The recent inclement weather has re-ignited our desire to find a place to call our own and play polo in. These are our requirements:
1. Indoors (eg disused warehouse, showroom, factory space).
2. 40 x 20 metres court space (ish) with high enough ceilings.
3. Some lighting so we can play when it’s dark.
4. Some barriers for the edge of the court (we could make some from wood for £500-£1000 maybe?)
5. Smooth but grippy surface which it’s okay to skid on.
These all sound achievable until you understand that we have no money! I’ve emailed Birmingham City Council about possibly ‘leasing’ a disused warehouse as a non-profit organisation, which could save the owner from taxes and rates, and as far as I’m aware, they’re looking into it. Fingers are crossed.
I’ve heard from people in Cambridge who are doing something similar, except that they are paying for a place. I think they’re going to make barriers from pallets and hold tournaments to recoup their investment. I’ve also seen a link to somewhere (Copenhagen, maybe?), where they’ve found somewhere with the help of a popular Danish beer. I’ve been meaning to email Brooks…
I really think this is the way that polo needs to go. Outdoor football/basketball courts are okay, and I’m sure they’ll always be popular when the weather is nice, but they all have their ‘idiosyncrasies’, whether they be dodgy surfaces, gappy barriers, dead-ball corners, or rapscalian youths. Also, it’s hard to organise a tournament, or even invite players from another city, when you can’t book the court because it’s public and it could piss it down for the entire duration!
A big question mark remains over whether or not people are willing to ‘pay to play’ though. I’ve suggested it before in Birmingham (albeit over a year ago) and it wasn’t popular, but then most of our players are cheap/tight/poor… So far, polo has been notably DIY/low-cost for most people, is that going to change? Do people want it to change?
If you’re reading this and have any suggestions, please comment below or email me through the ‘contact us’ link at the top. Ta!