Valiente Wins Grand Champions Pro Kidz Tournament; Mia Cambiaso Named Most Valuable Player
The Cambiaso polo legacy looks to be in good hands.
Mia Cambiaso took a pass from her 8-year-old brother Adolfo Cambiaso Jr. in the third chukker to score the winning goal and lead Valiente to a 3-2 victory over Grand Champions Saturday in the Grand Champions ProKidz Tournament.
Mia Cambiaso, 11, was named Most Valuable Player after scoring all three of her team’s goals.
Argentine Adolfo Cambiaso, the world’s greatest polo player rated at 10 goals, competed alongside his children in a unique format that pairs junior players with a professional.
It was a Who’s Who in professionals with Argentine 10-goaler Miguel Novillo Astrada playing with his daughter Mia Astrada; Santos Bollini, son of former 8-goaler Juan Bollini and Riley Ganzi, daughter of amateur players Melissa and Marc Ganzi.
Mia Astrada and Santos Bollini each scored a goal for Grand Champions and kept the game close until Cambiaso’s game-winner.
It was the second ProKidz event hosted at Grand Champions. Grand Champions, the nation’s fastest growing and most diverse polo club, has played a key role in helping develop and promote youth polo.
The concept of pairing a pro with juniors is to have some of the game’s best players mentor and nurture up-and-coming future players. The junior players’ ages varied from 7 to 14.
At times, it was hard to figure out who was having more fun, the pros or the kids.
“This was great fun, Mia Novillo Astrada is unbelievable the way she plays,” Cambiaso said. “Riley has improved a lot. It was great to see all of them play so good.
“It’s great to play with my kids,” Cambiaso said. “It’s good that Melissa does these things for them. This is the way to make new players. I am very proud of them, they started when they were 3. I started the same way.
“It’s great there are some tournaments around not only in Argentina that helps create players.”
Miguel Novillo Astrada was just as proud playing alongside his 13-year-old daughter, one of five Astrada children.
“This is great, it helps them play better having one professional player on each side makes them run in the right direction and control the play,” Astrada said. “You can talk to them right there during the play.
“For the kids it’s really good and they enjoy it a lot,” Astrada said. “They are getting experience playing on a big field. When I was growing up I had the opportunity to play with my father during the summer and that really helped me. I think this is what we try to do with our kids.”
Juan Bollini served as the ProKidz announcer for the three-chukker game. “This is the only time in your life you are going to beat Adolfo Cambiaso, just do it,” Bollini told his youngest son.
Melissa Ganzi said that Grand Champions will host a weekly ProKidz Tournament on Saturdays before the Grand Champions at Palm Beach Polo feature game.
“It’s just a nice thing for the parents to play with their kids,” Ganzi said. “We will include other kids. It’s a great experience for them.”
It was the first time a ProKidz game was streamed live by PoloNow Network. Spectators were also able to watch the game on a 60-inch television monitor in the Grand Champions tent. The players will be able to go back and watch the video on PoloNow’s website.
It was the first of two games on Saturday that PoloNow Network live-streamed with its flawless, cutting-edge technology.
For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related eventsLive, go to www.grandchampionspoloclub.org.
Game video and live webcasts can also be seen at PoloNow Network at http://www.polonow.tv/.
2014 HIGH GOAL SEASON
SUNDAY, Butler Handicap Final, Coca-Cola vs. Crab Orchard, 11 a.m.; USPA Piaget Gold Cup Final, Valiente vs. Alegria, 3 p.m.
MARCH 26-APRIL 20: 110th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championships
GRAND CHAMPIONS AT PALM BEACH POLO 2014 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (HOTLINE 561-373-0073)
MARCH: Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (5-goal); The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; The Top Pony 12-Goal Series; March 18-30, Santa Rita Abierto (16 goals); March 23-31, March 23-31, $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
SUNDAY: 8-goal, Hawk Hill vs. TLC Development, 10 a.m.; 5-goal, SLS Jets vs. Patagones Azul, 10 a.m. and Pony Express vs. Grand Champions, noon.
SANTA RITA ABIERTO 16-GOAL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
SUNDAY: KIG at Equuleus, 1:15 p.m.; March 25: KIG vs. Goose Creek; Casablanca vs. Equuleus; March 28: Goose Creek vs. Casablanca; March 30: Championship final.
APRIL: Las Acacias (5-goal); USPA Association Cup (8- goal); Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Challenge Cup (12-goal); John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy (16-goal).
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB SCHEDULE (561-644-5050)
APRIL 4-5: Fifth annual Gay Polo League International Tournament
APRIL 8-12: Women’s Championship Tournament
GRAND CHAMPIONS 2014 SPRING SCHEDULE (561-644-5050)
APRIL 17-19: Grand Champions Cup
APRIL 24-27: The USPA Spring Challenge
MAY 1-4: The USPA Sun Cup
MAY 8-11: The USPA Eastern Challenge
MAY 15-18: The Polo Gear Challenge Cup
MAY 22-26: The Memorial
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.