TWO Eurobodalla women are donning the sky blue for NSW at the Australian National Polocrosse Championships at Darwin from July 7 to 13.
Nineteen-year-olds Farann Mathie of Bodalla and Brittany Jones of Moruya, are NSW squad members and were chosen for the under 21 women’s team, after showing their prowess on horseback with the racquet.
The nationals are held every two years and Mathie said both she and Jones were “stoked” to make it back to the event.
“We made the nationals last time and it was a goal of both of ours to get to compete at Darwin,” Mathie said.
The last championship was held in Warwick, Queensland, and Mathie said the climate of Darwin would pose tougher conditions for riders and horses.
“It’s going to be hot and we’re leaving two weeks before we begin playing to give time for both us and our horses to acclimatise,” she said.
The team of seven players will play up to seven games if NSW makes the final, but they will play only one game a day to give the horses time to recover.
The team is split into two groups of three who play a chukka of a maximum of eight minutes.
The other group of three takes to the field for the next chukka and they rotate for a maximum of eight rounds.
One player is a reserve who can replace a rider when required.
Over the next month Jones and Mathie will be riding at least twice a day, keeping their horses well fed and in shape.
“You also have to do your own fitness so you can handle the six-to-eight-minute bursts,” Mathie said.
“It’s a contact sport, lots of crashes and bangs, and both you and your horse have to be able to handle the pressure.”
Mathie and Jones both began playing when they were five, for the Lake George Polocrosse Club in Bungendore.
Jones still plays for the club while Mathie joined the Eurocoast Polocrosse Association when it formed in 2006.
Jones said she liked playing polocrosse because it was a fun, intense contact sport.
“It gets the adrenalin going I guess,” Jones said.