Photo: Raphael Benros
Photo: Raphael Benros

This Saturday (25 April), the University’s Polo Club is reviving their annual charity polo tournament. So far, 1,100 tickets have been sold, with another 200-300 expected to be bought at the door. The Polo Club anticipates this tournament to become Scotland’s largest polo event, as it extends to involve not only St Andrews students, but also local polo-enthusiasts, as well as alumni. From Dundee to Edinburgh, students, spectators and polo players alike, are travelling to attend Saturday’s event.

The tournament will feature polo players of all levels, with both novice as well as exhibitions teams set to play throughout the day. With teams from Stirling and Edinburgh University, in addition to our very own university polo team, there is an expectation of a friendly yet simultaneously suspenseful atmosphere. Yet this weekend will not only exhibit the excitement of riveting polo-playing, but also a variety of entertainment for those less enthralled by the game itself: the Other Guys will be performing, as well as a DJ. Also, a student commentator and one professionally hired for the tournament will be keeping us up to speed throughout the day. And if any of the aforementioned entertainment fails to entice Saturday’s average attendee, there will be Billecart-Salmon champagne by the bottle and Jo Malone hand-massages available. These luxuries will certainly make the divot-stomping all the more pleasant.

With a committee of only nine, this year’s tournament planners have impressed beyond all expectations. Beginning the event-planning only three months ago, the tournament itself has undergone a complete re-branding, from a casual to a much more formalised event. The committee has reached out to higher profile sponsors, such as Graypaul Maserati, showing arguably a great deal more creativity than the average student event planners here in St Andrews. According to tournament director, Jonathan Gregory, the success of this impressive array of sponsorships lies in the club’s individualised approach to each sponsor. With personalised pitches for each distinct company, the tournament directors managed to demonstrate great skill and precision with club marketing and event-planning strategies.

Moving away from the past smaller venue, this year’s tournament is being held at the Errol Park Estate in Perth. With this change to a professional polo pitch came connections to major polo players, which has allowed for a much more diverse tournament. This impressive re-vamp of the Polo Club’s charity tournament has set the bar high: tailored perfectly for the typical St Andrews student, Saturday is bound to be a great success.

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