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30 August 2019

The team from Poloafrica Development Trust in South Africa arrived on Monday 17th June after a torrid journey via Addis Ababa.  After a much needed good night’s sleep at the home of Mark and Emma Cann, who were hosting them for the week, they set off for their first match on the Tuesday at Tidworth Polo Club.  Despite never having played in the rain and on hired ponies they gave the Spillers Polo150 team a real run for their money and only lost by one goal.

Wednesday and Thursday saw the team go-karting, cinema trip and a whistle stop tour of London, which included travel on a train, tube, bus and river cruise on the Thames and a cultural stop into the National Gallery. On Friday they took in the historical Salisbury Cathedral before their match at Druids Lodge Polo Club.  This time Poloafrica scored a 6-3 win much to their delight.

Cirencester Polo Club warmly welcomed everyone on Saturday to be part of their Cotswold International Day.  Sarah Dawson from Mars horsecare UK Ltd was there to witness a very close and exciting match with Johanne from Poloafrica scoring the winning goal in the dying seconds.

The final match of the tour was played at Guards Polo Club on the Sunday as part of their Outsourcing Royal Windsor Cup Final day with the Spillers Polo150 team needing to win to level the tour.

Poloafrica Development Trust, run by Catherine Cairns, gives these children a safe haven in which to learn and develop social and life skills, improve on their English and maths and learn to ride.  Polo is used as an incentive to maintain attendance at school and reward good behaviour.  The team were a credit to the program that Catherine runs, they behaved impeccably on and off the field and were a pleasure to host.