Over the course of the year, Wessex Scene is speaking to different societies from across the University about why you should get involved. Here I talk to the Social Sec Louise Thomas from the Polo Society.
First of all, describe the society in three words.
Friendly, fast, fun.
Why did you join?
It’s a a way of doing something different whilst at uni and for many members it’s a sport that they have never done before and may not have the opportunity to do again.
I wanted to do an activity that takes me out of Southampton and into the countryside – I find it relaxing to spend an afternoon doing something completely different from my degree. You don’t have to be into riding either – one of our members rode before and got into polo long after having lost interest in riding on its own.
It is also a unique opportunity, as I realised that I could afford it whilst at uni, as we play at student rates.
Who can get involved?
Nearly everyone in the Southampton Club started as a beginner at uni, and at Druids Lodge Polo Club where we train the lessons are set up to teach from the very beginning.
All the beginners are in a class together and in the first few lessons you go through all the different shots and then start to learn about how the game works.
You don’t need to have ridden before either although it does help- you just need to be confident enough on the horse. You’ll be paired with a horse that suits your ability- some people get to ride the horses that were used in this year’s gold cup!
What sort of socials do you have?
We have club socials where we’ve had meals out, nights out and at Christmas we have an annual trip to Winchester Christmas market. We have a mix of socials some are really chilled and some are really messy.
We are also invited to Exeter, Kent and Oxford’s Polo balls and should hopefully have our own this year!
Also nationals are basically one big party. During summers all the unis camp to
gether so it’s a bit like a festival and there’s a party going on somewhere every night- I thought that dancing on the roofs of Land Rovers as the sun rises only happened in Jack Wills catalogues but apparently it happens at polo nationals too.
What is your favourite moment so far?
My favourite moment so far in terms of playing was one of our matches at winter nationals, the team we played were closely matched in ability so the match was very fast and very fun and we won 4-2!
Also the car rides to the club are always a laugh, summer nationals were really good fun and the previous social sec, now president, getting mentioned in another university’s tab article for drinking Möet through a straw at 11am at winter nationals are all highlights.
What competitions stand out?
Winter and summer nationals are always good fun. At the summer nationals our novice team came second in their division.
Pudding Cup, which is the Christmas competition with the other unis we train with at Druids (UWE, Bristol and Exeter) is always a laugh. There are first year, second year and third year teams and its usually the first time that the first years have played a proper match (and it’s a lot faster than lessons as its with people that have been playing longer). Sometimes it is difficult to work out what is actually going on!
Where can people go for more info?
Also we can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the contact form on the union website
Where you can ask particular questions or if you want a copy of the handbook but don’t have Facebook you can ask us to email it to you.