Polocrosse has given me a lot in life, from a career perspective it has given me the chance to be involved on the international stage working with South Africa in two World Cups so far, the first in the UK, the second in South Africa and a third on the horizon in Australia in 2019. From a personal perspective it has taken me to places in the world I could only have dreamt of. South Africa to me is now my second home. Working with the South African Polocrosse since 2011 has enriched my life with so much opportunity; I have met some incredible people who are no longer just work colleagues, they are family.
Its hard to put in to words the feeling of being involved with a team, without battling it out on the field itself, or on the ice during the ice hockey days, you still feel very much part of the team, when the team win, you win, when the team lose, you lose. I remember the lows on the long bus drives home with Telford Tigers Ice Hockey Team, after a defeat the bus was just silent, but at the same time there was no other place like it on the journey home after a win. That’s what these guys play for, and for me it’s an honour to have experienced It and continue to experience it with the South Africa Polocrosse Team & also the Highlanders Polocrosse Team in the UK. I have been very fortunate to work with such great professionals, and great Polocrosse players, South Africa currently are the best in the world, the have won both the 2011 & 2015 world cups, in my opinion they just have everything, the skill, the courage, the fearlessness, the organization from the top with Bruce Maclarty (Coach) & Helene Steenkamp (Team Manager), to myself and Kirsten Van Heerden (Sports Psychologist) who herself knows what it takes to perform at the top, being an ex swimmer for South Africa. Most importantly, the team spirit and togetherness is very rare and it’s a privilege to be a part of and experience and as I write this I cant wait to experience it all again in Australia in 2019, which could possibly be the biggest challenge yet but it will be a challenge we will all relish and look forward to.
I have been fortunate to not experience many lows in Polocrosse but one that stands out for me was the British National Polocrosse Championships 1 month after the World Cup in 2015. I had just started working with the Highlanders Team in the UK, with a South Africa connection in Travis Timm, it was my first taste of club level Polocrosse in the UK. Highlanders made it to the final to play a very strong Kent Target team, unfortunately the result didn’t go our way, but the team just played their hearts out and on another day it could have been a different outcome, for me seeing the heart break and disappointment in the Highlanders, I believe that day made them stronger for it, it pulled them together and for the following two years and to this day, they have been the British Polocrosse Champions, which they deserve so much.
There are a seriously big number of amazing people in Polocrosse, not only in South Africa but also in the UK. I have made life long friends and learnt so much about myself, and seeing the commitment and determination in the players is something I try to emulate myself and put back into my work at JPF Sports Therapy and myself as a person.
Polocrosse has given me so much, and I want to be able to give Polocrosse as much as possible back. It’s a fantastic sport played by incredible athletes, amazing horsepeople and played on unbelievable horses. I hope that Polocrosse can continue to grow as a sport, it really is such an entertaining game which requires not only skill and ability but also a lot of mental attributes. 6 years in Polocrosse so far, and here’s to hopefully many more.
South Africa Polocrosse – http://www.polocrosse.co.za/
UK Polocrosse – http://www.ukpolocrosse.co.uk/
Highlanders Polocrosse – https://www.facebook.com/highlanderspolocrosse/