India has been home to a notable number of games which have now gone international. Games like Chess, Kabaddi, Badminton, and Carroms have done the country proud by taking her places. ‘Polo’ is another game which originated in India and was played in the medieval period.
Polo, a horseback mounted team sport, is one of the world’s oldest sports and known as the ‘Royal game’ and the ‘Sport of Kings’. It’s now played in over 50 countries like the USA, Great Britain, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, Dubai, Chile, China, Spain and more.
Kauhsik Kumar, a Hyderabad guy who studied at St Paul’s High school, completed his graduation from Nizam’s college and holds a law degree from KV Ranga Reddy Law college, is a champion polo player. At the age of six, he has started horse riding in a summer camp at Andhra Pradesh Riding Club which was earlier located in Masab Tank. His interest in equestrianism turned into a hobby and ended up as his profession.
After years of hard work and practice, his passion for the sport, love for animals (and speed) inspired him to reach a stage where he started to represent Hyderabad and India in polo.
Besides travelling across the globe playing for different clubs and acquiring experience in the process, he has won numerous awards in India and abroad in different categories like Show Jumping and Tent Pegging. He trains horses for polo in Hyderabad and also encourages new talent, helps them with training and building new polo startups.
When Kaushik just started horse riding, people who played polo inspired him a lot to take up this sport. “Apart from the Game Show, Jumping also interests me and polo is an Olympic sport which should be encouraged by all,” says the player who feels a little supervision from the government and some initiatives will go a long way to encourage those who are developing passion towards the game.
“Shamsher Ali and Basheer Ali, two of the most noted players in the country and widely regarded across the world because of their precision, speed and experience, are from Hyderabad. And, I hope the coming generations develop some interest in this Royal game and make our nation proud,” says Kaushik.
This Hyderabadi has played not only in Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru but also played with the international polo clubs like the Lusaka Polo Club Africa, Lubombo Club SA, Polo Escape Thailand, Thai Polo Club and a few Polo clubs in Dubai and has won a trophy at Lubombo in South Africa.
Gear a player needs
* A helmet with chinstrap and mounted grooms.
* Knee guards, polo boots, elbow pads and gum shields.
* A jersey or a shirt is required to differentiate the players from the team.
* Trousers or Polo pants are worn during the game.
* Gloves are worn to protect from reins and mallet.
What’s a handicap?
Handicap in the game of polo is a system which was created by the first president of the United States Polo Association, Henry Lloyd Herbert, at the founding of the USPA in 1890, with varying abilities of players the teams could be evenly matched. The players are rated on a scale of -2 to 10.