Beach Polo Anyone?
The game of Maharajahs and Kings is coming to Tanjong Beach
How many of us polo players have stood on a beautiful beach and wished we could play polo on it; wish no more … Competitive beach polo is FINALLY coming to Singapore, in its own inimitable style … An event not to be missed from 3rd to 5th June 2016.
Eye catching photos of animated ponies, beach-type balls and players in trunks on beaches from Australia to Uruguay, have captured the imagination over the last 15 years … Competitive beach polo first came into being when Irish player Mark Selway began running tournaments on County Kerry’s Inch Strand in 2002. Overlooked by the dramatic mountains of the Dingle Peninsula, players used a grass ball on a full sized sand pitch, something which no other beach polo event has attempted to do since. The aptly named Inch Polo Festival was attended by an astounding 25 national and international teams in 2003. In 2004, beach polo gained greater international prominence and began to evolve into a global money making and polo PR tool, when the Beach Polo Cup Dubai was created; as is the case, its always bigger and better in Dubai, and that event is still in place today as one of the larger scale equestrian events in the UAE.
Following on the heels of Dubai’s 2004 example, players in other countries were soon inspired to try beach polo in their own locales; notably in the US with the birth of the Miami Beach Polo World Cup in 2005; an event which has grown from strength to strength and one which really took the beach polo concept to a new level. The event is the world’s most competitive beach polo and has attracted crowds of up to 15,000 spectators, who can not only watch for free on the East side of the polo arena, but also pay for a VVIP experience on the day.
Over the years other events have evolved and beach polo has become a global behemoth spanning 30 countries. According to one organiser "we are making it accessible to a wider audience and everyone feels accepted. Lots of players come to watch to be part of a different event, as do arena polo enthusiasts. Beach polo is a moveable feast; we bring polo to the people and also make people feel comfortable so they want to go on and support the sport.”
In 2014 new beach polo events included Mexico, Austria, Poland, Italy, Thailand, and China. The China event being a slight departure, as it encompassed other aspects of luxury living. Attracting 7,500 guests, “SO! DALIAN” was a boutique yachting, networking and lifestyle event, dedicated to promoting Dalian as a major tourist destination for boating, and luxury living in Northern China, part of this offering was China’s first beach polo event, the ‘Beach Polo World Cup’ as a key attraction.
This adaptation of polo seems to have gained some traction, as new beach polo events are popping up every year. Most recently, New Zealand held their first beach polo event in the scenic Hawkes Bay area, with the Porangahau Beach Polo event and both Nigeria and Ghana are currently in the planning stages for events there in 2016. It looks as though beach polo is definitely here to stay.
The Singapore Beach Polo event is an offering of Lifestyle and Sport with two polo matches per day and a VIP marquee offering exceptional cuisine, free flow alcohol and off-pitch entertainment. International DJ’s are also being flown in from around the world to entertain you each day and with an after party each evening for those that have the stamina to see it through.