With our summer provision in full development we were offered the opportunity for our young people to go on a polo trip by Winston from Juvenis.
Initially this seemed a bit left-field and we were not sure if we would be able to accommodate this trip. However, after speaking to the inspirational Katy Hayward the Founder and CEO of the Power of Polo charity, it was clear that engaging our young people with the project was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we needed to embrace.
Polo is a very exclusive sport and something many of us will never experience doing. Katy arranged for us to stay on the barracks of the House Hold Cavalry in Windsor where some of the young people also did some personal training sessions in the morning inspired by the army. We also had an amazing tour of the base and learnt lots about the regiment. From here we travelled out to The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club for our training with Cool Hooves Polo. We even had a trip to Guards Polo Club the Mecca of polo, to see some professionals play.
The Power of Polo charity gives young people that would never get a chance to play polo access to this world. To play polo you are forced to challenge your comfort zone, lead in a calm assured way so your horse will follow you lead, learn that when you fall that you literally have to ‘get back on the horse’ and, work as a team. These characteristics are all fundamental to every individual who plays. By understanding how we deal with these challenges and work to develop our weaknesses, it ensures that we can overcome any challenge that life puts in our way.
Initially some of our young people were very fearful of getting onto a horse yet they overcame their fears and learnt to ride cross-country, up and down hills as well as in a polo arena. Those that fell off got right back on and every young person took their horse from a walk to a trot to a canter and played in an actual polo match before then end of the residential.
The strap line for Power of Polo is “change your line” this refers to a rule in Polo whereby you cannot cross the line of the ball. If you are on the wrong side you need to muscle your way into contention to affect the play of the game. By engaging in polo our young people have been able to network with people on the other side of the line connecting with people that may present them with an opportunity to muscle their way into a stronger position to affect the game of life. This is what Power of Polo represents and something High Trees aspires to help every young person that accesses our services to do #poloforchange.
We would like to say a HUGE thank you to Winston @Juvenis, and Katy @powerofpolo for making this possible. Also our sincere appreciation to Jamie @rcbpoloclub, and the amazing Eddie, Greg and Genevieve @coolhoovespolo who taught us how to play (no mean feat!) and the entire Cool Hooves team for working tirelessly behind the scenes. Finally we extend our gratitude to the Household Cavalry Regiment at Combermere Barracks for hosting our group and Steffy and Vivek @guardspoloclub for the inspirational talk, invitation to visit the Royal box, and watch a professional polo match.