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Report SUPA Junior Schools Child’s play grows up


With the team size upped from three to four, junior schools polo has stepped up a gear, says Sarah Styler – but ‘fluffies’ still rule the roost


For the first time the teams were made up of four players, rather than three, in an effort to encourage the children to play more “adult” polo. The 14 teams came from schools all over the country, with the four teams in the combined section representing 11 different schools. Division One was again hotly contested with the top teams from Papplewick, Cheam, Beaudesert and Cothill. The teams have competed against each other for several seasons and the play just gets better and better. The exciting final saw the Beaudesert Gladiators narrowly victorious over Beaudesert Warriors. The first of the individual prizes was decided on this chukka, with Ollie Severn awarded a pair of knee-pads, donated by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, for his dazzling play. Third place Papplewick’s Charlie Pidgley’s pony Samba emphatically won the Polo Times rug for the Best Playing Pony/Rider Combination. There ensued a mad dash by Mr Pidgley to chase the departing lorry so Samba could return and claim her prize. Division Two saw the younger children, mostly on fluffies with the odd polo pony thrown in. The two umpires, Dan Banks and Lavinia Black, worked hard in the intense heat, encouraging and instructing as they went, this eclectic mix of ponies was beautifully managed and the Cothill Tigers came first out of the three teams. The prize for the best fluffy pony was awarded to 27-year-old Fairfax, ridden by 10- year-old Harry O’Kane. The little grey has taught many children in the Heythrop Pony Club how to play polo.


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The children playing in the combined section were unlikely ever to have played with each other before, but this did not seem to impede their game. A two-chukka final looked to be the best way to give the teams the chance to assess each other and be able to play more tactically. The battle for first and second was fierce and evenly matched with the players from Pates,


50 July 2010 www.polotimes.co.uk


he SUPA National Junior Schools tournament, sponsored by SATS, took place at Longdole Polo Club on the 23 May, the hottest day of the year so far.


Division One winners Beaudesert Gladiators’ Hector Chamberlain on the ball, with Ollie Severn behind. Left: the full team (l-r) of Issie St Aubyn, Mimi Sweet, Ollie Severn and Hector Chamberlain


SUPA National Junior Schools Tournament, 23 May at Longdole


Principal sponsor: SATS 13 teams in three divisions


Division One final: Beaudesert Gladiators beat Beaudesert Warriors Gladiators: Hector Chamberlain, Issy St Aubyn, Mimi Sweet, Ollie Severn Warriors: Max Dear, David Gibbons, Edward de Barros, Patrick de Barros


Dean Close, Papplewick and Beaudesert narrowly beaten in a run-down by the team representing Bredon, Winchcombe and a school new to SUPA, The Elms in Worcestershire.


The winners were presented with a silver salver from the NFU Mutual. At prize-giving all the children were awarded a rosette and goody bag by SATS owner Tony Emerson, with two further individual prizes going to Robbie Dee from Winchcombe School for Most Improved Player and to 10-year-old Oscar Luart, playing for Cothill, as Best Novice. F


MVP: Ollie Severn BPP: Charlie Pidgley's Samba (Papplewick)


Division Two winners: Cothill Tigers – Ned Pitman, Dominic Lodge, Oscar Luart, Milo Sweet Best novice: Oscar Luart Best fluffy: Harry O'Kane's Fairfax (Cothill)


Combined Division final: Winchcombe/Bredon/The Elms beat Pates/Beaudesert/Dean Close


W/B/E: Robbie Dee, Amelia Edmondson, Harry Weston, William Rose


P/B/DC: Ella Hitchman, Charlie Hitchman, Charlotte Walker, Jamie Salter Most improved player: Robbie Dee (Winchcombe)


Photographs by Ed Phillips


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