• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:52pm

Dennis Goodboy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2011, 12:00am

Like the duke and duchess, Will and Kate, I, too, have been watching polo.

Polo is an ancient sport of Asia. It has been played for centuries by kings and emperors - and not much has changed. It was an amazing experience to rub shoulders with the rich and famous at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club recently.

Editor Susan Ramsay, sports reporter Kevin Kung and YP cadet Heyna Wong took me with them on a trip to Tianjin on the mainland. I wanted to update my status to let you guys know, but there is no Facebook on the mainland.

The club was OMG awesome. The restaurants were even better, enough to put this pup in food heaven. Even the simplest of meals was yummy and well-presented.

Susan and I chatted to Derek Reid, the resident professional polo player at the club. He had some very interesting things to say about the game and what it offers young people. Polo teaches people to be competitive and to be team players at the same time.

When you see those boys (girls can play, too) racing fearlessly up and down the field on their horses, you immediately understand the challenges of this game. Not only do you have to make quick decisions but you also have to get your horse to follow them.

The club offers a programme for young people who know nothing about horses but would still like to play polo - just like us.

So down to the stables we went, where the horses awaited. Ulp. I think I preferred the club's equine statues to the real things: they didn't have such warm breath and such big teeth.

Luckily, our instructors and grooms were all very patient and helpful. Sadly I couldn't have a go at polo because they don't make helmets in my size. A real shame!

So I sat in the shade and watched Susan, Kevin and Heyna ride horses and learn to handle the long stick - called a mallet - that players use to hit the ball. They perfected their aim on wooden horses, thwacking the balls all over the place.

If you saw Sunday Young Post's cover, you'll know the polo club is inviting two readers to try out their Junior Equestrian and Polo Programme at the end of the holidays. It will be an all-expenses-paid trip. Visit yp.scmp.com and check out Sunday's cover.

I hope I'll get to go again - and this time I, too, want to ride.

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