Returning volunteer Meg Jocson-Ong talks about her experience with AU Polo.
AU Polo is one of the smaller teams in Loughborough in my opinion, but I don’t know a group more like a family than these riders. A game with the reputation of being a “posh sport” tends to be overlooked and misunderstood by those who don’t really understand it.
Working in teams of 3-4 riders, the objective of the game is to score a goal between two posts (outdoor) or on a black board (indoor) while completing ride-offs (our version of tackling) and penalty shots if needed. We don’t just ride on horses and hit a ball with a stick – it’s much harder than you think and the rules can be hard to follow (I don’t even know all the rules myself).
We have 3 big competitions we participate in – University Challenge, Winter Nationals, and Summer Nationals. More recently, our teams have been placing in several levels and playing against teams from other universities including: Oxford University, Cambridge University, and Warwick University. Being one of the smaller teams at the Nationals, we still carry the Loughborough name strong – showing good sportsmanship and of course, winning a few medals while doing so.
I didn’t really know about AU Polo until I was in my second semester of 1st year at Loughborough. Might I add, that this was one of my greatest discoveries while at university – being a previous horse rider and horse lover altogether. It was so nice to be given a warm welcome and a truck load of encouragement from the team, even though I hadn’t even met them yet. Since the club accepts beginners, I didn’t need previous experience to join the team.
This team has been a huge part of my life here in Loughborough. Our weekly trips to Rugby for training and fun filled socials give me nothing but hilarious memories and good times. We look after each other and always support one another – both on and off the field. I’ve made friends for life in this club as well as learning a new skill.
Featured image by: Omeiza Haruna