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Young people and veterans compete in Power of Polo charity tournament at Guards Polo Club 26th June 2024

Power of Polo, a charity which uses the sport of polo to change lives, held its annual Change Your Line Charity Cup at the prestigious Guards Polo Club grounds last week. The tournament was generously sponsored by OUT-SOURCING UK (OSUK) and brought together young people facing challenges in their lives as well as vulnerable military veterans, all of whom have previously participated in Power of Polo’s residential courses.

The 23 participants played a four-chukka game with mixed teams from several of Power of Polo’s charity partners: South Central Youth; Marcus Lipton Community Enterprise; Alabaré; Ebony Horse Club; and the Armed Forces Equine Charity. Cool Hooves Polo provided fantastic ponies, instructors and umpires, ensuring a safe and entertaining match played in front of supporters, partners and family. The final score was 3-2 to Power of Polo White Team, and the Change Your Line Charity Cup and prizes were presented by actress Carol Ashby, alongside Amie Mills and Harry Osborne from Sport and Recreation Alliance, an umbrella organisation for over 300 grassroots sporting charities. The highlight of the prizegiving, however, was the moment Youth Trustee and participant Jhemar Jonas delivered an impromptu rap, much to the delight of the crowd!

14-year-old Harvey was one of the youngest players and was thrilled with his performance on the pitch. Harvey attended the charity’s April residential course and has quickly fallen in love with horses and polo. “Today was fun!” he said. “The best part was winning, and being able to hit the ball…and the food! It’s an amazing experience and I enjoyed it, and the course in April, so much. There’s no polo near me in London but I really want to keep playing and working with Power of Polo. Horses are so intelligent and they’re the best thing about this.”

After the tournament players, families, representatives from charities and partners and invited guests enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the Clubhouse at Guards Polo Club, and many of the players took the chance to watch the semi-finals of the Royal Windsor Cup afterwards.

Naomi Howgate, CEO of Power of Polo, was delighted with how the day went. “This was the culmination of our participants’ hard work through 2024 and a celebration of Power of Polo’s ability to bring joy and respite to those facing adversity, who would not otherwise have access to horses or this great sport. We had players from ages 13-65 today and it was a close match; it was wonderful to see everyone coming off the pitch smiling and proud of their achievements. A day like this raises aspirations and helps our players to learn more about themselves by overcoming nerves and working together, skills which they can apply to their lives away from the pitch. We are excited to grow the charity and keen to reach not only new participants but run new and different programmes as well. We are very grateful to everyone who has collaborated so far, and we are looking forward to partnering with new donors, sponsors and organisations in the future to enable us to help even more people.”

“It’s been wonderful to see this event evolve over the last five years,” commented Charlie Bruin, Director, OSUK. “To see some of the youngsters returning and becoming more proficient, and watching their personal growth as part of this programme is wonderful to see. This is a great initiative that we are proud to support.”

Power of Polo’s Chairman Vivek Rawal, himself a player and patron, put into words the impact the charity has had on lives. “I have seen participants here today who were involved in the very first courses and are now youth leaders, both for us and in their home communities, and others who are now working in polo. They are the embodiment of our tag line: ‘Change Your Line’. We are all privileged to be a part of this amazing sport, and this is a way to do something good through it; Power of Polo provides us all with a way to give back and we would like this to be something the whole polo community comes to support.”

For more information on the charity please click HERE



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