Less than two years ago, Texas Tech University Polo Club (Lubbock, Texas) lost their greatest supporter and coach, Clyde Waddell. Since then, the club members and alumni have been committed to sustaining the club and purchasing the property that Texas Tech Polo has called home for almost twenty years.
Former Texas Tech player, Walker Rainey has taken over the coaching duties. “The passing of Clyde Waddell dealt the Texas Tech Polo Club a serious blow,” said Rainey. “The club lost a friend, coach, and a major benefactor. Since then, the Texas Tech Polo Alumni Association has picked up the reins and taken over management of the club. I, along with my good friend Matt Lofquist, have taken over the coach/advisor roles. Clyde left some big shoes to fill, and we are working diligently to fill those shoes. As a former member of the Texas Tech Polo Club, I benefited tremendously from my experience here. In my years associated with the club, I have had the chance to play with many great players, establish myself in the polo world, and make lifelong friends. In that time, I have also met many people with very similar experiences. These experiences were made possible by collegiate polo. I believe that successful collegiate polo programs are essential to the continuation and growth of our sport,” he continued.
Texas Tech Polo has always received a tremendous amount of support from alumni, the USPA, and the Polo Training Foundation. In October, USPA Certified Polo Instructor (CPI) Robin Sanchez traveled to Lubbock to give a clinic to the players and to give advice to the officers, barn manager and horse manager. The clinic was held over four days with both group and individual sessions. Swing mechanics, riding for polo, arena strategy, rules, and horsemanship, were all covered. Students put their newly-learned skills to the test in coached scrimmages. From new members with limited riding experience, to varsity team members, to volunteer coaches, everyone benefited from the clinic. Additionally, Sanchez reviewed several drills that the team/players could use to better hone their skills after the clinic. In November, following the clinic the varsity and junior varsity players competed at Fall Fandango, where the Texas Tech men’s team gave a solid showing in the Southwest Circuit Sherman Memorial.
“Robin Sanchez has been particularly supportive throughout the years, especially since Clyde’s passing,” said Rainey. “The clinic she put on this past October was amazing. The kids and I learned a substantial amount. I have been able to take away significant knowledge from that clinic, as well as other clinics Robin has put on, and implement that knowledge into my coaching routine. The passion that she has for the sport shows in her teaching methods and really resonates with the kids because they respect her. It is through programs such as these that Texas Tech Polo will survive through the loss of a legend and continue to thrive. BATTLE SPEED!”
The Texas Tech Polo Alumni Association (TTPAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to oversee, advise, and sustain the operations of the Texas Tech Polo Club. If you would like to donate funds, horses or equipment please contact: Texas Tech Polo Alumni Association at TTPAA2016@gmail.com and P.O. Box 9102, Midland, TX 79708.