All set for Polo tourney

HARARE - The Zimbabwe youth development team will play their South Africa counterparts during the international polo tournament to be staged at Bushman Rock Polo Club this weekend.

Bushman Rock, approximately 40km to the east of Harare, is a newly established club in Zimbabwe.

The Omnia Zimbabwe youth team will be represented by Smart Kusiwa, Alexis Wood, Judah Day and Ben Stodart.

The other high profile match will see Jamerican (sic), a combination of Jamaican and American players, taking on the Mega Zimbabwe Duikers side.

The Duikers side will be captained by Davie Meikle and will also feature BJ Bowen, Barry Browne and Nicola Alcombe.

The Jamaicans, Shane Chin and John Biles arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday while the American players Marissa Wells and Kelly Wells are expected in Harare tonight.

The Zimbabwe Polo Association (Paz) and the Jamaican Polo Association have been building a strong relationship over the past few years after recent visits to the Caribbean’s.

During their stay in Zimbabwe, the Jamericans also embark on a countrywide tour that is being sponsored by Husqvarna and Africa Albida.

Jonathan Passaportis of Bushman Rock said that they were happy to host the event and he encouraged Zimbabweans to come and watch the games.

 “Polo is sport which can be enjoyed by the whole family and our aim is to create an atmosphere where all can enjoy. It will be two fun-filled days of activity. With a playground, pony rides and a jumping castle,” he said.

“Adults will be able to kick back and relax knowing the youngsters are safe and enjoying themselves. There will also be picnics and divot stomping where spectators wander all over the field stomping down the torn up turf.”

The first game on Saturday is the two youth sides at 2:00pm followed by the senior sides at 4:00pm.

On Sunday, games will have the same running order with the youth teams playing at 10.30am and the senior sides at 12:00pm.

Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team.

Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a long-handled mallet.

The traditional sport of polo is played at speed on a large grass field up to 276 metres long by 182 metres wide, and each polo team consists of four riders and their mounts.

Field polo is played with a solid plastic ball, which has replaced the wooden ball in much of the sport.

The modern game lasts roughly two hours and is divided into periods called chukkas. - Sports Writer

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