Matthew Cohen, 15, of Wellington, Fla., passed away on Tuesday after complications surrounding his lifelong battle with diabetes.
At the age of 10, Matt was introduced to the sport of polo and took to it instantly. He quickly caught the eye of Nic Roldan and began playing under his guidance. Matt’s natural talent, dedication, and support from parents, Richard and Melinda, enabled him to accumulate numerous victories and achievements during his short career. Most notably, playing his team Mattahooch at International Polo Club Palm Beach on Field 1 with his mentor Nic Roldan.
Matt also participated in several NYTS qualifying tournaments and was often seen playing with his friends on team Pony Express. During the Grand Champions Polo Club NYTS qualifier in 2014, Matt demonstrated such a tremendous amount of improvement in his playing ability that he earned himself the first of many All-Star awards.
Matt’s exceptional demeanor on and off the field was well known in the polo community. He was an inspiration to many, as he never let his illness interfere with his dreams of playing high goal polo.
The USPA will celebrate Matt Cohen’s contribution to the sport of polo by naming the Sportsmanship Award at the NYTS Championship in his honor.
“It is unbelievably sad to lose a young man who was so gifted. Matt fought his illness so bravely and never let it get in the way of his passion for polo,” said Joseph Meyer, USPA president. “He will be missed by all of his friends and family in the polo community, and especially by my family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents and family who embraced the sport and spirit of polo through their son.”
On behalf of the USPA and the entire polo community, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the Cohen family.