Maui youth polo all-stars to compete in national competition in California
A young team of Maui Polo Club all-stars will compete in an Interscholastic Western Girls Regional at the US Polo Association Tournament in Lakeside, Calif.
The team features: Leah Melzer (14), Emily Cofflin (16), Indiana Dukes (17), Elise Hollingsworth (14), Chloe Fischer (13) and Campbell Bintliff (13).
The six young athletes of the Maui Polo Club, which has operated since 1888, practice weekly with the Makawao-based horses.
The players and coaches will head to the mainland in a few weeks, but the horses remain on Maui. The polo team is raising money to support the costs of travel and renting horses for the competition.
The Maui Polo Club has engaged youth in their polo programs for several decades. Playing polo has incredible benefits for keiki, including critical thinking, hand-eye coordination, and working and caring for animals. The teams play in the fall and games are open to the public starting in April.
“It’s important to me to give back what I’ve gotten from polo,” coach Herman-Louis Decoite said. “I love watching the island kids progress.”
The girls have been working hard practicing three times a week, working on specialized drills and riding different horses to prepare for the upcoming tournament. The last time this group of girls competed in this competition was a year ago.
“Going to compete at tournaments like this is such a cool experience,” said Dukes, a high school student-interscholastic polo player. “I’m really grateful that we are fortunate enough to have this opportunity. Everything about it is so unique and fun. Plus, it’s a great learning experience.”
To support the team’s efforts and costs of travel for the young polo all-stars, a fundraiser has been set up with the goal to reach $5,000 by Feb. 1.
To date, the girls have raised nearly $2,000. Donations can be made by specifying that it is for the Interscholastic team via The Maui Polo Club venmo account. https://venmo.com/code?user_id=2988431852437504797
Donations also can be made by check to The Maui Polo Club and mailed to 203 Alalani St., Makawao, HI 96768.
For more information, contact [email protected].