The Argentine Polo Players Association (AAJP) are due to host a very important meeting on Friday, at 10:30 am, at Guards Polo Club, to discuss polo’s standing in the world today and the development of the sport in the UK.
The letter sent by the AAJP to the British Polo Community reads:
“Dear British Polo Community,
The Argentine Polo Association (AAP) and Argentine Polo Players Association (AAJP) have the pleasure of inviting you to discuss the situation of polo today, the impact that changes of 2016 had on the sport in the UK, and ways to find a constructive outcome to these. The aim is to find ways grow the polo players base in the UK therefore protecting the continuity of the sport for the next generations.
The Polo Players Association (UK) has been invited to co host this first meeting and this invitation remains open as we consider that working together is the only way to reach a sustainable growing spiral to re boost the sport.
We are also extending this invitation to all polo clubs in the UK, the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), representatives of the International Polo Federation (FIP), Argentinian Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Carlos Sersale, and the Head of the Home Office, Mr. Sajid Javid, or whoever he appoints to represent him on this opportunity.
The AAJP are taking this initiative in their own hands with the support of the AAP as we see with great hope the positive discussions that have already started taking place amongst professionals of various nationalities alike, mainly Argentine and British, in regards to the so called “visa situation”. We also find with sadness the 40% drop of polo players in Great Britain in the last two years -from over 2500 in 2016, source Blue Book 2017, to just over 1500 players in 2018, source HPA website-.
For professional players of any nationality, the growth of polo worldwide is in our best interest and so in order to find the best and most constructive solutions we want to invite everyone involved in British polo to be part of this series of discussions. Attached you shall find a few documents to get ready ahead on some of the subjects of the meeting.
We are all looking forward to having the honour of your presence.
Please forward to other who may also be interested.
Clubs, please forward to your members.
Thank you for your interest in reading this.”
Some of the topics to be discussed:
-Playing professionals of 2 goals and above and Certified Instructors to apply for a ‘Low Goal Player’ work or commercial permit to operate with in the UK.
-Players employed by UK playing polo organizations to play 15-goal tournaments and above to be allowed to play 8, 10 and 12 goal tournaments in their extra hours, respecting the current year HPA Tournament Conditions, as long as it is for those UK playing polo organisations by whom they are employed.
-Clubs or regions to be classified into three categories, namely:
(i) Category A – such classification afforded to clubs or regions where polo is flourishing and where there is considered to be an excess of polo professionals.
(ii) Category B – such classification to be afforded to clubs or regions where there is a sufficient number of polo professionals and there is no urgency for more.
(iii) Category C – such classification to be afforded to clubs or regions where polo is considered to be in decline, where there is a lack of patrons and professionals.
-Clubs to be able to issue sponsorship licenses as needed.
-Clubs to publish their requirements for professional players in good time before the start of the polo season and to take all reasonable steps to satisfy those requirements with UK/EEA nationals prior to making attempts to hire from overseas.
-Clubs with a Certified Instructor be allowed to apply for a second instructor if demand is sufficient.
-Allow overseas Certified Instructors to play an instructional level of polo (up to 0 or 2 goal tournament) to provide confidence to their student(s) when making their first steps into the sport.