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The Charitable Side of Polo

In this article, let us venture about how this game which is ages old steeped into the world of philanthropy, making significant strides on several charitable causes across the globe.

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The Charitable Side of Polo
origin of polo

Polo, a game regarded as an 'Elite Sport', is often pictured as elegant players on horseback, wildly running hooves, and exceptional ball striking ability. However, beyond this noble veneer, the game also has a side deeply rooted into charity.

 

The Noble Origin of Polo 

The origin of Polo takes us back to ancient Persia about 2.5 centuries ago, where the game was enjoyed only as a military training exercise. Naturally, over time, the game expanded and evolved into a sport capturing the interest of enthusiasts from around the world. Though Polo was rapidly liberating across the globe, it still retained the essence of teamwork, strategy, and horsemanship.

 

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Polo and Philanthropy: Naturally Connected?

The synergy of Polo with philanthropy is no mere coincidence, in fact the sport is known to attract individuals with the resources, means, and willingness to contribute to charitable causes. Whether it was ancient or modern Polo, its players have always pressed forward when it comes to igniting their passions towards individual social responsibilities. 

Let us grasp a moderate understanding of how these players are able to adhere to these social causes: 

Charity Matches

The most natural and a way that is identical in several other sports for fundraising purposes are charitable matches. Polo players, donors, as well as celebrities come together on several occasions for this day of sports and giving. The proceeds from the entire day are contributed towards various sacred causes such as healthcare, education and environmental conservation. 

  • A fine example of such an event was the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, held annually in New York City. It is really a premier event with sights to behold that not only showcases the high class displayed by top-notch players but also raises funds to contribute to cancer research, treatment and even patients. 

 

  • Another example is the British Polo Day Charity Cup in the United Kingdom, which has more diverse causes focusing on education for underprivileged children and support for veterans.

 

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Foundation and Clubs

Many Polo Clubs across the world have their own well-established charitable foundations to have a better and long lasting impact on their communities. These foundations are set up in order to make use of the widely available resources and network of Polo to address critical societal problems. 

The La Martina Foundation is one such organization in Argentina that focuses on improving the lives of children by providing them high quality education and also indulging them in sports. The programs help children from a disadvantaged background to secure a brighter future through Polo and training and education.

 

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Polo and Accessibility

The Charitable side of Polo extends beyond the field to make it accessible to individuals coming from all walks of life. The nonprofit Work to Ride in the United States is an organization that helps to empower the inner-city youths. Providing them the knowledge of sport also instills important life skills, discipline, teamwork and awakens a sense of responsibility. 

 

Impact on Animal Welfare

Animal lover? Well, Polo is not just for humans, but it extends a hand towards the protection of street animals as well. Polo ponies, a significant part of the game, hence, their care is of utmost importance. Many players play their part in animal welfare, starting from their loyal steeds. Feeding them well, cleaning them, and looking after them are all a part of animal welfare played by Polo enthusiasts.

 

Retirement and Rehoming

Though the Polo ponies are a spectacle in terms of being highly trained and athletic, they have a limited time when it comes to professional careers. Many Polo clubs and players recognize this and actively support their retirement adhering to the health of these amazing athletes. After their competitive lifespan, players either adopt them or provide resources for their care giving them a comfortable and dignified retirement. 

 

Equine Assisted Therapy

After their retirement, some organizations utilize the dormant yet active fighting spirit of ponies for a special therapy session among these magnificent creatures. Such therapies have been proven to do wonders for people suffering from any kind of physical, emotional, or psychological challenges. People find the power to heal through interactions with these horses. 

 

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Global Reach of Polo 

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." 

- Mahatma Gandhi

Following such an approach, Polo has been able to serve hundreds of thousands of people that were once separated by borders. This was possible only because of international tournaments and collaborations taking place worldwide.

 

  • The Sentebale Polo Cup

Courtesy of Prince Harry of the United Kingdom and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, Polo has been able to provide kids affected by HIV/AIDS in Lesotho and Botswana. The Cup is held every year in various parts of the world tirelessly raising funds and awareness for this noble cause. The spirit of the game comes to life when world-class players and the royal patronage join forces to make a difference in the lives of unsafe children. 

 

Prince Harry

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2. Purpose of Polo

These beautiful initiatives launched by people bring together a whole lot of enthusiasts who are willing to put in all the effort to raise funds for different charitable organizations. Locations from all over the world such as Palm Beach, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado, have evenly supported noble causes which include children's hospitals and cancer research. 

 

Polo over the centuries, is a game that has evolved into a potent force for philanthropy. From charitable matches and foundations to supporting the welfare of animals, Polo encompasses a great deal of positivity which is liberated through the sum of these meticulous efforts. As Polo enthusiasts and philanthropists continue to come together, this sport will continue to provide for the underprivileged, giving them the opportunity to have an equal chance at life.

 

 Source: www.technogym.com



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