At just the age of 17, Tamara Gibbons has certainly accomplished plenty. Last year, Tamara won the 2016 Junior HPA Rocksavage final. Tamara tells us, “I love experiencing the moments when everything comes together, when your team just clicks and a pass is perfectly aimed and picked up or a great team goal is scored, or when your horse anticipates the play and moves in exactly the way you want.”
Tamara doesn’t simply have ambition to succeed in the polo world. After completing her first year of A-Levels, this 17 year old is working hard to achieve success outside of polo tournaments, by working on her application into Oxford University to study Chemistry. This bright ‘Young Gun’ is currently studying at Cheltenham Ladies’ College where she regularly competes in tournaments held by the institution. In July, Tamara was appointed Captain of Polo at Cheltenham Ladies' and is currently helping to organise an interschool polo day at Longdole on 10th September.
Talking to this ‘Young Gun’, it becomes clear how important it is that she finds a balance between education, polo and being a teenager. When asked who would she choose if she could spend the day with anyone in the world, Tamara replied, “Alexander the Great! As well as being intellectual, which would make for good conversation, and obviously a good horseman with Bucephalus, he was also an accomplished polo player, having supposedly said: ‘I am the mallet and the ball is the world. Be alert.’” Tamara not only shows a great interest in the history of polo itself, but she also finds time for being a teenager after disclosing, “I shamefully have to admit that I became mildly addicted to Love Island…”
We have no doubt that Tamara will be one to watch in the future of polo. Her combination of skill, intellect and passion will drive this ‘Young Gun’ to the top of her game, and we at Hurlingham Polo 1875 wish her all the best in her year to come.
GET TO KNOW TAMARA
1. If your time weren’t taken up with pursuing polo and becoming an up and coming star in the game, what would you be doing instead?
When I first joined Cheltenham Ladies’ College and hadn’t yet realised how serious about polo I was going to become, I originally considered taking up rowing as a sport, so I would probably be spending my time either training in the gym or on a river. I think my parents maybe would’ve preferred for me to take the cheaper option of rowing over polo!
2. At such young ages, it's interesting to know what it was that first attracted you to the sport?
Originally my mum and my brother took up polo two years before I did, and I watched them playing and decided that I didn’t want to be left out of the fun!
3. Do you have a wardrobe staple that is essential to your personal style?
I am known at both school and home to often wear odd socks of bright colours and designs. Originally it was a mix between accidental and just lazy on my behalf, but I’ve come to consider it part of my personal style!
4. Are there any players that have inspired you growing up?
I’ve learnt a lot of horse skills in Argentina from Paola Martinez as well as tactics for how to play as a woman against men. I find one of the most helpful activities in terms of tactics is watching the best players playing in high-goal matches, which is even easier now that matches are streamed live online.
Do you have a lucky colour you like to wear on field?
Red- plus it’s scientifically proven that teams in red tend to win more!
6. Have you ever been star struck? If so, by whom?
Prince Harry when I was about twelve years old- he shook my hand and we were wearing the same brand jacket; he commented on it, but I was too nervous to reply with more than a mumble and a nod!