At Random – 25.3.21

Martin Laing

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Mount up!

I thought that this week I might wade in mightily to the vexed issue of possible housing development at Ganavan Sands, a subject which is an ongoing cause for much concern.

As you might expect, this required some research, which revealed what was to me an even more shocking potential development. Very few people seem to be aware that there are plans in the making to convert the shinty pitch at Ganavan into an arena for that most royal and upmarket of sports: polo.

However, do not expect to see members of our beleaguered royal family thundering across the turf on their enormous chargers: this form of the sport is aimed at those of us with physical challenges and is known south of the border, where it predominates, as Frail Polo.

The principal proposer behind the initiative seems to have identified Ganavan as a suitable site where some of us who are registered as disabled might want to try mounting up and swinging mallets (if that is the correct terminology for what they do) in a sporting contest never seen in these parts before.

My initial thoughts were that losing the shinty pitch to Frail Polo would be awful, and that devotees of the horseback sport should take a running jump. However, after due consideration, I have come round to the idea.

There are, after all, countless shinty pitches, including at Mossfield, so the loss of Ganavan to Frail Polo would be hardly worth worrying about. In addition, people such as me deserve the opportunity to take on new sporting challenges, even if they are patently beyond our physical abilities.

I have not sat astride a horse since I was a schoolboy but that should not deny me the choice in my sixties now – and registered as disabled – to try my hand at Frail Polo. I have clear visions of myself looking magnificently attired and helmeted aboard a splendid beast and wielding a long-handled mallet as I sweep majestically down the Ganavan pitch.

Frail Polo is the game for me.

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