Each year three junior polocrosse members receive a scholarship from New Zealand Polocrosse to enable them to travel to either New South Wales or Queensland, Australia to stay with a polocrosse host family and play polocrosse in their local tournaments. The scholarship provides opportunity for our juniors to build on their riding and playing skills as well as make lifelong friendships. This year had an added extra whereby our junior scholarship players were joined by their fellow national team mates to play in the three test series against Australia at the Narrabri Junior Challenge Tournament.
This year’s recipients Kayla Murray, Rebekah Phillips and Travis Leggit-Bowring travelled over to Australia in the July school holidays. Kayla headed to New South Wales and stayed with the Finlayson family in New South Wales. Kayla “loved the whole scholarship experience and is so glad she did it”. In her final tournament she was able to play in the same chukka as Abby Finlayson and Rebekah Phillips where they were in the winning B grade at Wagga Wagga Tournament.
Rebekah stayed in New South Wales for four weeks and during this time stayed with three different families being the Stuart’s, Elfords and Grills getting to travel around and ride lots! Rebekah’s first tournament was in Quambone, a small rural town, 600km North West of Sydney. Rebekah played in an E grade team who got runners up. Following the weekend where she played with Kayla and Abby, Rebekah headed to Sydney tournament where she was in the winning D grade team.
Travis headed to Queensland where he stayed with the Shepherd family in Toowoomba for his first week. This week consisted of riding and sightseeing. On Friday we drove to Tansey for their carnival where he played 2 in an intermediate open team. Following Tansey Travis spent two days with the Hafey family where he spent 2 days riding horses of Jaylon Downs. Travis then headed south to New South Wales for the Narrabri Polocrosse Junior Challenge tournament. This is where Travis caught up with the rest of the NZ junior team. Travis said the tests were tough and exciting, a great experience and an awesome opportunity to play under lights. Once back in Queensland Travis travelled to Taroom where Jo Thornton introduced him to mustering, Travis had a great week mustering. Travis spent his final weekend at the Goondiwindi polocrosse carnival before heading home. Overall Travis said he had a great time with awesome people.
Thank you to all the families that make these junior scholarships possible!!