5 minutes and 10 Questions with Morgan Van Overbroek, Owner of Polo Park Zurich and President of the Swiss Polo Association
Q1: How did you first get in to Polo?
My husband Sébastien and I registered for a discovery class at Polo Park Zürich about 9 years ago. It was love at first try. The following week, we booked our first lesson with Francisco Podesta and only a month later, we bought our first horse. Three months later, we traveled to Argentina for the first time to play and were instantly hooked.
Q2: Tell us about the polo scene in Switzerland?
Switzerland is a small, mountainous country which is heavily dedicated to agriculture and contains many natural protected areas. Swiss people are ingenious and patient. Not a land for sports? Let’s use the mountain airstrips. No free airstrip around? Let’s play polo on a frozen lake. Or perhaps you just need to wait for years and years to transform agricultural land into a sport zone.
There are 9 polo clubs in Switzerland and the polo season 2021 has announced 17 tournaments to be hosted all over the country. Unfortunately, our January mountain meeting at the Snow Polo World Cup in St. Moritz had to be postponed until 2022. So far, the other tournaments - starting at the end of May 2021 - are all planned according to their schedules. All levels of tournaments will be played including two Ladies’ Cups. Switzerland is one of the rare countries in the world where you can play snow, beach and grass polo. Each region and each langage has its club(s), each of them with its own identity. No club is similar to any other.
Q3: Your top 3 items to take in your luggage when travelling?
My book, my laptop and my ultra-light cashmere shawl.
Q4: Best advice any one ever gave you?
“You’re better than you think you are”, a very hopeful quote by Sunny Hale. Whenever I face challenges, I bear it in mind. It inspires me to keep going.
Q5: Your motto to live by?
Do the right thing with the right people for the right purpose.
Q6: What is the main thing you will be focusing on as newly elected President of the Swiss Polo Association?
At the moment, I am busy organizing the up-coming season (lots of updates and administrative details), and will then focus more on our marketing and communication. I also intend to visit all clubs this season - not always to play but also to show them support from the SPA. It is very important for me to keep a direct and open relationship with all clubs.
Q7: Your dream holiday destination?
Buthan, Mongolia or Cape Horn. I am craving for adventurous holidays. And if I take holidays, no polo will be involved.
Q8: Tell us about your club, Polo Park Zurich.
PPZ is the biggest club in the country in terms of polo fields, tournaments played and members. Apart of the numbers, we have a real polo family here. Our members organize impromptu asados, they come to S&B together, they bring friends and family to watch club chukkers, they do home office from the clubhouse… During the summer months, polo can be played from 9 a.m. until 9p.m. We breathe, eat and live polo everyday for 6 months. We also organize winter social events for our members. The 6 months break was too long for many of us!
Q9: Favourite Polo Pony?
You wouldn’t ask a parent which child they prefer, would you? Please don’t ask me to choose! They all have their characters, their skills, each of them is unique and of course they all are wonderful!
Q10: In 5 year’s time I would like to be……… (finish this sentence!)
Still playing polo and still improving.