Polo along with F1 are arguably the most difficult sports to access today, entering the realms of a professional and competitive polo player however is near to impossible. The sport known for its speed, adrenaline and the royals who used to play exclusively this discipline, is now democratised and accessible thanks to Polo Valley and its innovative Sotogrande Polo Academy.
This year, the trial week will take place from the 27th May to the 4th June. An opportunity for parents and students to experience the world-class polo facilities, meet the coaching staff, discover the destination and the Sotogrande International School.
The Argentines with their long history of producing the world’s top players have dominated the sport for the last decades and the dynasty in the world of top polo players has become clearer than ever. Generally, the children of a professional polo player will grow up in an environment dreamt by many, around polo horses, non-stop stick and ball and when the time is ready, play good level practice matches. Not once a week, which would be considered impressively consistent for any non-Argentine junior player but every day.
That is all to change with the Sotogrande Polo Academy (SPA) launched last year in partnership with the Sotogrande International School – one of the leading international schools in Europe. Students from the age of 14 can now have the access required to truly excel and become a young talented polo player, attending to their academics for half of the school day and learning everything polo for the other half. The curriculum will involve every aspect of training like a professional player, a fitness programme specifically for polo, working with a horse whisperer, horsemanship and grooming skills and of course non-stop polo.
“An opportunity to level the international playing field, we want to make it possible for young talented student athletes who are passionate about becoming a polo player and who want to discover and learn the sport of kings, get to the top and be competitive. ”
Said Christian Byrne, Director of Polo Valley.
Like any sporting discipline to excel you need to have consistent access, then naturally the focus, determination and natural talent of the student athlete play a big part in terms of how good a junior player can become, however without the access forget it. Polo is a sport which is very difficult to play consistently and the improvements we’ve seen in some of our two-week intense programmes, let alone an academic year, is immense.” Said Christian Byrne, Director of Polo Valley, when asked about the SPA. Students will be lucky enough to train in one of the most sought-after polo destinations in the world – Sotogrande. The luxury neighbourhood is home to an exclusive international community and with over 300 days of sunshine and world-class polo, golf and tennis facilities, the area is second to none when it comes to focused training in the right environment for student athletes. In fact, with a highly successful Elite Tennis Academy and Elite Golf Academy already up and running at the Sotogrande International School, the Sotogrande Polo Academy is the answer for any aspiring student athletes, who dream of mastering the sport of kings. It is clear with programmes and initiatives such as the Sotogrande Polo Academy the future of polo is exciting and undoubtedly full of new talent. With a trial week available during the year; Saturday the 27th May – Saturday the 4 th June, which promise to give potential students and parents “a trial run” of what to expect at the academy and the opportunity to see the world-class polo facilities and meet the coaching staff in person.
The itinerary also includes a tour of the Sotogrande International School and their boarding facilities, as well as a private tour of the exclusive Sotogrande area known as the epicentre of European polo and golf.
Contact us or call us +34 690 036 016 to find out more or to sign-up to the trial week.
The Polo Valley Mission
Polo has always been recognized for its lavish lifestyle and as an elite sport enjoyed and played by royals and business tycoons alike. The likes of Winston Churchill, the late Prince Philip, Kerry Packer, the Sultan of Brunei are just some of the big advocates the sport has seen. There is no doubt that the sport is totally unique and the well-known strapline “you’ll go broke or die before you give up polo” gives the average person an insight as to just how addictive and expensive this sport is.
There is no doubt about it, the traditional market for polo is miniscule. Generally speaking one only gets into polo if your parents played, had a big polo organization and horses which you were lucky enough to have access to. Polo Valley was launched to make polo more accessible with a focus on those individuals, families and friends who have never considered playing the sport. Identifying a market that was totally neglected; new-comers who want to experience and live the polo lifestyle.
With over 65 handpicked ponies, qualified coaches and concierge staff and a manicured estate ready to welcome anyone who’s ever wanted to give this sport a go. One thing we’ve learnt over the past 6 years, is that once they start their polo journey with Polo Valley, it’s impossible for them to stop.