Pōrangahau hosts unique polo tournament

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: West Coast

The small coastal settlement of Pōrangahau on the southern east coast of Hawkes Bay, has come to life in a big way. It made it's mark by hosting the only beach polo tournament in the country. Hundreds of people both locally and internationally turned up to check out this new style of polo.

The seven kilometre stretch on the sandy shores of Te Paerahi Beach in Pōrangahau, is the perfect location for the only beach polo tournament in the country.

Harriet Kuru, says, “This event is gaining in popularity and I would say that next year it could possibly go into two days because there is such a big demand from other players wanting to come and play.”

Beach Polo is a new phenomenom to hit our shores, though the rules remain the same as the traditional game, the ball is slightly softer to cater to playing in the sand.

Richard Kibblewhite says, “It's a small field compared to a traditional game, it's only 100 x 50 and you can see the whole game you're never very far from the action.”

Now only into it's second year, it's a whānau and community based tournament that grew from their love of horses and playing polo. An event that is attracting more than just the locals.

Harriet Kuru says,“We've got Mongolians, we've got a couple of English players, NZ players we have a player from Australia one from Beijing so there's a great mixture.”

There are games for all levels of polo players from the beginner right through to the experts, a tournament that organisers are hopeful is here to stay.