UK polo season throw-in postponed
WHILE Irish polo clubs can look to the summer season with some hope, fixtures in the UK have been suspended until after May 1st.
Hurlingham Polo Association took the decision to suspend polo in an effort to stem the coronavirus pandemic until mid-April at the earliest with a likely extension until the beginning of May.
“There will be no tournament polo before 1st May (and) the new travel restrictions and stay-at-home policy has changed things dramatically for everyone,” said a statement issued by the HPA about precautions being taken against the spread of Covid-19. “While the HPA has an additional duty to protect the fabric of the sport and the polo community which stretches far beyond just clubs and players, the safeguarding of everyone in the sport and in the communities in which we all live is the most important consideration at this time.”
The UK and Ireland are presently under an essential travel only directive until around mid-April. While the HPA has suspended polo tournaments until the start of May the season in Ireland, scheduled to begin around mid-May is under official review.
Sports facilities including pitches have been closed, partly due to the unacceptable burden of care they place on health services in the UK and Ireland. Gatherings have been limited to no more than two people together at any one time and in Ireland, people must remain within a 2-km boundary.
“Much will depend on the effect of the lockdown and the spread of the virus,” said the HPA statement. “If the sport risks placing an unacceptable burden, it must be likely that there will not be any properly competitive tournaments unless private health care is available.
The HPA has posted a full list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the restrictions online at https://hpa-polo.co.uk.
The Irish Government has announced a national Covid-19 Income Support Scheme to provide financial support to Irish employees and companies affected by the crisis along with additional measures available online through https://www.horsesportireland.ie.