Reaching the apex of the polo world is extremely tough. A player needs access to top level coaching to catch a break. This type of mentorship is not easy to come by, but Sotogrande Polo Academy (SPA) is determined to change this. Recognising the importance of investing in the future of polo and creating new pathways for future generations, Polo Valley and Sotogrande International School (SIS) have partnered to create the first elite polo academy in the world.
The Academy will give promising athletes aged between 14 and 18 the chance to combine first-class education with daily polo training, so as to provide students who wish to become professional polo players all the resources they need. Polo is a particularly tricky sport to navigate—SPA will offer a roadmap to guide youngsters through the ins and outs of the game, both on and off the field. This all comes whilst undergoing an outstanding education. The aim is that students understand what it takes to enter an elite level of sport from a young age.
The Sotogrande Polo Academy beginning September 2021 offers four spaces per category. The Academy accommodates the training of both Junior (14-16 years old) and Elite (16-18 years old) Champions for up to four years, with over twenty hours of physical and theoretical polo training provided per week at Polo Valley—a world-class polo facility located just 15 min from SIS—alongside a specially designed academic program at Sotogrande International School.
Junior Championship: 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Elite Championship: 9 am. – 1 pm.
Benefits for Students
Students will learn a vast range of skills throughout the program, including how to ride, swing technique, tactics, strategy, strength and fitness, theory, HPA rules and umpiring qualifications, horse care, team management, the business of polo, people skills, and perhaps most important of all—horsemanship.
Students will also have the chance to network with people from the polo world, receiving invaluable exposure to patrons and professionals. Once they are ready to play professionally, Polo Valley will connect them, putting them in a position gain experience in tournaments.
Sotogrande, a luxury resort on the Southern coast of Spain, is one of the most important polo hubs in the world. Home to historic polo clubs such as Santa Maria Polo Club and Ayala Polo Club, Sotogrande boasts over 20 polo fields in the area, all just minutes from beautiful beaches and some of the best equine facilities on the planet. Every summer, over 2,000 horses and the biggest names in polo flock to Sotogrande to compete.
High-end luxury properties, a wide offering of high-quality cuisine and restaurants, and endless activities are available in the area. Sotogrande is renowned for being a fantastic golfing and sailing location, but there is also everything needed for tennis and water sports, as well as excellent beach clubs.
The weather is undoubtedly one of Sotogrande’s biggest assets, with 300 days of sunshine making it ideal for those looking to play polo year-round. All of this just a 25-minute drive from Gibraltar airport (1 hour from Malaga)!