Local polo players have seized the opportunity to spend three days in training with an Australian master of the game.
Glen Gilmore, who has captained the Australian team no less than 16 times, spent a long weekend with Forbes Polo Club at the Jemalong Station fields.
Gilmore travelled from Queensland to run the local clinic and riders came from all across the region to be part of it.
Gilmore said he has had a long association with Forbes, playing polo here as far back as 1993 and remaining in contact with local Forbes player Gary Johnston.
Although he’s been able to play polo on the country circuit in his home state this year, it was a delight to come interstate to run the training clinic.
A lot of those opportunities have not been available this year due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
“I love seeing people improve, helping the kids,” he said.
Seeing families play the sport together is just one of the things he loves about polo – his own two children came along to the clinic and a number of father-son and mother-daughter combinations were out there.
The clinic was divided into stages for training and finished with a mini tournament on Sunday so everyone could put their new skills to the test.
“You’ve got to learn the basics – riding and hitting – and then we look at teamwork and tactics,” Gilmore said.
“Safety is number one, from there we can learn all the intricacies.”
The Forbes clinic attracted riders from the local area as well as Bathurst, Harden and even Scone – and Gilmore said it was great to see new players on the circuit.
Gilmore paid tribute to local Marie-Louise Easton, who was one of the weekend’s coaches, for her work to draw in younger players, particularly those who are good athletes in other fields.
Players as young as nine took to the field, and the clinic attracted more senior players from the region as well.
“I’m very grateful to the owners (of Jemalong Station) that they still allow us to come in and use this,”Gilmore added.
Forbes’ Gary Johnston says the sport of polo is seeing a resurgence in interest, and the camp was a wonderful opportunity to learn from a man he described as “the best player in a generation”.
“The great thing is the current enthusiasm in young players,” he said.
To find out more about polo locally, go online to the Forbes Polo Club Facebook page.