The General Assembly of Election, summoned by the Fédération Française de Polo (FFP), appointed Jean-Edouard Mazery as the new President of the institution on January 15. Mazery who is also the President of the Deauville International Polo Club, steps in to replace Jean-Luc Chartier, who held the position for 30 years.
The new President of the governing body of French polo spoke to PoloLine about the challenges the institution faces at this time, and announced plans for the near future.
What does it mean to you to have been appointed President of the FFP?
It is a honor and a challenge at the same time. I feel that there’s a very positive energy, one that will help unite French polo, and that makes me happy. I fell that it will also help us when it comes to the development of international polo. But most of all, this will be a team effort, and I am excited for what’s to come.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest challenge facing French polo?
We must continue adapting, because polo is evolving a lot. We must build a future with the objective of unifying and developing polo throughout the country, and with the goal of attracting several new players. We also have to make the sport more accessible, and change the perception people have towards polo. In order to achieve that, we must connect with people, and pass our passion on to them. France is a great country for polo, hosting important tournaments in world class clubs, and once can see some of the world’s best players compete on our grounds.
France also has the advantage of boasting many great playing locations around the year, including arena, snow and the beach.
But French polo must continue to work on the following issues:
– Supporting young players and recruiting new talents.
– Focus on achieving a high level perspective.
– Breeding new horses.
– Developing polo throughout the country and unifying the sport.
– Intensify the support given to all types and levels of polo, including women’s polo and children’s polo. Also, work on creating new circuits.
– Prepare instructors and umpires.
– Work on marketing and increasing the visibility of polo so as to attract new sponsors. It would be great to stream all matches, as PoloLine does, with great success, in certain tournaments.
What plans are there when it comes to coordinating the fixtures of various clubs around the country?
During the campaign, I felt a true commitment from the clubs to work together and coordinate their calendars, as well the intention of building new circuits that will hopefully attract more teams.
Is it possible to plan the 2021 season with the pandemic still at large?
We are dependent on the pandemic, but at the same time, we hope to start playing in April. Our priority is to help our clubs get organised. Healthy and safety conditions permitting, we aim to start playing and re-commence activity for all the professionals of the polo community.
At what stage of your career are you currently?
I’ve been involved in the development of polo within the Federation for several years now, both in Chantilly and Deauville. Polo is a great part of my life, and to have the chance of participating in this adventure is a big challenge. I am thrilled.
Will you maintain your position as President of the Deauville International Polo Club?
Deauville Polo Club has brought me great happiness, both on and off the field. I will never leave it, but I will be helping out in a different way. There’s no rush, but one has to know that the legacy should be passed in due time.
Where does the FPP stand when it comes to other polo associations around the world?
French polo won’t be developed by itself. The support of foreign associations is fundamentally important. We have strong bonds with them and with the FIP. My wish is to continue improving those ties.
Since Eduardo Novillo Astrada’s election, a change occurred in all the associations in Europe. I have the feeling that we all want to move in the same direction. Times are changing, so we must adapt and work together in order to provide the best support possible for our sport. I would like to continue building bridges with Argentina and other European clubs. Perhaps our biggest challenge would be a major international approach. With the support of everybody involved, I’m sure we will achieve it.