Andrew Swaffield has been appointed as Chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club, on January 29 2021, after Roderick Vere Nicholl stepped down of his position. Since then on, Viscount Cowdray, the club’s President, has been delighted by Andrew’s acceptance of such a prestigious position within one of the most historical clubs not only in England and worldwide. Polo at Cowdray started back in 1910, and has been named “the craddle of English polo”.
In addition, Cowdray Park played a key role in the re-birth of the sport after the Second World War, led by the enthusiastic job done by JohnChurchill Pearson, 3rd Viscount Cowdray, who put his efforts and energy to set the club back to action, the man who established the Gold Cup for the British Open in 1956, one of the three Grand Slams of polo – alongside the US Open and the Argentine Open – the coveted golden trophy every polo player dream to win.
PoloLine TV met up with Andrew, who kindly provided with some interesting quotes, with regards to the upcoming season at the club and the much anticipated Gold Cup:
“I think the whole country is excited, because people want to get into fresh air, they want to see sports, they want to socialize. Actually, we’ve opened the doors to members to re-join and we’ve been joining in great numbers, so we are encouraged about that. There’s still obviously risk this year, but it’s looking pretty good with the vaccination programme in the UK, and it’s looking pretty good for spectators coming into Cowdray”.
“I also would like to open the game potentially into more professional involvement, in a way not totally rely only in patrons. It’s a fantastic system; I was benefited by it, it was how I came to polo, so obviously it’s important to me. But it also requires money to come to the sport, from sponsors, and that probably needs more people watching the sport”.
“For me, Cowdray is first and foremost the grounds; the grounds are the Crown jewels. When you look at them, you can see the amount of work that the team put into the grounds every year. And that’s what Cowdray is known for; this year is no exception. We are very confident that this year we will have fantastic polo in our grounds, in the Lawns and Ambersham. And we have lovely sorroundings, like the castle ruins. It will be an amazing summer of polo”.
WATCH THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW ON POLOLINE TV