in polo at the top end and it only makessense to get involved at the foundation level too, as this is the nextgeneration of polo players. It also motivates the young and keeps me involved.This is what polo is all about –there are no pro’s out there, these guys areplaying against their peers and some of the talent I saw today made me thinkthat some of these guys might be worth employing for my own team! I am lookingforward to supporting this event and a number of initiatives with SUPA”.
The Festival represents the best of the Schools andUniversities Players and also hosts up to two invited internationalschool/university teams showcasing their most promising players. This year,players were flown over from India and France and two Young England teamsselected to participate in the all important two-test match series. The playersare carefully selected – many of whom who are not often given this kind of aninternational opportunity rose to the challenge.
The Festival day witnessed perfectly matched teams and outcomesdefined within seconds of the clock. The matches displayed fast, sweepingand open polo with huge lofted shots, accurate and running nearside plays andthe most impressive back-hands on show in one day.
The prize giving hosted by Chairman of Cirencester Park PoloClub Richard Britten-Long captured the spirit of the day, and the effect of thework SUPA does was concluded perfectly by French Polo Federation Coach Mr JeanYves Garaud:
“Wehave had the most wonderful week and importantly will be taking a little bit ofSUPA back to France where we have no such system in place. We have feltprivileged to be part of the Festival and are overwhelmed at the generosity ofPolo Clubs in England.”
With the talent displayed during this unique week longfestival and the generosity and support of sponsors and supporters there looksto be an exciting future ahead for the next generation of polo players.
TheSchools and Universities Polo Association would like to extend its gratitude tokey sponsors La Martina and supporters Roxtons, and event sponsors elliegrayclothing, Total Employment, Brett Polo, Polonetworks and Lycetts Insurance.