Two Tumut polocrosse players will be heading over to Perth for the 2018 polocrosse nationals thanks to the support of the Tumut community.
Brothers Thomas, 15 and Charlie, 11, will make the week-long drive to the other side of Australia with their horses not far behind, as they prepare to represent NSW polocrosse teams at the nationwide event.
The week-long competition to be held in Brigadoon Western Australia, will feature teams from Victoria, NSW and WA, and brings together the best polocrosse players from around the country.
But traveling over 3500km each way while dragging a horse trailer doesn’t come cheap, so the French family had to rely on the support of others to help make the trip.
Sitting outside of Coles and Woolworths for two days was the boys’ mother Wendy French, who enlisted the help of the Tumut community to help raise the money needed.
Selling tickets for both a 100 club and a wood raffle Wendy raised an amazing $2000, and would like to thank the Tumut community for supporting her family and helping them make the trip.
Also playing a large role in the fundraising and deserving of thanks was Brett Jeffery concreting who sponsored Thomas and Martin Hay Earthmoving who sponsored Charlie.
Described as rugby on horseback, polocrosse features five players from either team on the field at a time with a goal at each end, the players ride around on horseback and use a racket to move the ball up the field with the aim of throwing the ball into the goal, all while staying upright on their moving horse.
Thomas who will compete in the under16s junior boy division has been playing polocrosse since the age of five and hones his skills both on horseback and with a racket almost every day.
Little brother Charlie also picked up a racket for the first time when he was young and says his favourite thing about playing polocrosse is winning.
Following in their father’s footsteps polocrosse was always in their futures and the talented duo will be able to test their skills against some of the best players in their age groups when the tournament gets underway on the 1st of October.
Thomas resides up the front of the field in the 1 position and is responsible for throwing the ball at the goals and getting points on the board.
And after playing for 10 years, the confident 15-year-old says he will let his skills do the talking when the competition gets underway.
“Yea I’m pretty excited,” he said.
“You get nervous in the big games it’s pretty fast, you’ve got to be good on a horse.
“It’s a lot of pressure throwing the goals but I like it.”
Charlie plays down the other end of the field in the 3 position, and is responsible for stopping the other team from scoring goals on top of his horse called Dooce.
In just his second year playing Charlie came off his horse and broke his leg during a match but the resilient 11-year-old was playing again as soon as he could get back on a horse.
Coming together from all around NSW there won’t be much time for the teams to practice together but Thomas says it won’t be an issue for him and his team.
But it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community which will fund their trip across Australia for the competition.
The winner of the wood raffle is Lauren Chapman, and the winner of the 100 club is Ruth Myers. Both winners can see Wendy at Russell Stevensons menswear Tumut to claim their prize.
The 2018 polocrosse nationals get underway on the 1st of October and will come to a close on the 7th.