PQ #92 Cover

PQ international
Winter 2015 - #92

A Woman's Worth

This is a man's world! The popular phrase booms out of the car speakers as I drive away from a 12-goal tournament in Argentina. Six teams, twenty-three men, one woman.

  • The Akhal-Teke
    Polo seems to be the epitome of a sexist sport, but scratch the surface and
    you'll discover a world of talented female polo players - and no, they don't all wear
    pink helmets.
    The woman I saw playing that day was none other than Argentine polo sensation, Lia
    Salvo (27). At 2 goals she is the highest handicapped female player in Argentina. Lia
    travels the world playing polo; it's her passion and her job, yet she's still faced with
    quizzical looks when she explains what she does for a living. "They usually can't
    believe it. Most people don't even know that women play polo, let alone that a
    professional league exists."
    Lia, who learnt to ride at the age of four and was playing polo by 
  • ten, has much to say
    about being a female in a male dominated sport. "People need to realise that female
    polo is a real sport and a real profession. It's different to what it was a few years ago;
    there's a huge market waiting to be explored. It exists and it's here to stay."
    While female polo has advanced in recent years, especially in the UK and the US,
    Argentina - world leader in male polo - has been slow catching up to this
    phenomenon. The result is an imbalance in the sport, where an abundance of female
    players want to make the transition from amateur to professional, but lack the
    infrastructure of tournaments and the international circuit that is so established in
    male polo. "There are many girls, especially from smaller towns in Argentina, who
    want to go professional. Over the last few years their concept of polo has evolved and
    there has been a huge advance in technique, style and riding. They play well and have
    an organization set up, but to take it to the next level they need the support of the
    AAP (Association o...
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