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The Sport of Kings Comes to PLNU

Point Loma’s quarterly Club Fair was held on Caf Lane on Feb. 14, but this time there was a new booth on the lane, decorated with rustic mallets, and a helmet fit for battle.

Representing the Point Loma Women’s Polo Club booth was PLNU freshman and Female Interscholastic Polo Player of the Year, Molly Agee.

Agee is no rookie to the intense team sport of horse polo, which she has been playing since middle school. Her love for the sport is what led her to start a team on campus.

Agee explains how unique polo is in that unlike most equestrian disciplines, it is an intense team contact sport. Polo is sometimes referred to as hockey on horseback or “The Sport of Kings” and it is considered one of the oldest sports in history.

“It originated in Persia as a way to prepare soldiers for war,” says Nicole Bankhead, Lakeside Polo Club Trainer and owner of the facilities in which the PLNU polo club will practice.

Bankhead’s facility in Lakeside, California will be the host of Point Loma’s newest club with Bankhead as a mentor and coach for the new team.

“I’m most excited to have a new school in the intercollegiate program,” says Agee.

Currently, there are under 40 universities in the U.S. with an intercollegiate Polo team, including USC, Stanford, Cornell, and Yale.

The qualifying matches begin in November of this year, and Regionals begin in February 2019 where the team will compete against local colleges such as San Luis Obispo, USC, and UC Santa Barbara.

If PLNU’s team is able to win regionals, there would be an opportunity to move up to Nationals.

Unlike most sports, polo tournaments are less frequent (only around five per season) and therefore far more significant. In order to prepare for the competitive season ahead, practices will begin full swing in March, where the team will focus on the basic rules of the game.

Students are still able to join the team as it is still in the process of being put together. Any female enrolled as a student at Point Loma Nazarene University, with some riding experience and a willingness to learn, is welcome.

“It’s just such a fun sport that comes with the opportunity to play with your favorite animal, teammates, and to travel,” says Agee.

Those interested in joining the Point Loma Polo Club can contact Molly Agee at mollyagee0125@pointloma.edu.

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Andrea Gulley

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