Another academic year is winding down at St Andrews. This means three things — funds are dwindling, deadlines are taking years off our lives, and it’s time for the St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament.
In preparation for this highly anticipated event, I sat down with Chris Li, Head of PR, and Felix Arris, Tournament Director, to see if I could get some insight on the inner workings of the tournament.
“The Polo tournament has always prided itself on being really inclusive,” Chris told me.
He continued, “That is reflected in the ticketing structure, where we have VVIP, VIP and Classic tickets available. It covers a wide price range where people from all demographics can enjoy. For instance, the Classic is 25 pounds and that allows you to enjoy the entire day at the grounds and you’re allowed to bring a picnic as well. Allow yourself to take in the sport, the sun and the whole majesty of the day.”
Despite pointing out that there may not be sun, and no alcohol is permitted with picnics (probably wise, and the champagne available will quickly remedy any disappointment), they reminded me that they are one of the events that truly focuses on charity.
“Its in our name and we pride ourselves on being a charitable partner with Help for Heroes because at the end of the day, this is about giving back and giving money for a good cause.”
Felix added, “I think that polo is one sport where the majority of the committee doesn’t play. Its stereotypically, I don’t want to say posh sport.
“It’s sort of portrayed as an exclusive event. For me, being able to not need any equestrian background but to make it accessible to everyone and for far less than the fashion shows is quite a testament . The other part of it is not coming from a big city and being from the country side it’s really nice to be able to spend 25 pounds to be a little more in nature and another stretch of Scotland.”
As we wrapped up, Chris mentioned, “There are no expectations when you go to the polo tournament, just come and have fun. It’s about the charity.”
And they should be proud of their (relative) inclusivity. If you were to go see polo anywhere else, you’d be paying a minimum of 200 pounds. As far as any extras, it would undoubtedly be through the roof. They make an effort to get the locals involved, as well as students from Dundee, Edinburgh, and other universities. The event is sold out, so if you’re lucky enough to be going, get ready for one of St Andrews’ favourite traditions — a nice outdoor party, all while giving to charity.