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National Polo Winter Tournament 2020

A project by: Maria Zay


WE RAISED £3,600

from 8 donors

This project received donations on Thu 23 Jan 2020
Help Essex polo teams get to the biggest tournament of our fresher's lives


Hi! We’re the University of Essex Equestrian & Polo Club hoping to raise £5400 in order to take us to the 2020 SUPA Polo Winter Nationals! We would really appreciate any donations to help the team raise the funds we need in order to compete in February! Thank you ♥  

Our story

We are the University of Essex polo team and we are looking to compete in the 2020 SUPA Polo Winter Nationals. We would love to go to this tournament if we can raise the funds. Many of us started as complete beginners and have grown our skills and confidence so much, from not being able to hit the ball to talking team tactics and winning the friendly November charity tournament. We now would like to put these skills into practice and offer our members a chance to play competitively and represent the university at one of the biggest tournaments of the year. This is such a unique opportunity because it is a sport that many of us simply could not do outside of the university, due to cost and a lack of facilitates. Through learning this sport we have become a really close-knit team and have grown 3x bigger in the last year, and by donating you would offer the largest number of Essex Students the chance to compete and demonstrate the skills we’ve learnt, allowing the whole team to be there. Without your donation we may not be able to compete. We’ve been training so hard and are ready to play in the nationals, please help us get there by donating anything you can.

                                                 Meet the team!

Syed Ali Rumais Gardezi 

Hey, my name is Ali, I joined the university of Essex in September 2019, but I had joined the University of Essex Equestrian and Polo Club long before that, when I secured my admission here at Essex, I got in touch with the club’s executives, through social media, and made sure I knew all I needed to, to join the club, well in time. Horses have been not just a hobby, and polo has never been just a sport for me, it’s a Lifestyle! I have been a horse enthusiast since I was 3 years old, as my father has had horses since before I was born, I have always been amused by the sport that is Polo, the charisma, the charm and the feel of sitting on a bike that has its own mind, and flying across the green fields, scoring goals, has always given me goosebumps. But it was not until I came here to Essex, that I started playing Polo, and now, I am completely hooked! 

Playing this tournament would mean a huge deal to me, and I a really looking forward to it.


Sarah Montague

Being able to go to the Winter Supa would be a chance for me to grow as a polo player, but also be able to experience more of the United Kingdom on my year of exchange. Being a part of the Equestrian and Polo club at the University of Essex has introduced to me multiple people who share my interests, and make me feel more comfortable in a new country. The tournament, if possible, adds to the positivity that I have experienced and want to continue to experience in the UK.


Minn Yap

Polo is fast-paced. Polo is adrenaline-filled. Polo is one-of-a-kind.

This is a sport that I hold dear to my heart. Coming from a city-state where land is scarce and riding is uncommon, the opportunity to ride horses and play Polo here in the UK is a dream come true for people like me.Competing in this Polo competition is incredibly important to me because it is an opportunity for me to play Polo at a national level and pit my skills against others. It also allows me to represent the university in the sport that I love. Competing in this competition allows me to do both that I cannot do so back home.


Hannah Smyth

Polo is the first competitive team sport I have participated in at university. Although I was intimidated at the prospect of trying such a niche sport, I wanted to throw myself into something totally new and exciting. Playing Polo has been a lot of fun and I couldn’t ask for a nicer more welcoming group of people to learn with. Having little riding experience in the past and yet being able to compete in a tournament shows the inclusivity of a sport that is perceived as being quite exclusive. If you come with enthusiasm and a will to learn it is clearly possible that you can get to compete and I can’t wait for that chance!


Alexander Wilk

Polo epitomises good horsemanship — one cannot enjoy polo (let alone be successful in it) without a bond of trust between oneself and the pony. Polo is a demanding team sport in more than one way. Not only are there fellow teammates to coordinate with whilst hitting a small ball with a long stick at speed, pony and player essentially form a team within a team. Since I have yet to find a pony that speaks English, I am constantly challenged to develop a mode of communication beyond mere speech. This is a deeply satisfying process because it establishes a touching bond of trust based on cooperation. Once mastered, the pony will play alongside you instead of for you. Apart from the cut and thrust of a fast-paced sport, it is this experience that makes polo so special to me.

Our Polo Team has been very successful at the recent charity tournament in November and I would love to continue to represent the University that way. Practice is one thing, but to maintain the high reputation our young team garnered recently, we must keep on participating in tournaments to continue improving our game — our competitors are doing the same as you read this!



Georgia Eastwood

I’ve always been an animal lover and I’m so happy that I’ve found a competitive contact sport that is so much fun and means I get to spend more time with horses! I really want to compete in the competition as it’s my last year as a student at the Uni and so may be the only chance I get at playing in a national tournament!


Anton Reshetov

My love for horses led me to joining the Polo and Equestrian club at the University of Essex in the beginning of last academic year. We were a very small club, Since then we have grown a lot and I have participated in a number of competitions include 2 national Championships organised by SUPA. Polo has given me an incredible opportunity to find new friends with common interests and develop my horse riding abilities. However my ambitions are much higher than just to have a good times with friends, I am immensely proud of the fact that I can represent my University at the National competitions, and this is why it would be great if you can support our campaign and help us do our best in defending the name of our University at this years Winter Nationals 2020. 


Zoe Melhuish

After having surgery last summer, I never thought I would be horse-riding this year, let alone learning a completely new sport! Learning polo has been an amazing opportunity for me, it’s something I could not afford to do outside of university, and it has been such an amazing experience. I have met so many new friends, its improved my mental health by being outside, surrounded by nature giving me a break from my studies. With such amazing teammates polo has become a huge part of my life. Being able to compete in this tournament would be a huge achievement, I have never competed before and never thought I would have the opportunity to learn polo, let alone compete in a national tournament! I would love to be able to put the skills I’ve learnt in lessons to compete with my team against other universities. Thank you for your support of our club.


Maria Zay (President)

Hi I am Maria, President of the Equestrian and Polo club here at Essex University. Last year I began playing polo and fell in love with the sport immediately.

My passion for it is has driven me to become president of the club this year and now I would like the opportunity to participate again but this time taking our new team mates , (who recently brought home three awards) to represent the university of Essex in the University winter SUPA nationals, however to make this possible we are have created this campaign to raise funds please support us its for the love of polo!


what will we spend the funds on?

SUPA Membership: £55

Entry fee: £55

Airbnb x 5 nights: £225 per person

Petrol: £25

Food: £20 (Tesco shop per person)

Horse Hire: £55 (per  chukka)

Total cost per person is £600

Although we will endeavour to meet our target should we only reach the minimum target  that money will be used in the following way to pay our membership,  entry , Horse hire and contribute towards the airbnb accommodation costs. 

Minimum target = £3600

maximum target= £5400

If we exceeded our target:

 We will put the money towards hand mallets to enable us to practice our skills and technique on campus and signage to advertise university of Essex equestrian and polo club


"Hey, we have some fab rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out."

Find us here

Thank you for supporting our club, keep up to date with our training and our journey to national by following us on:

Facebook: University of Essex Equestrian Club

Instagram: essex_equestrian_and_polo, look out for #essexequestrianandpolo

Help us succeed!

You don't need to give money to help us succeed! It would be helpful to share this project with people you think will support us. Please share information about us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, or through word of mouth. The more people that know about our project, the more likely that we will be able to succeed!

And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.