No horsing about at polocrosse

Amber Pretorius of Paddock, in action here for Suoth Africa against the USA at the recent Landrover High Goal, will be one of the local stars to watch at the Paddock Polocrosse Tournament this weekend. PHOTO BY SHANNON GILSON

POLO, and by association polocrosse, has been likened to playing golf on skates.

It may look rhythmic and fluid and easy to do, but the reality is that it takes a high level of skill to control both a fast-moving horse and an even faster moving ball.

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The difference between polo and polocrosse is that in polo long-handled mallets are used to propel the ball along the ground and into the opponent’s goal, while polocrosse combines elements of polo, lacrosse and netball, using a sponge rubber ball and a stick with a head like that of a cross and a handle and shaft like those of a polo stick.

Even if you’re never ridden a horse, much less played the game, do yourself a favour and head up to Paddock Polocrosse Club and watch some of the world’s best in action.

It all takes place this weekend, from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6, wrapping up not long after lunch.

There’ll actually be two events going on at the same time. The one is the annual Paddock Tournament, which will feature teams from clubs all over the country.

It’s competitive but no one loses sights of the fun aspect, and the venue is a hugely popular one.

Plenty of local riders are expected to be involved, including local stars Amber and Paige Pretorius, Kenan Classen and Jens Bunge.

In general, teams will be made up of players of all ages, from tiny tots to grandparents.

Even spectators who do not know too much about the intricate rules of the game soon find themselves caught up in the excitement as it’s a thrilling, spectator-friendly sport.

In among all this will be a three-test series featuring the South African U14 team and the Zambian U14 team.

The series kicks off tomorrow (4th) with a match at 10am, followed by one on Saturday at 11am and a another on Sunday at a time still to be confirmed.

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The tournament promises to be an excellent display of some of the countries’ youngest polocrosse talents.

Each team consists of seven players.

The South African team is Jake Shaw (captain), Jamin Schuch, Andrew Lynn, Amy Cocker, Angus Dick, Lauren Heynes and Nikita Gilks.

Team Zambia is Andrew Mawson (captain), Louie Jones, Andrew Hall, Amorette du Toit, Ricardo Taljaard, Daniel Mawson and Oliver Snart.


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