This summer, Polo Lifestyles’ Giulia Di Palma had the opportunity to interview Luke Sandys-Renton of Brighton Polo Club, where he is the Club Founder, outgoing Team President and National University Polo Representative. His passion for the sport of kings is obvious and his enthusiasm and kindness made us very happy to get to know him a little bit better.
GDP: When did you start to play polo?
LSR: I first tried polo when I was at Hurstpierpoint College; however, I only started playing competitively when I went to University. After subbing in to play for University of Kent during my first year, I founded the University of Brighton Polo Team three years ago.
GDP: How did your University support you in playing polo?
LSR: At Brighton, we are very fortunate that since starting three years ago, the University of Brighton’s Sport Department known as Sport Brighton has been hugely supportive. They gave us funding to lower the cost of training and competition entry. We have unlocked this incredible sport to everyone – as the majority of our members have never played polo before starting University. We have the most affordable University for polo in the United Kingdom. We are supported by the Vice Chancellor of the University who takes a keen interest in what we get upto as a team!
GDP: How did you feel after being selected to represent your University?
LSR: From the very start, I had immense pride to represent Brighton in every match I play. It was incredible to be named the Lower Intermediate Division at Winter Nationals, and be selected for the GB University team at Summer Nationals.
On a national stage being elected as the Schools and University Polo Association (SUPA) University Representative for the year, helping to enhance the university polo experience for all players at grass-roots level. This includes working to increase the opportunities for graduates to continue to play polo into the future. For me – from a newly established university polo team – this has been such a huge honor.
GDP: Who is your favorite polo player and why?
LSR: This is a very difficult decision but I am going to have to say that it is a tie between the incredible Hazel Jackson-Gaona, and the amazing Sarah Wiseman. Hazel Jackson-Gaona is incredibly passionate about polo, she has grown massively over time to become a hugely successful female player in such a male-dominated sport, and therefore is an outstanding role model for the women in my team to aspire. Sarah Wiseman was one of my first polo teachers I had when learning to play. She taught me everything I know in her lovely laid-back manner, and so seeing her play on the international stage is incredible.
GDP: Do you see yourself playing after your graduation and did you set any particular goal for you as a polo player?
LSR: I very much hope to continue playing after graduation, where money allows! I am very passionate about continuing easy access to polo for those who play at university after they graduate. There are fantastic options available to graduates through SUPA’s Alumni program that allow players to continue playing in University Nationals in February and June. That said, I would like to work on a wider network for alumni players to continue to play on a more regular basis, at a cost that is more friendly.