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Women’s polo on the upswing


RIA GOODMAN, [email protected]

Women’s polo on the upswing

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Women’s polo has grown significantly over the last decade. This was revealed by the world’s No. 1 female player Nina Clarkin and No. 2 rated female Hazel Goana of the United Kingdom during Monday’s press conference to announce the Massy United Apes Hill Ladies Polo Tournament at the Apes Hill Polo Club.

Clarkin, 35, said although it had been becoming more popular through the years it recently took a gigantic leap ahead.

“I started playing a long time ago and I have been travelling around playing Battle Of The Sexes for a long time. It has always been growing, but the difference now is the support and the exposure we have. It’s become a lot more professional and in the last five years things have dramatically turned in our favour.

“We get to play professionally around the world year round which is something that didn’t happen ten to 15 years ago. Back then it was much harder to do,” she explained.

Clarkin noted that with the incredible influx of ladies entering the sport, the quality of play had improved.

“The introduction of women’s handicaps made a big difference. The improvement, the style and the quality of the game were nowhere near what it is now. We go out and the polo is really good. It’s a really exciting time for the sport”.

She said the advances made internationally had also trickled down to polo in Barbados.

“Barbados is going in the right direction. I came and played here in the Battle Of The Sexes ten years ago and it was really well promoted but what you see now is even greater since you have a tournament with some really good quality international players coming from all across the world.

“The more tournaments are played, the more we can get the message out,” said the British-born Clarkin.

Goana said it was a great time for women in sport and women generally, and also mentioned that many young women were more interested in playing the sport.

“Over the world altogether feminism is growing massively. It’s a very good time for women right now. Everything is a lot more equal. Ten year’s ago, I didn’t think I would be able to do this as a profession and now ten years later we get up and go to the four corners of the world to play, and the standard is just growing,” Goana said.

She further revealed the Argentine Open attracted the highest ranked female players across the world and they were allowed to play alongside the men’s tournament. (RG)

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