Your chance to have a swing

Your chance to have a swing

All about polo

How is the game played?
Polo is a contest between two teams of four players. All players are on horse back and use a long stick to knock a ball through the opponents' goal posts. Play is divided into sections of several minutes. These sections are called chukkas. The game is always played right-handed, which means players may not carry their sticks, or mallets, in their left hands.

When did it start?
That is pretty hard to say, exactly, but some people believe it is the oldest team sport in the world. It has probably been played as long as men had horses. But there is proof of it existing in Persia in the 5th century BC. It was taken up as a way to train the cavalry for kings, emperors, shahs, and caliphs and so it became known as the sport of kings. It was played by men such as the emperor Darius of Persian, Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. It was played in China during the Tang dynasty and traditionally has been played by both men and women. The British learned it in India and exported it to their colonies

Who are famous people who play polo?
The most famous must be the British royal family, Prince Charles no longer plays much but his two sons, William and Harry have carried on the tradition.

Where is polo played today?
Apart from Europe, where it found a regular home among the royals, and Asia where it originated, polo is also played in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, South Africa and in South America. It has also recently returned to China, with clubs in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Why is polo returning to China?
As China's wealth grows people are looking for new, exciting and very exclusive ways to spend their time.

What does polo teach players?
There is a reason wealthy families choose polo over other sports - it breeds leaders. It teaches all the things you would want to learn, leadership, team work, networking, making and taking decisions and strategic planning.

Win a trip to Tianjin and try your hand at polo

If you would like to learn more about the “Sport of Kings”, China’s largest polo facility, Tianjin Metropolitan Polo Club is holding Junior Equestrian and Polo Programmes throughout the holidays. Participants will not just learn to ride but also how to care for the horses, as well as how to play polo and how polo riding differs from regular riding. Fun activities and competitions have been scheduled daily and young polo players from England will be sharing tips with the beginners!

The price for all meals and activities is RMB30,000 for nine days per student sharing a deluxe room at their five-star hotel! Parents can join for a bargain price of RMB1,200 per day if they share a room or RMB1,500 per day if they don’t; this includes daily breakfast. For more information phone the Hong Kong hotline: 8206 0776

The Club has invited two Young Post readers to try out their JEPP short course, from August 25th to August 28th, all expenses paid. To stand a chance go watch the video and answer the questions below. Winners can bring along one parent on the trip. Competition closes midnight on July 31st.

1. Watch this video:

To watch it on a bigger screen login here and then click here.

2. Answer to the following questions.

1) Where is the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club?
2) How long is Derek's polo mallet?
3) What part of the bridle is used to control the horse, and goes in the horse's mouth?
4) What does a rider stand on during the game?
5) What is used to protect the horse's legs during a game?
6) Write a short paragraph to explain why you would like to learn polo.

3. Send your answers along with your name, age, school and e-mail to yp@scmp.com with "polo" in the subject field. The deadline is midnight July 31 (Sunday).

Congratulations to Dora Cheung and Keng-hong Chu for winning the two places!


The French team with Kevin Kung (far left), YP mascot Dennis and Heyna Wong (far right)


Members of the Youth England team celebrate winning the tournament

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