Polo girls stand for feminism and here’s why
babes in breeches makin their way
A short while ago down in Brighton, land of liberals and edgy glam, a team of uni students paraded about in their polo kits for a photo shoot. The locals didn’t approve. They didn’t like the ponies and they didn’t like the uniform. Posing for the camera was deemed all too ‘inviting’. Even the other students of Brighton thought it risque.
One would be less quick to judge given Inter University Tournaments see female athletes tackling what have been the men’s games for generations.
Look again and rethink the modern day sportswoman as daring, deliberately racey and god forbid – empowering! This is the 21st century!
We are no longer the hopeless spinsters or desperate housewives dreaming of Jilly Cooper’s chauvinists, horses and high society. We engage with sport, develop core strength and challenge the men at their own game.
Can we get an applause for our record number of participants in hockey, football and rugby? Combine aggression, strategy and a clear head for rugby on horseback: Polo. It takes grit to work successfully with the athlete of another species.
For a millennial sport we took our time to pick up the mallet. We scrapped the skirts in 1910 and competed in all our vigour. The blokes of the time thought it an ‘unusual interest’ for us ladies, later admitting we ‘played a surprisingly strong game’. You can expect some of the old timers got their knickers in a twist. The New York Times thought we were getting all silly and excited. Bless.
Few tread the road of world recognition, unable to match the big time male players in sponsors and making a name for themselves. We are the underdog. What are we to do without role models like Hazel Jackson on a double-page spread?
A few words from UoN Polo Vice President:
“Our girls are the heart of the club. They chant the loudest at Nationals, try their hardest to improve, put in most effort into themed parties and last the night at Crisis. Then there’s teammate Minnie. She’ll be repping England very soon which makes us extraordinarily proud. We have 6 girls out of 7 in committee this year – for me that says a lot.”
Look up Figueras. First name Nacho. Find a man’s man, Ralph Lauren’s pretty face and internationally-acclaimed polo player. If he can turn steamy romance novelist overnight then we can smash out an overnight rebranding of these sports.
I say don’t just break stereotypes, reinvent them. Us Nottingham girls can certainly reinvent Polo. Even amid busy schedules as future doctors, linguists and engineers.